This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Computer telephony integration (CTI) is a technology that connects a phone system to a computer or mobile device, eliminating the need for a landline phone. It is primarily used in call centers to manage inbound and outbound calls with the goal to improve call efficiency and simplify call management. In this article, we explore what is CTI in call centers and its benefits for small to medium-sized businesses.
How Computer Telephony Integration Works
CTI works by using voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) technology to turn a computer into an extension of a business phone system. This allows you to perform various telephony functions, including the ability to answer, mute, hold, transfer, and hang up calls.
CTI links with business applications like ticketing platforms, help desks, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. When a call comes in, the system verifies the caller’s contact details with the CRM database. The agent will now be able to access all relevant information about the caller, including billing history, location details, and past call logs, within a single interface.
Key Features of CTI
Aside from adding phone controls to your computer, a CTI phone system does more. It comes with a screen pop, automatic dialers, and reporting functionality. To learn more about these functions, click on the tabs below to discover some key CTI features:
Benefits of Computer Telephony Integration
There are plenty of ways CTI enhances the efficiency of call center operations, from collecting caller information to customizing call flow and speeding up the call handling process. To better understand the benefits of CTI as a call center technology, click on each item below:
CTI-based phone systems eliminate the use of desk phones, which are expensive to set up and maintain. Since CTI is deeply integrated with your business software, agents only need to log in and work from their computer or even a mobile device. This makes CTI cheaper to implement, especially if your staff needs to be remote.
CTI is a vital tool for call center agents when it comes to automating routine tasks and deflecting queries that don’t require a live agent. Agents don’t have to deal with every incoming call because call routing capabilities will take care of it. Plus, linking CTI with your customer relationship management (CRM) system enhances agent efficiency since they don’t need to dig through several databases or switch between tabs to access customer information.
With the screen pop feature, customers don’t have to repeat themselves because all the information is at the agents’ fingertips. This reduces call handling time since the agent is able to resolve issues and move to the next call more quickly. Personalized engagement with the agent also makes the caller feel that they matter to the business.
Call routing features like IVR improve customer experience by providing self-service options like paying bills or setting up account notifications. Callers feel empowered if they can resolve their issues independently instead of waiting for a live agent for assistance.
One of the standout benefits of CTI is how it makes the entire process of customer contact digital. It enables call centers to reach out to customers via voice calling, texting, emailing, or social media. This promotes a more omnichannel experience for customer outreach and saves money in the long run.
Top Providers Offering CTI
Now that you fully understand what computer technology integration is, you may want to know the leading providers of CTI systems in the market. Ideally, the right solution for your business should provide a handful of useful CTI features that are easy to learn and adapt in various call center situations. Check out some of the popular CTI providers by clicking on the tabs below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I choose the right CTI solution for my business?
The answer depends on the current business applications you’re using. If you want to link a CTI solution to your existing CRM system, make sure your chosen provider includes your CRM in its list of integrations. Many CTI solutions vary in price, features, and scalability, so evaluate multiple providers to explore your options. The best CTI software should be flexible enough to meet your business needs.
Do contact center solutions require an extra fee for a CTI?
No. A CTI solution should be a part of the contact center package you purchased. However, other providers would require you to subscribe to higher-level plans for advanced CTI features like automated dialing, screen pop, and analytics.
What type of call centers need a CTI solution?
Almost any type of call center operation will benefit from a CTI solution. However, it is generally popular in industries that involve plenty of customer phone interactions, such as healthcare, financial, ecommerce, and hospitality management.
A computer telephony integration system streamlines and expands customer contact. CTI has benefits for call center phone systems as well as customer service and sales, which is why it’s being adopted into the communications tools of many small businesses. To learn more about specific providers offering CTI integration, check out our guide on the best call center phone systems.