1. Make sure you're taking full advantage of the features you've already paid for – optimising ACD performance is all about making the most of what you've got.

With the Avaya Communication Manager platform, for example, it's surprising how many organisations aren't making full use of the Business Advocate functionality that's built into the latest version of the software. It's a feature that allows contact centres to activate reserve agents automatically when service thresholds are either reached or about to be breached. And because it's entirely software-driven, it's a performance improvement that only requires some consultancy and configuration skills to start realising the benefits.

2. Building context into your ACD routing algorithms – over the years we've seen skills-based routing proving a successful approach for ACDs, however there's now an increasing emphasis on routing strategies such as customer-to-agent routing or attribute-based routing that can provide agents with far more context about the customer's interaction. For example, when an agent picks up an interaction it's useful to know that the customer has been on the website, or has perhaps already engaged via web chat. Adding this kind of context can add real value to customer engagement, and the good news is that it's also an approach that you pursue incrementally, perhaps channel by channel, with more in-depth contact history at a later stage.

3. Understanding the impact of digital channels on ACD performance – as contact centres evolve from a largely service and sales operation to effectively become the escalation hub for omnichannel engagement, contact centre management need to have a much greater awareness of the kind of demand spikes that can occur. A poorly performing mobile app, or a badly designed page on the website will see customers quickly revert to traditional channels. Greater co-ordination between the contact centre and digital teams can have a significant impact on ACD performance.

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