Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

Learn more about computer telephony integration (CTI), how it works, and how implementing a CTI solution can help improve the quality of your customer service experience.

Pradeep Vasudev
July 6, 2022
5 min read

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Table of Contents

What is CTI?

Computer telephony integration (CTI) is a call center technology that businesses use to integrate a contact center’s phone system with other software applications. CTI enables agents to perform all phone-related functions — including calling, disconnecting, and transferring calls — directly from a computer without requiring a physical phone.

Apart from placing calls, computer telephony integration also provides additional capabilities to your call center, such as:

  • Call routing to match calls to agents with the right skill set and experience

  • Interactive voice response (IVR) to present callers with a pre-set menu of options — designed to collect the callers’ information and route them to the right department

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) integrations to allow agents to store customers’ purchase and interaction details in one place

  • Detailed call analytics that help agents and supervisors measure and analyze individual or team performance and the overall operational efficiency of a call center

How does computer telephony integration work?

CTI is primarily a cloud-based technology that uses voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) to provide telephonic capabilities to your agents’ computer systems. The initial set-up process includes installing the CTI software through your call center’s phone system, purchasing and configuring virtual phone numbers for your customer service team, and then mapping teams, groups, or agents to their designated numbers.

Once you have fully configured CTI in your environment, the calling process works as follows:

  1. A user places a call to the customer service department. An interactive voice response (IVR) system greets the user with a welcome message, and the system collects basic details regarding their issue by analyzing the user’s keypad inputs.

  2. The system then connects the call to the appropriate department or agent’s computer based on the user’s input. The agent can also choose to configure their mobile number if they are not in a position to pick up the call from their computer.

  3. On routing the call, the CTI integration also checks the caller information in the CRM database (if any) to fetch the user’s details and previous customer interactions. This information is displayed to the agent on a screen pop as the call is patched to them.

  4. In the case of outbound calls, CTI offers one-click call capabilities where agents don’t have to dial numbers manually. You can directly search for customer contacts and place calls with the click of a button.

What capabilities does CTI software provide?

Implementing CTI can help introduce multiple valuable features into your customer service and contact center operations. Here are a few of the capabilities that CTI telephony brings:

1. Screen pop

A screen pop is the most critical feature of a CTI integration. It is a pop-up window on the agent’s computer screen that displays all relevant information about the caller on the line.

Armed with insights about a caller’s previous interactions and purchases, the agent is better positioned to provide a personalized, omnichannel service experience to the caller.

2. Call routing and IVR

CTI, working in tandem with an automatic call distribution (ACD) solution and call forwarding, can help efficiently route incoming calls to agents based on their availability, skill set, or other pre-configured criteria.

When call routing is combined with IVR, it can completely revolutionize your inbound call operations by enabling self-service and removing all unnecessary manual intervention.

3. Auto-dialing

For outbound call operations, CTI also brings along auto dialing features that can be used to reduce manual dialing efforts for your agents. Advanced dialing capabilities like predictive dialing and power dialing can also help improve productivity by reducing idle time for your agents, therefore improving overall efficiency of your customer care teams.

4. Call tracking and monitoring

Comprehensive call analytics — with call logging and recording — can provide critical insights into your call center performance. In addition, call monitoring can help supervisors listen to agents in real-time and assist them in resolving complicated user issues as they arise.

5. Callback queues and click-to-call capabilities

Some advanced CTI technology also provides other capabilities, such as callback queues. Here, the system can record a user’s callback requests and add them to a queue instead of making the user wait on the call for long periods.

Click-to-call functionality, where the agent can simply place calls to users with a single click, was initially an uncommon application. However, with its demand and usage rising lately, almost every CTI solution provider has started including it in their package.

6. Integrations with CRM system and other business-critical apps

As important as it is for contact center software to provide a unified operational experience, it’s also critical to operate seamlessly with existing infrastructure applications.

These days, most CTI technology comes with native integrations with other applications that are critical to call center operations, such as sales software, API and CRM systems, and help desk solutions.

What are the benefits of implementing CTI?

Here’s how a CTI solution can add value to your call center’s operating rhythm:

1. Flexibility and scalability

With CTI, you can easily scale the size of your operations — allowing your teams to reach more users with the same workforce.

During work-from-home stints or with businesses that have adopted a hybrid work culture, CTI can help set up your agents’ processes with ease, allowing them to work from anywhere without affecting their productivity.

2. Reduced operational costs

CTI systems are easier to install and maintain than traditional PBX (private branch exchange) telephony systems — making them a cost-effective alternative to PBX.

Also, CTI technology helps lower your users’ waiting and handling times and increases your agents’ handling efficiency — which reduces your cost-per-call and overall call center costs significantly.

3. Unified, in-depth customer journey tracking

When all your customer data is stored in one place, it becomes easier to track their customer journeys and help them obtain value from your products and services.

With this type of in-depth tracking, you can understand recurring issues with customers or the product itself and implement that feedback for improving the user experience.

4. Improved agent productivity

A lot of manual effort is reduced for your agents in call-related processes, thanks to the automation that CTI solutions make available right out of the box.

With the amount of customer information readily available, your agents can also focus on improving first contact resolution rates that ultimately increases their customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings and productivity.

5. Reporting and analytics

With built-in analytics in CTI technology, supervisors can easily gain actionable insights about their team and individual contributors.

Armed with these analytics, supervisors can focus on improving their team’s efficiency and managing their performance.

How will CTI improve the quality of my customer experience?

Here’s how a CTI solution can optimize your call center’s customer service quality:

  • You can reduce call waiting and handling times. User calls are intelligently routed to your agents to minimize wait times. With screen pops displaying all necessary user info, agents can then work on quickly resolving issues and improving FCR rates.

  • Your customers don’t have to keep repeating their issues. Once the system records a customer’s issue, that information is available to all agents in real-time, so people don’t have to repeat themselves every time their call is transferred.

  • Your agents can provide personalized customer service. Since you can get all customer information at the click of a button, your agents can access a customer’s unique needs and issues beforehand and provide them with more personalized care.

  • You can analyze how your agents can perform better. In-depth reporting helps identify areas of improvement in agent performance. You can also leverage feedback surveys to listen to your customers’ suggestions and concerns directly.

Cater to your organization’s CTI needs with Sprinklr’s call center software

Sprinklr Service — built on the world’s first unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform — helps unify your CTI-based care operations into a powerful console that enables your agents to provide a positive, impactful customer service experience. Sprinklr’s advanced AI engine, automated workflows, and CCaaS solution can help your agents:

  • Accept calls from across the globe and resolve customer issues using advanced voice bots and conversational IVR

  • Improve first contact resolution rates using a 360° customer view, which helps provide a meaningful customer service experience

  • Analyze previous call center performance to predict future requirements, and better manage your human resources using Workforce Management

  • Mine conversational data to identify frequent issues or widely used contact drivers, and set up flows to automatically resolve similar cases in the future

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