Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
Automatic call distributors (ACDs) are the heart of a call center platform. ACDs are also referred to as automatic call distribution systems. ACDs do the grunt work of making sure that calls are routed to the right IVR, to the right call queues and eventually to the right agents. ACDs grew from office phone systems (also known as PBX systems). Any modern call center platform has some form of an ACD inside it making sure that calls are routed and sent to the right places.
Frequently Asked ACD Questions
Automatic call distribution is when inbound calls are automatically routed to destinations based on information about the call. For example, a call may be distributed based on the number that was dialed (the “DNIS”) or the number that the caller called from. As a simple example, if a call center has different campaigns, each campaign may have a different DNIS (e.g. such as a different toll free number). There may be one toll free number for customer service and one for sales (for example). If a caller dials the toll free number for customer service, the automatic call distributor automatically routes or distributes the inbound phone call to a customer service agent rather than a sales agent.
An ACD is an automated call distribution system (otherwise known as an automatic call distributor). ACDs distribute calls. Think of them as an automatic switchboard that constantly checks to see what agents are available and what agents are qualified to handle incoming calls. The switchboard then connects calls to qualified (and available) agents.
Here’s how Lucent (the OG of call center software) defined ACD years ago: An ACD is the part of a telephone system that recognizes and answers incoming calls and completes these calls based on a set of instructions contained in a database. The ACD can send the call to an operator or group of operators as soon as the operator has completed a previous call or after the system has played a message to the caller.
An ACD distributes calls. For example, an ACD can distribute (or route) incoming calls to available agents. More recently, ACDs also are used to distribute incoming chats, SMS messages or emails to available agents.
ACD stands for automatic call distributor or automated call distribution system.
In a call center, an ACD is the piece of software that routes phone calls to available agents who are qualified to handle the call. An ACD works with call queues and agent skill information to make sure that calls are handled by the appropriate agent or agent group.
An ACD phone system is a phone system that has a call distribution capability. Almost any modern PBX or office phone system has an ability to route or distribute calls to the right person. Call centers use more complex ACD phone systems, as call centers (and contact centers) need to be able to route thousands of incoming phone calls to the right agents.