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There are plenty of gadgets and software that businesses can incorporate to streamline processes and increase productivity. The key is figuring out which ones will benefit your company the most.

If your business uses customer service representatives or takes lots of phone calls, then IVR and ACD tech might be great fits. To give you a better understanding of why, this article will discuss the difference between IVR and ACD tech.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR, short for an interactive voice response, allows users (callers) to obtain information without having to speak to a live agent. Callers speak into the phone, and the IVR interprets that so it can redirect them properly or even address their needs on the spot.

This self-service technology’s main goal is to help the customer find answers to their questions faster, without having to talk to someone on the phone. This can save your team time and allow your agents to work on other projects. Most importantly, it helps increase customer satisfaction.

On top of helping a customer find an answer to their question, such as the estimated delivery time of an order, the IVR can also direct the customer to the appropriate department if the customer’s questions and concerns weren’t fully answered.

For example, if the customer has a question about TVs, then he or she will be directed to the TV department so a representative can assist the customer.

Automatic call distribution (ACD)

ACD, short for automatic call distribution, routes customers to the most skilled agent for their particular question or concern, whether it be via SMS/text, phone, email, messaging, etc. This is important because not only can the customer decide how he or she wants to communicate, but it also allows the customer to speak with the agent who’s most qualified for the task.

This can also streamline processes and allow customer service representatives to get more work done. After all, they’re experts in their departments and can typically answer questions in a more timely fashion, as well as give the customer the best response to their questions.

Depending on the software and what’s defined as a “rule”, the ACD will also direct the customer to an agent in a specific department who’s available (in other words, not already on a call). So the customer’s wait time is less, which, of course, can help to increase customer satisfaction because the amount of time the customer is on the phone is decreased.

The difference between IVR and ACD tech

The main difference between these two types of tech is that with an IVR, the main objective is to ensure that a customer doesn’t have to speak with a live agent until it’s necessary. With an ACD, the main purpose is for the customer to speak with the most skilled available agent, whether it be via SMS/text, email, or a phone conversation.

However, it’s possible that a customer still has a specific question that can’t be answered by the IVR. In that case, the IVR works like an ACD, and IVR software will redirect the caller to the most skilled agent for the question (based on the topic/department).

The most important element is that the customer’s questions and concerns are answered and customer satisfaction is achieved. Of course, these types of software also help make agents more productive and efficient while streamlining processes.

Customer service is the one area of a business that can’t go under the radar. After all, if your  business’ customer service takes a hit, then your customers could leave bad reviews online, which can have a negative effect on future customers and sales — they could take their business elsewhere and tell people about their bad experience. Plus, their needs aren’t being met.

IVR and ACD tech have their differences, but they can both help with the customer experience.