Everything You Need to Know About CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)

CTI Integration

In today’s technologically evolving landscape of customer service, businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to deliver an optimal customer service experience. For this very reason, contact centers began to operate as an essential limb to businesses. However, contact center efficiency takes a hit when agents have to toggle between multiple applications to redress customer queries. This is where the role of CTI Connectors comes in.

This blog delves into a comprehensive understanding of what CTI is and how it can resolve persistent contact center challenges.

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What is Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)?

CTI is a piece of software that brings your business’s telephony and CRM systems together. This integrated system allows agents to handle incoming/outgoing calls directly from within the CTI interface, eliminating the need for a landline phone. The integration of CRM and telephony systems simplifies the task of agents, preventing the need for them to switch back and forth between tabs to serve customers.

How does Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Work?

The CTI technology leverages the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) functionality to connect your phone with other external business applications. The system works by adding phone controls on the agent interface, in a way, turning the agent’s desktop into an extension of the phone system. Thus reducing the manual and error-prone process of dialing numbers.

How does Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Work

But that’s not all. CTI also facilitates integration with other business applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), databases, third-party applications, and more. This way agents don’t have to switch back and forth between multiple tabs to access customer data while talking to the customer and can contribute to a more refined and smooth customer service experience.

The Need for CTI Integration

The simple answer would be to boost contact center productivity.

The landscape for customer service has transformed immensely. Businesses are under constant pressure to deliver exceptional customer service and maintain operational efficiency while at it. CTI integration fulfills this need by offering a centralized platform to manage telephony activities and streamline communication processes. CTI does this by automating the call handling processes, eliminating manual data entry, and facilitating automated call routing, thereby helping businesses reduce response time, improve overall contact center productivity, and boost customer satisfaction.

💡 Learn more | 5 Reasons you need to unify your CRM and phone systems

How to Use CTI in Call/ Contact Centers?

Whenever a customer calls a contact center, the CTI system pulls up that caller’s information from the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or other third-party applications integrated therein. All this information pulled up from various systems, and applications makes its way to the agent interface as soon as the call lands. Thus, the agent gets to know who is calling through the basic details displayed like name, contact information, and the reason for the call through details such as last interaction history, additional notes added by previous agent, etc. popped on the agent’s screen.

For a contact center, this resolves two major problems:

⦿ Call Handling Times

When the agent gets complete customer information as soon as the customer calls, they don’t have to toggle between screens to understand what the customer wants. Equipped with all the context before the call starts, CTI can help agents reduce their call handling times.

⦿ Personalization

The CTI integration technology allows businesses to gain an edge in delivering personalized services. Agents can simply pick up the conversation from where it was last left off rather than frustrating the customer by repeating the whole story over again.

Different types of Computer Telephony Integration

There are mainly four main types of CTI Connectors:

1. Omnichannel CTI

As the name suggests, this CTI solution integrates multiple communication channels such as voice, email, chat, social media, etc into a single unified interface. Such an integration allows agents to manage multiple interaction channels simultaneously.

2. On-prem CTI

This CTI integration solution runs on the customer’s local network. Here the hardware and the software installations are to be done on the customer’s infrastructure and they are equipped with the responsibility to manage and maintain the system. While these systems offer greater control and customization, they also require more resources for upgrades and maintenance.

3. Serverless CTI

These CTI integration systems run without any dedicated servers or infrastructures. They run on a cloud-based infrastructure often provided by a third-party service provider. This model is much faster to deploy and has features of scalability and reduced costs when compared to the on-prem models.

4. Browser-based CTI

This CTI model allows the integration of telephony and other computer systems via a web browser. Agents can easily receive and make calls, send messages, and manage call-related data from the browser. This does not require any additional hardware and software installations.

Key Features & Functionalities You Should Look for in CTI

Now that we have established the role and need for a CTI Connector, let’s take a look at the must-have features of CTI that can help you get the results you aspire for.

⦿ Embedded Call Controls

This feature allows agents to manage calls directly from within their existing software applications such as a CRM system or a helpdesk platform without the hassle of switching between tabs to access customer details. This feature helps streamline the call management process, helping contact centers upgrade their efficiency and productivity by reducing manual interventions.

⦿ Click-to-dial

With this functionality, agents can easily initiate outbound calls directly from within their integrated software interface, simply by clicking on the phone number, eliminating the need for agents to manually dial the numbers. This feature contributes to agents’ convenience and also saves their time, allowing them to quickly reach out to customers and prospects with a single click.

⦿ Automated Screen Pop

CTI Screen Pop functionality helps retrieve relevant customer information from the integrated databases or CRM systems and display it on the agent’s screen as soon as the call lands. Screen pop functionality helps preserve the call context and empowers agents to deliver contextually rich personalized responses that help improve the customer service experience.

💡 Read more | CTI Screen Pop for Improved Agent-Caller Interaction

⦿ Agent State Control

With this feature, the contact center supervisors and administrators can manage and monitor the availability and status of agents, such as available, busy, offline, etc. This helps in efficient workforce management by ensuring that the customer calls are routed to the available agents and saves the customers time from waiting on hold for an unavailable agent.

