Is There a Difference Between Contact Center ACD & IVR?

Is There a Difference Between Contact Center ACD & IVR?

The acronym game is fun, but what sometimes gets missed is understanding what those acronyms mean and how they work together. ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) are different but work together in harmony. There’s a symbiotic relationship built between the two that the overall phone system benefits from. Using these features, along with others, to their fullest can create positive increases in customer satisfaction. According to a GetFeedback survey, 73 percent of companies are making customer experiences more personalized, and optimized IVRs and ACDs for contact centers are a great place to start. 

You didn’t think you’d get the answer right at the beginning, but you know what? Having the answer and understanding the answer are two vastly different things. Let’s go on a journey to understand.    

How is a Contact Center Different?  

A call center primarily handles voice calls, while a contact center handles voice, email, SMS, and video conferencing. When dealing with a contact center, the importance of the phone system and routing of interactions dramatically comes into play. If interactions are not directed to the right place, you start the conversation on the wrong foot.  

A Zendesk study found that client effort scores, or how much effort a client puts in to get a resolution, depend heavily on the accuracy of your contact center solution. Only 37 percent of consumers will stay loyal to a brand in a “high-effort” resolution, whereas 61 percent will stay loyal during a “low-effort” resolution

What is an IVR? 

An IVR is the voice menu that greets you when calling into a business. It’s not only that it welcomes you, but by using voice or phone inputs, it gathers information that helps determine where the call will ultimately end up. Every business is different, and the information needed varies considerably, so the IVR is highly customizable. Advanced IVR even incorporates speech-to-text, so you don’t have to rely on professional voice recording for the company’s voice. The IVR is just the first step in impacting the ACD for contact centers.   

What is an ACD for Contact Centers? 

You can think of the IVR as the smell receptors for the ACD—the brain, of course. The IVR gathers the information while the ACD intelligently weighs the factors and decides based on the best possible route for that call. With anything, including the IVR, the ACD must be configured and repeatedly tested to ensure that the system handles the incoming volume appropriately. 

Beyond the calls, the ACD for the contact center acts like a data hub, collecting stats on average handle time, number of incoming calls, number of calls in the queue, and more.   

How Do These Features Compare? 

The IVR is used to qualify the call, answer security questions, provide account information, and more. Then, the ACD takes the qualified answers and routes them to the appropriate next queue. It’s like an Olympic relay race team, practicing and training, all in an effort to execute the perfect handoff of the baton. They are individually phenomenal, but together, they are otherworldly.  

With Vaspian, we offer an even better next step after ACD for contact centers: skills-based routing. You can add agent variables with the customer details to really hone in on matching the callers with the agents. Don’t worry; you won’t need an advanced computer science degree either. We are the experts here, and we can handle it.  

Get The Most Out of Your Phone System with Vaspian 

Your phone system can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be. The IVR and ACD for contact centers are a small piece of your more significant business communication infrastructure. You have an experienced market leader in Vaspian to guide you through the process. Contact us today, and we can start building a system that fits your organization like a dream. 

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