Find the best Automatic Call Distribution Software

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CallTools

CallTools offers an advanced predictive dialer and inbound call center management solution that streamlines and optimizes call center operations. With list management tools that include list scrubbing, recycling, and export capabi...Read more about CallTools

4.8 (114 reviews)

10 recommendations

Five9

Five9 is an all-in-one cloud contact center solution for inbound, outbound, blended and omnichannel contact centers world-wide. Powered by Practical AI, Five9 enables agents to provide customer experiences across phone, emai...Read more about Five9

4.2 (460 reviews)

9 recommendations

Nextiva Contact Center

Create more powerful customer experiences while reducing cost and complexity so you can grow your customer relationships, empower your agents, and delight your customers. Serve customers where they are and when they want with tr...Read more about Nextiva Contact Center

4.4 (95 reviews)

8 recommendations

Zendesk Suite

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features an...Read more about Zendesk Suite

4.4 (3848 reviews)

5 recommendations

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ReadyMode

ReadyMode is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics a...Read more about ReadyMode

4.0 (19 reviews)

5 recommendations

Talkdesk

Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that helps businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. It uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) a...Read more about Talkdesk

4.5 (722 reviews)

4 recommendations

Ringover

Ringover is the no.1 business phone system that gives you unlimited calls to 110 countries, video conferencing, SMS and group messaging, call recording, call whispering and more features focused on improving your teams productivit...Read more about Ringover

4.6 (373 reviews)

3 recommendations

Dialpad

Dialpad is an AI-powered cloud communication platform and business phone system that provides organizations with the latest in VoIP telephony technology to keep teams connected and productive. The platform comprises three integrat...Read more about Dialpad

4.3 (516 reviews)

2 recommendations

Convoso

Convoso’s all-in-one contact center platform generates and converts leads faster using multiple communication channels. The cloud-based solution offers multiple dialing modes (predictive/power/preview) along with two-way texting, ...Read more about Convoso

4.5 (253 reviews)

2 recommendations

DialedIn CCaaS

DialedIn (formerly ChaseData) offers cloud-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the solution. It’s designed for outbound, inbound and blended call center teams. Dialing capabil...Read more about DialedIn CCaaS

4.8 (155 reviews)

1 recommendations

Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based CRM ecosystem for small, medium and enterprise organizations, with a focus on Sales, Field Service, Customer Service complete with strong integrations with Microsoft’s other Office 365 offer...Read more about Dynamics 365

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk solution from Zoho Corporation, catering to businesses of all sizes. Key features include management of customer support tickets, a customer support portal, contract management and report creat...Read more about Zoho Desk

NICE CXone

Organizations around the world are striving to deliver the ultimate customer experience, strengthen brand value, and boost efficiency. NICE CXone empowers brands to achieve these objectives on one interaction-centric platform with...Read more about NICE CXone

CallHippo

CallHippo is a cloud-based call center solution that helps mid to large size businesses with workflow automation and virtual telephony. The platform enables users to give detailed analysis to customers through call recordings. Cal...Read more about CallHippo

Aircall

Aircall is a cloud-based business phone and call center system that helps manage and streamline customer support and sales engagement operations. Designed for offices and teams in remote areas, it enables users to integrate the so...Read more about Aircall

3CX

3CX Phone System is an open standards communications solution, suitable for any sized business that wants all the features of an advanced contact center at a fraction of the cost. 3CX can take your business communications to the n...Read more about 3CX

Vonage Business Communications

Vonage Business Communications is a good option for small-, medium-, and enterprise-level businesses that need a scalable, easy-to-use VoIP platform with premium voice clarity and a wide array of solutions for specific business ne...Read more about Vonage Business Communications

CloudTalk

CloudTalk is a contact center management solution that enables businesses to streamline communications with teams and customers using virtual call systems. It allows executives to manage inbound/outbound calls, extract interaction...Read more about CloudTalk

MiCloud Connect

MiCloud Connect (formerly ShoreTel) is a cloud-based VoIP phone system that offers collaboration and conferencing tools to enable information flow within the organization. The solution enables system administrators to manage use...Read more about MiCloud Connect

VICIdial

VICIdial is an open-source, cloud-based contact center solution suitable for small to large call centers in a variety of industries. Key features include inbound and outbound calls, call routing, email integration, online chat and...Read more about VICIdial

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Most callers don’t like being placed in a queue, but consider the alternative: to simply let them wait indefinitely on hold. Most of us can guess what the outcome of that strategy will be.

Moreover, if the call is placed to one of your business’s main numbers rather than an employee’s dedicated number, how will you ensure that the call on hold is answered by one of your available employees?

Automatic call distribution is a capability both of integrated call center suites and standard business phone systems that solves these problems by enabling call queueing and rules for routing calls from the queue to your employees.