⦿ Call Routing

The Call Routing functionality intelligently directs incoming calls to the most appropriate agents or departments based on predefined criteria such as caller identity, IVR inputs, or agent skill sets. This feature ensures that callers are routed to efficient resources promptly, thus reducing the customer’s wait time and enhancing their satisfaction.

⦿ Call Logging

With its call logging capability, the CTI Connector captures detailed customer information about incoming and outgoing calls including timestamps, duration, caller ID, etc. This feature allows businesses to maintain a complete and accurate record of all communication activities facilitating various aspects of customer service, sales, and performance analysis.

⦿ Compatibility with Third-party Applications

While choosing a CTI connector for your business, it’s important to pick one that integrates seamlessly with a wide range of third-party applications including CRM platforms, helpdesk software, database systems, etc. This compatibility facilitates data sharing and interoperability across different systems, enabling businesses to leverage their existing investments and streamline their workflows.

Benefits of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

The integration of CTI into business communication systems offers numerous benefits for organizations across industries. Some key advantages of CTI include:

Personalize Customer Experience (CX)

Customers these days have high expectations when it comes to customer service. They want quick, contextual, and personalized assistance, to pledge their loyalty to a brand. Failing to meet either of these parameters can cause them to look for better alternatives.

💡 Read more | Overcome the top 5 barriers to customer-centricity

CTI integration helps businesses live up to these expectations by empowering agents to access real-time information, equipping them with the context they need to understand customers as soon as the customer calls. This swift access to customer details helps agents deliver personalized assistance to customers leading to better customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Unlock Peak Agent Productivity

Contact center productivity takes a hit when agents have to work on information that is not synchronized across multiple systems and applications. If they keep toggling between tabs to access even the most basic information about the customer, they cannot assist customers on time.

With CTI integration, contact centers tie the various software and systems together into a unified interface. To access customer details, agents don’t need to switch between applications and can assist their customers promptly. This prevents agents from getting overwhelmed and allows them to handle more calls in a shorter period.

Streamline Contact Center Workflows

Contact centers are often caught up in the web of disjointed communication channels, and manual processes leading to inefficiency, and difficulty in integrating telephony systems with existing software.

However, CTI solutions offer a resolution by seamlessly integrating telephony systems with software interfaces, automating call management tasks, and providing unified communication channels. This integration enhances productivity, reduces manual errors, and enables agents to handle calls within familiar software environments. By leveraging CTI solutions, contact centers can overcome workflow challenges, optimize operations, and deliver superior customer experiences, ultimately driving improved business outcomes.

Ensure Multi-channel Support

In today’s age of instantaneous service, customer expectations have soared. Having exposure to multiple interaction channels, customers have their preferences for interaction channels/platforms. For agents, it becomes a challenge to manage interactions across multiple channels since the context gets lost while switching between channels.

💡 Learn How to | Take a leap beyond traditional CTI with an Omnichannel strategy

A competent CTI Connector can solve this issue for contact centers by allowing customers to seamlessly switch between multiple channels without losing the context. Agents can access the entire customer history irrespective of the channel of interaction and efficiently address customer queries. CTI integration thus aids omnichannel communication without the need for extra support staff.

Improve Contact Center Metrics

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the true reflectors of your contact center productivity. When data across different systems is not in sync, the key metrics reflect poorly on contact center performance. Teams begin to operate in silos and there is no seamless flow of data.

💡 Learn How to |31 Key Call Center Metrics for improved contact center productivity 

However, with a CTI Connector, the data flow is synchronized between various systems and applications. This aids in boosting the contact center metrics. Let’s see how.

When agents have access to customer data on their fingers, the average call handle time (AHT) goes down. Also, this access to information improves the first call resolution (FCR) rates. Further, by handling swiftly, the average call abandonment rate comes down. All this combined adds to the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rate and gives a boost to NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Which Industrial Verticals Can Benefit from CTI Integration?

CTI Integration can upgrade the productivity of contact centers across various business verticals ranging from Healthcare, Banking, Credit unions, Telecom, Retail, Insurance, Government, and others. Here are some applications mentioned for each industry:

Industrial Verticals Can Benefit from CTI Integration

Understanding the Future of CTI

As CX slowly becomes a key differentiating factor for growth, deploying the right tools and technologies to enhance the productivity of agents becomes equally important. One such tool is the CTI Connector.

With more and more businesses shifting towards digital transformation and aiming agent productivity to earn customer loyalty, CTI adoption will only grow. As terms like personalized CX, omnichannel services, and streamlined workflows become tangible goals for businesses, CTI will remain an indispensable tool to achieve this.

Wrap Up

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), thus emerges as a pivotal solution in today’s evolving landscape of customer service. As businesses strive to deliver optimal customer experiences, contact centers stand as essential components, yet efficiency can be compromised when agents navigate through multiple applications to address customer queries. Here, CTI Connectors step in, offering a comprehensive solution to streamline operations and enhance productivity.

NovelVox Smart CTI Connectors can be the answer to a majority of your contact center problems. Integrate your contact center telephony systems like Cisco, Avaya, Genesys, Five9, Dialpad, Amazon Connect, Zoom, and Webex, with leading CRM systems such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, MS Dynamics, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Oracle, Hubspot, and Epic to unlock peak contact center productivity.

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