The Benefits of the Next Generation Intelligent ACD

Continuing on my topic of ACD 2.0, you might ask, what are the benefits of utilizing intelligent routing for multichannel interactions and work tasks? Isn’t it just for phone calls?

Among others, the ability to route multichannel interactions in an intelligent manner allows customers to communicate in the methods they prefer, improving their relationship with an organization. As more and more companies begin to offer web chat, email and SMS routing, customers will view those that don’t offer them as "behind the times". This is particularly true of the younger generation, a highly desirable demographic for many organizations.

ACD 2.0 also provides the ability to provide a "universal queueing" mechanism so that it is easy for an organization to have "one-stop shopping" for real time monitoring, quality monitoring and reporting of interactions. Even if the same agents don’t handle all interaction types, a single system handling all the interaction types not only saves time on the administrative side, but also provides insight into customer activity. Do 18-24 year olds prefer to SMS in the daytime, but web chat at night? Do they also call for "quick turnaround" items? How many times has any one customer interacted with your organization, and by which methods? Are there particular types of interactions that lend themselves to certain channels? Is the organization better at handling certain types of interactions, and why? And what’s the customer satisfaction rating with how they’re treated across all those channels?

Now layer the ability to intelligently route work tasks, not just to contact center agents, who often handle project work in between interactions, but also throughout the organization, wherever knowledge workers are located.

Intelligently routing all these items enables ACD 2.0 to aid management in gaining visibility to ongoing progress, the first step towards achieving their targeted service level and cost goals. The reason it can do so is that the ACD routing engine works with myriad applications available to improve not just routing, but overall team performance. Quality monitoring/scoring/coaching of multichannel interactions as well as work tasks can improve quality, reduce rework and ultimately lower costs while improving customer satisfaction. Workforce management can assist in determining multichannel traffic patterns as well as work tasks, and optimally schedule for the right headcount/skill mix to best meet customer needs and stay within targeted service levels. Customer surveying of multichannel interactions and general processes/policies can capture feedback on the overall performance of the organization, as well as performance of its employees. e-Learning would not just train contact center agents, but also knowledge workers performing work tasks. Learning and Development Departments could begin to measure the real return of training with continual feedback on improved quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction from the ACD routing engine and surrounding applications.

There is clear, hard ROI to be earned from utilizing ACD 2.0. CIOs and the Lines of Business can deploy it to manage strategic processes and help their organizations get a better handle on what they’re doing, how well they are doing it, what it costs, and how their customers feel about it.

Finally, on the topic of the naming convention, I am not wedded to the idea of ACD 2.0. I like Marco’s suggestion of Automatic Interaction Distributor, however, because the intelligent routing can also handle work tasks, I am hesitant to use the word Interaction. So I ask you, what about calling it Intelligent Automatic Distributor? (IAD) Or Intelligent Object Distributor? (IOD) What are your thoughts on the name for the next generation routing engine? And do you see the ACD evolving in this direction?

Thanks in advance for your input,

Rachel Wentink