Call distribution algorithm

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What is call distribution algorithm?

It’s a method of selection, which of the hunt group members to direct an incoming call. PBX usually selects one or another of the algorithms after taking into account a variety of parameters, such as IVR information, caller and called numbers, CRM or helpdesk system data, time of day, history of communications. PBX sub-system that makes such a choice is called ACD (automatic call distribution). The selected call distribution algorithm should reflect business rules and processes of a customer service.

Different call distribution algorithms

There are a lot of choices for routing incoming calls.

  • Simultaneous (parallel) call distribution — calls are forwarded to all available extensions of hunt group simultaneously
  • Sequential (linear) call distribution – each subsequent call is forwarded to a first available person in a list, ACD starting to look through the list at the beginning each time.
  • For the freest — call is forwarded to a person who did not take calls longest
  • Round-robin (circular) call distribution — calls are distributed in order, starting with the next in order
  • Serial-parallel — calls are forwarded to a subgroup sequentially, but inside each subgroup, they ring simultaneously
  • Uniform Call Distribution — calls are distributed uniformly, starting with the person who has handled the fewest calls.
  • Random- calls are forwarded to extensions by random choices
  • Weighted Call Distribution — calls are distributed among extensions according to a configurable weighting

Some PBXs with ACD support only the first two algorithms — linear and parallel. Sometimes it is good, but usually only for very little companies. Support of 4 algorithms is usually enough to support business processes in most companies. Other algorithms sometimes are needed for sophisticated cases.

Example of use cases

Imagine: you have a sales team and it is important that a calling client gets the fastest response. PBX can help you by forwarding calls simultaneously to all team members’ phones. The member who first picked up the phone wins the client.

Another case. It’s important that all sellers get the same number of client requests. No problem, ACD should ring round them in a circle. Other possible algorithms in the case — random and uniform.

And what if your team is a mix of qualified managers and newcomers? You could increase sales if the best managers get client calls first. Solution: cloud ACD should ring around managers in a predefined order.

Sometimes managers should perform some kind of post-call processing. For example, transfer order to production or type-in client requests to CRM. In this case, ACD could transfer incoming calls in the first place to the freest employee.

More complex case. It’s desirable that the most qualified managers get client call first. But you fear that skilled sellers will try to catch by phone more orders than they can handle, to improve personal performance. So some part of the orders will be lost. In such a case you can use weighted call distribution algorithm. Skilled managers will get more calls, but some part of calls will be forwarded to newcomers.