What is CTI and why is it important for Contact Centers?

    Call centers need to invest in innovative, automated technologies to keep them competitive and responsive to customer expectations. The more advanced processes used in a call center, the better your quality assurance will be. A great example of this type of technology is Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).  

    CTI creates efficient workflows and processes by bridging its functionality with call center software. CTI is an effective omnichannel tool and can be used on a range of devices. No telephone required. 

    There is much to explore in the world of CTI. This blog will take a deep dive into Computer Integrated Technology, exploring what CTI is, how it works, and why it is an ideal way to manage calls, improve agent efficiency, and streamline call handling processes across the board. 


    What Exactly is CTI?  

    Computer Telephony Integration was developed to bridge telecommunication networks and computer programs from anywhere in the world. CTI is a technology that allows computer and phone systems to interact. With CTI, agents don’t need an actual phone. They perform all call functions using onscreen controls, including answering and finishing calls, putting callers on hold, and transferring calls.  

    Not only does CTI handle calls, but it also allows agents to pull all related customer information, like billing, email addresses, location, and past call details. This seamless system is ideal for call centers because it allows many calls to be handled one right after the other. It is also an excellent demonstration of how far call center technology has come in the last few years. 

    The introduction of CTI pushed call centers to be more efficient and accurate. Phone numbers used to be labeled manually, which prevented callers from being identified. In a non-integrated environment, call center agents spend 6% of their time trying to find customer information in their databases, dragging down resolution time. But thanks to CTI, call centers now spend less time digging through unorganized information, and more time focusing on speedy issue resolution and customer service. 

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    How CTI Works 

    CTI allows agents to easily manage calls from their laptops. CTI is part of your technology stack used by call center agents and can often include CRM, data storage and internal communication tools. All the information should be accessible to agents. But CTI is more than simply another way to handle calls. It also provides extra capabilities which are valuable to the efficient running of a call center. A few of these unique capabilities and advantages include:  

    • Fewer phone equipment requirements. Say goodbye to clunky telephones and tangled lines. CTI negates the need for IP telephones, instead, allowing agents to use computer software to swiftly take calls. 
    • Better Call Routing. With artificial intelligence and lightning-fast processing, CTI capabilities streamline call routing like never before. Integrations like Interactive Voice Response (IVR-more on this below) and Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) allow calls to be routed faster and more accurately. Other technologies, like predictive behavioral routing, can be used with CTI to enhance the customer experience even further.  
    • Enhanced Reporting. CTI boosts reporting capabilities by allowing call data to be matched within the call center’s database. This means agents can immediately pull related data, which lowers resolution time.  
    • Call monitoring. This invaluable CTI feature allows call center managers to hear how their agents are responding to customer calls. This is a key way to analyze training and coaching processes down the road.  
    • Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR). IVR is a wonderfully convenient extension of CTI. IVR is an automated technology that provides callers with a menu of options, allowing customers to choose which service they need.  
    • Automated screen pop ups. Thanks to CTI, agents no longer need to hunt down customer information. CTI pop-ups automatically provide customer information like email addresses, locations, and caller history as the calls come in. This saves customers from having to restate why they are calling.   
    • Call authentication. Agents can authenticate callers by comparing their number to others in the call center database. With CTI, customers no longer need to repeat their personal information.  
    • Faster, more streamlined call handling. CTI provides agents all the customer, call routing, authentication, and reporting information they need to handle multiple calls successfully.  

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    What are the Benefits of Contact Center CTI? 

    Computer Telephony Integration can bring huge value to your business. The business case for CTI goes beyond simple call functionality. It all boils down to efficiency. CTI allows agents to answer calls faster and more efficiently than ever before, improving both agent performance and KPIs like average handling time. Unburdening phone systems frees up equipment requirements and allows agents to pull multiple pieces of information at once. Other benefits of contact center CTI include:  

    • Call centers become more efficient 
    • Enhanced agent productivity  
    • Better call monitoring and analysis  
    • The embracing of omni channel communication  
    • Time and money savings 
    • Produce better results 
    • Better ROI and revenue 
    • Call centers produce better results 
    • Improved customer experience and satisfaction rates 

    The benefits of CTI are vast. Call centers of all sizes should embrace this technology and incorporate it as part of their everyday operations. After all, the strength of your call center is in its technology. CTI takes this strength and emboldens it, elevating your call center’s reputation and customer service standards.


    The Bottom Line 

    Customer needs and expectations are evolving almost as quickly as technology itself. It is imperative that call centers up their game just as quickly to meet that demand. That’s why Computer Telephony Integration should be a crucial aspect of your call center quality assurance plan. CTI ensures that each customer call is taken care of in an efficient, professional, and timely manner. But it is even more than that.  

    When agents have the tools they need to succeed, they are more engaged in their work, which in turn improves the customer experience. Now is the time to invest in CTI, and in a comprehensive quality assurance program. And we can help. Learn how these innovative technologies can positively impact your call center by requesting a demo of our quality assurance software today.  




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