We’ll answer the following questions you might have about automatic call distribution:

What is an Automatic Call Distribution System?

Which Kinds of Systems Offer ACD?

Common Functionality of Automatic Call Distribution Software

What Type of Buyer Are You?

What is an Automatic Call Distribution System?

Essentially, a phone system or call center system with ACD capabilities parks incoming calls in a "call queue" and then routes them to call center agents or employees as they become available.

This ensures that calls get answered in the order that they come in, minimizing the time that callers wait on hold.

Moreover, because calls are routed to available personnel instead of being blindly routed to a line regardless of whether someone is there to answer, ACD ensures that your business answers far more calls.

Which Kinds of Systems Offer ACD?

Without ACD, you don’t have the option of call queueing—all callers will have to wait on hold. Because of this, ACD is used in nearly any business with a main company number or a toll-free number answered by multiple employees.

ACD is included in nearly all business phone systems, except for the most basic and stripped-down small business offerings on the market.

Call centers, in which large groups of agents spend long shifts answering inbound calls, have specialized ACD requirements. Thus, call center suites offer far more advanced ACD capabilities than most business phone systems, particularly when it comes to call routing.

Let’s take a look now at some of the specific features of advanced ACD systems.

Common Functionality of Automatic Call Distribution Software

A queue dashboard in 8x8 tracks metrics for calls in various queues (highlighted in red)

The core functionality of an advanced ACD system is to route calls based on pre-defined rules, whereas simpler ACD systems merely route the caller who’s waited the longest to the first available employee.

One common form of ACD used in call centers. With skills-based routing in place, call center agents are first assigned to groups based on skills (e.g., a sales team, a billing support team, a technical support team etc.). When a caller selects that they need “sales” or “support” in the system’s menu, the call is then routed to the right team, instead of just being sent to the first available agent in any team.

How ACD Directs Incoming Calls

Even more advanced systems are capable of routing calls based on algorithms that factor in historical data collected by the call center system. For instance, calls can be routed to the best-performing agents (as determined by historical metrics), or to the agent who’s been waiting the longest between calls if multiple agents are available.

Factors used to route calls can include:

  • The number the caller dialed

  • Caller selections within the company’s interactive voice response (IVR) system

  • Caller profile data stored in the company’s CRM or call center system

  • Agent skills

  • Agent idle time

  • Agent performance metrics

  • Caller ID data

  • Geographical information

  • Time of day or day of week

Call center ACD systems also offer advanced options when it comes to reporting and queueing, such as:

Usage data capture

Allows users to gather data such as the number of incoming and outgoing calls, average time on call, average wait time and more. This information can be analyzed for reporting and used to populate agent scorecards.

Virtual queueing

Allows callers to avoid waiting on hold by entering their numbers to receive a callback when it’s their turn. This reduces customer frustration and wait times.

Differentiated call queues

ACD software users can create multiple call queues and have the ability to transfer callers between them. For example, a company may create one queue for support and one for sales, then transfer callers based on the purpose of their calls.

Virtual queueing, also known as callback, offers a dramatically improved waiting experience for callers, as we explain in our report on the subject. However, it’s still far from being a universally included feature in ACD modules, so make sure to mention it in your Request for Information (RFI).

What Type of Buyer Are You?

At the very least, most businesses are going to need basic ACD. Thankfully, the ability to create call queues is a nearly universal feature in business phone systems.

The need for an advanced ACD system depends on a company’s volume of calls and whether those calls need to be routed in a specific way. Almost all buyers of advanced ACD solutions are call centers.

Here are some specific recommendations about the kinds of ACD capabilities that different businesses will need:

Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees needing to place calls in queues can simply use a small business phone system. Small business systems generally offer ACD or at least “hunt groups,” i.e. the capability to group lines together so that multiple lines ring at once for a single inbound call.

Very small call centers can get by with basic hunt groups rather than advanced ACD by using a “round-robin” approach. In this routing scheme, calls are delivered sequentially to different employees. For instance, once employee A’s line rings, the next call is sent to employee B, then C etc.

Alternatively, some small call centers send calls to all agents at once, on the assumption that competition over who gets to answer is a motivating factor.

Call centers fielding a high volume of calls should implement an ACD system to manage a queue and distribute calls based on time-on-hold, caller data, agent skills and more.

Outbound and inbound call centers with an IVR should use an ACD to route calls. Outbound campaigns utilizing IVR menus require that you have ACD in place in order to properly route calls based on recipients’ IVR selections.

Complex sales and support teams that need calls to be routed to various departments should use an ACD’s skills-based routing capabilities.

Virtually all of the call center systems listed on Software Advice offer an ACD system, in addition to the standard business phone systems we list. Explore our product profiles to find the solution that works best for your needs.