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What Is An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)?

Critical to the operation of the call center is the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) or more recently called Omnichannel Routing. It receives inbound calls in a call center and intelligently routes them to the correct agent or group of agents with the appropriate skills to handle the inquiry. The goal is for it to quickly identify the agent or group of agents qualified to handle the call, so customers are not waiting on hold.

Woman smiling talking on phone

Calls can be routed based on a number of factors, including:

  • Dialed number
  • Nature of the call
  • Preferred language

    As technology advances, ACDs that were originally intended to handle just calls, can now perform omnichannel routing for digital channels including email, web chat, social messaging etc.

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When live agents are not available, ACDs can also:

  • Route incoming calls to an Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system to answer the call
  • Can allow the caller to leave a message and request a callback.

    An important feature supported by the ACD in the call center is integration with Customer Relationships Management (CRM) systems or other databases via Computer Telephony Integration or CTI. This allows the ACD to do a data dip into a CRM or database of choice, retrieve the customer information including their profile, account details and past interactions, and present it to the agent as the call arrives. Additionally, this enables the agent to greet the customer and describe the reason for their call based on past events and provide a more personalized customer experience.

    For your VIP customers, your ACD can quickly identify them and route them to a specific agent or group of agents who may be assigned to their account. This kind of service for your most important customers can increase customer loyalty and may result in them recommending your brand to their friends and family.

ACDs collect an enormous amount of data in the call cener including:

  • Number of incoming calls
  • Amount time an agent spends on each call, also known as Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • Total number of calls both incoming and outgoing
  • Length of each call
  • How long a customer has to wait in que before each call
  • How long agents spend on after call work

    All these metrics help contact supervisors understand the activity in the call center which allows them to staff appropriately with the right number of agents with the skills and knowledge to help your customers.

In addition to the features and functionality outlined here, ACDs enable

  • ACDs collect an enormous amount of data in the call cener including:
  • Call monitoring and coaching of agents
  • Combining multiple PBXs to function as a single call center
  • Multiple call queues for different departments, groups of agents or numbered dialed
  • Integrated auto attendants
  • Call center overflow to voicemail
  • And more!

    For more information about the Five9 Intelligent Cloud Contact Center, visit