Category Archives: The CTI handbook

What will CTI do for your business

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is a technology that enables a computer to control a telephone i.e. the user can easily make/receive calls without even touching an actual telephone. The most common application of CTI is a “screen-pop” that has the ability to populate the computer screen with caller information and history but in recent times, “click to dial”, campaign dialling, voicemail drop are fast becoming standard CTI features. If the integration is one of quality, then all these features are embedded in your CRM leaving you with just one application open on the desktop.

What will CTI do for your business

Easy Handling of Calls Embedded in CRM

Forget about your phone buttons when CTI is enabled.  Your staff can easily make and receive calls with simple mouse-clicks within your CRM. The CRM is enabled with advanced call control functions such as answer, hang up, hold, conference and transfer etc., making it simple to run the entire calling process. A good CTI application will have the ability to configure department directories so that calling, transferring calls with your organization is easy.

Detailed Information of the Customer is Available with the call

Your staff can scan through the detailed information and past history of the caller with the help of automated “screen pop”. As soon as the call is routed to the relevant department, the data of the customer stored in your CRM is “popped” when the call arrives. This empowers your people to have a more personalized and informed conversation with customers, thereby engaging them well and making them feel more valued. It also improves productivity by reducing the call handling time as there is no delay having to manually search between different databases to find the customer’s details.

Integration of Call Logs and Caller Data in one place

CTI permits integration of phone-call log and caller data such as call history, personal information, purchase history, cases and support tickets etc. – all in your CRM. These statistics can be used for reporting and creating dashboards offering you complete control of your operation and the ability to react in real time to increased call traffic, reduced staffing levels etc.

Customer data travels with the call if transferred to another person

If agents face issues while solving a customer’s query, they can immediately ask their supervisors for help. Agents can initiate a conference call and include their supervisors so as to help answer the customer’s question. Your staff can also transfer the call to other departments if required using the directories embedded in the CRM. Availability of CTI eliminates the need of repeating the information all over again, in case of call transfers, thereby reducing customer frustration.

Increased Productivity/Efficiency

CTI implementation helps contact centers to reduce the average duration of each call, thus ensuring higher productivity of agents. The spare time can be utilized for handling other calls which eliminates the need of adding more staff and maybe doing some outbound activity. A good CTI implementation will have a outbound dialer module which allows you to import outbound campaign lists from your CRM and automate the dialling, call back re-scheduling and logging of all activity to your CRM

Enhanced Caller Experience

By knowing the identity of the caller before receiving a call and greeting the caller by name enables agents to offer a more personalized experience.  Not having to repeat the information is a great benefit to the customer. All these reduce the complexity of the call and make it a satisfying experience for both the agents and the callers. Call duration time are greatly reduced, which in turn allows for more calls to be dealt with.

What is CTI – CTI Tutorial

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is a technology that enables your PC to control/monitor your phone. In particular, it closely ties your CRM and phone system together. For this blog, I will be talking about these three common CTI features:
Click to dial – You can make calls with a “click” – without touching an actual telephone.
Screen pop – Automatically populate your CRM view with caller’s information and history.
Call logging – All inbound and outbound calls are logged against the customer in CRM

There are many more advanced CTI features we will deal with in later blogs, such as
– Route callers to the most appropriate agent, based on CRM data.
– Add call recording links to the interaction history in CRM
– Outbound efficiency through Progressive Dialer in CRM
– Tracking marketing success of your inbound phone numbers
– Automating workflows based on CTI information
– IVR and CRM integration
– Callbacks, including web callbacks
– Outbound calling with marketing automation
– See a colleague’s presence before transfer
– Screen and call transfer
– Telephony performance data in CRM – unified reporting
– Customer experience measurement using CTI

CTI has helped contact centers to gain a competitive advantage by enabling them to take a more data-driven approach while interacting with the customers. Call centers have witnessed significant reductions in costs, decreased call handle time, enhanced production and more control of the outbound operation.

In the past, many organizations have shied away from implementing CTI based applications, as they had a reputation for being unwieldy in the extreme and the degree of difficulty in implementing those applications effectively, was only matched by the high cost associated with their purchase.

However, CTI is definitely now available off-the-shelf for most CRMs. Some implementations are highly advanced and suitable for premium contact centers. The feature levels will vary, but you should check out what is readily implementable for your CRM.

So, what are the benefits of our three focus CTI features?

Save time on every call.
It could be that the callers CRM records are automatically popped to the agent event before they answer the call. Or the handy transfer buttons in CRM for a smooth transfer to another agent or department. Or not having to manually log every call in CRM. Or simply saving finger-trouble when making outbound calls. All these will save time on every call. Typically the savings are 15 to 30 seconds per call. That adds up quickly with all the calls you are handling.

If it’s not in CRM, it didn’t happen.
Agents no longer have to remember to log calls in CRM. That’s all automatic with CTI. And that also means you now have the data to plan accurately. Or it will save a lot of heartache when absence of a note in CRM translates to customer conflict.

Save money on every call
The screen-pop and easy transfers offered by CTI will result in shorter AHT (Average Handling Time). So, since agents will get through calls quicker, that will yield an immediate cost saving. Furthermore, since the hold times on your expensive toll-free numbers will be shorter, there is a cash saving there too. shorter hold time on your expensive toll-free numbers

Customers will love you that little bit more – and every little helps
The name of the game in retaining customers is to have them trust and love you so they won’t leave easily. The faster call handling, personalization, smooth and speedy start to the call that CTI enables will add to the trust and love your customers have for you.

To Do: Research the basic CTI available for your CRM and phone-system combination. Google something like: Dynamics crm “screen pop” avaya