If you’ve been considering reviewing your existing phone system or communications setup, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what seems a huge number of acronyms or abbreviations – ‘SIP’, ‘VOIP’, ‘CLI’, ‘DDI’ and now ‘CTI’. Hopefully this blog should break it down for you. CTI, or Computer Telephony Integration, combines telecommunications and computers – it comes as part of all Ayo’s phone system offerings. Thanks to the benefits of CTI, being limited to the use of the desk phone to make and receive calls is now a thing of the past.
In environments with heavy administration, or use of a computer, CTI becomes particularly useful. For example, in a GP Practice, or Dental Surgery, where reception staff are handling upward of 100 calls daily, whilst booking appointments on the computer, updating records, locating & informing of test results….working between a desk phone and managing the computer isn’t necessarily the most efficient setup. Using the Ayo desktop application, interlinked with the business phone system, staff can answer incoming calls, ‘click-to-dial’ numbers on-screen, transfer calls and more – all from their computer. In the time it takes to retrieve, manually dial, hold the receiver of a desk phone – all can be done without.
In 2021, as a general ‘rule of thumb’, when seeking a new Phone System for your business you should ensure it has a competent CTI offering. As demonstrated during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, seamless and confluent communications across all staff devices has never been more paramount – as we simply don’t know when we may have to work out of the office.
For Customer Service-facing roles, whether in a contact centre environment, or a reception, CTI becomes particularly useful in increasing operational efficiency and staff productivity. In a contact centre, for example, staff can receive calls through their desktop/laptop computer, with integrated soft-phones offering all expected features, such as: Answer, Hang up, Hold, Transfer, Mute, Conference Call etc, without the need to handle hardware such as a desk phone.
Another benefit is CRM-integration, whereby CTI ‘pops-up’ a brief record of the incoming caller’s details and other information for the call handler to view, meaning they won’t need to ask any unnecessary questions.
All-in-one Call Management
Call handlers, whether in a reception environment, contact centre or similar, can seamlessly place & receive calls directly through their workstation. All typical features, including answer, decline, transfer, hold, conference etc. are available.
Simpify Tasks – Boost efficiency
Many apps and software can integrate through the CTI system. Examples of integrative applications include the likes of Salesforce – where CRM information can be automatically inserted into the call flow. The caller’s information ‘pops-up’ on-screen for the call handler by seamlessly matching their credentials (Name, number etc.) with the existing information in the CRM. This allows the agent to view all customer information & history without having to spend time ‘catching up’ on it at the beginning of the call – saving valuable time. In one single feature, this increases the customer experience levels, satisfaction, whilst also boosting efficiency & productivity.
Instant Caller Records
The caller record ‘pop-up’ on the agents workstation gives all relevant information about the caller (name, number, email address, customer history etc.). The call handler can greet the customer or client by name (offering a more friendly caller experience) and have full access to all relevant information instantly. Again, this saves a lot of time in collecting details from the customer, cross-referencing, and potentially having the caller wait on hold whilst the agent checks.
Data-Driven monitoring of agents
With the benefits of GDPR-compliant call recording, live monitoring, managed call history (for managing missed/unhandled calls), manager’s can instantly understand the overall performance & efficiency of their team. As a data-driven feature, manager’s are automatically provided multiple pieces of data of which they can ultimately make decisions from – allowing them to specifically target areas of concern/improvement. This as a package ultimately ‘trickles down’ into better customer service & satisfaction ratings.
Data-Driven Call Routing
As CTI integrates with most CRM/Database services/software, by utilising data from business records or their CRM, calls are routed to the member of staff best-suited or qualified to handle the caller’s needs. Through use of automated, data-driven decisions, this feature directly increased the productivity and efficiency of the agent, and can reduce call waiting times for the caller – resulting in a more positive customer experience.