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Computer Telephone Integration

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The top priority of every company is a customer. It focuses its activity on tracing the calls, rendering services, doing sales and getting the orders. To improve the relationships with the customers every business company should ease the ways of communication. Business is to be open to clients and get in touch with them without any difficulties. If the customers have any questions or inquiries, they should be able to get the answers immediately. It is also beneficial if the companies have the long-term track records to facilitate future cooperation. Companies that used to be small-sized or mid-sized businesses with the established attitudes focused on customers have already increased the volumes, boosted their sales and turned into the leaders in their industries.

CTI, short for computer telephone integration or computer telephony, has been a matter of heated debate lately

They have been discussing its advantages and disadvantages as well as the benefits for any call center business. Computer telephone integration technologies were developed to ensure efficient communication between the enterprises and the customers.

Computer telephony is not a mere hardware or software product, being a complex combination of interconnected technologies. It integrates open systems based on standards and combines two signal flows - data and voice. This kind of technology has become one of the most in-demand approaches in various spheres of business, especially customer call centers where it is particularly essential. If it is applied properly, it will add a new dimension to customer relations, improve the service and upgrade the level of contact call centers.

The technologies of computer telephone integration can make the background data more flexible, ensure bigger amounts of information provided to the customer on the line and pass the conventional limits of traditional computer or telephone approaches. CTI makes it possible to bring the two components of the industry, i.e. computers and telephones, together by improving both of them.

Take into consideration that integrating the telephone and computer systems brings the phone call of the customer to a call center agent immediately without any delays. The agent receives the call and at the same time gets a complete database right to his or her desktop. Such synchronicity means saving numerous line charges and labor of customer service call center agents.

In the beginning, introducing computer telephony approaches seemed rather risk-generating. It used to be common practice for every advanced company seeking new challenges to take the plunge and use all the relevant connections, links and necessary interfaces of applications together using a special system integrator. The advantages of this for businesses and call centers were evident; however they could not be achieved easily. The idea and intention were perfect but it was really difficult to implement them in practice.

The following example will be useful to illustrate the point. The company is working in an increasingly competitive environment. Thus, it is developing rapidly, boosting its sales and drawing a lot of new customers. It results in some tension and people do not manage to get through to a call center agent when the occasion requires or something goes wrong. All this leads to confusion and delays. Call center agents do not respond to customers on a timely basis; calls, emails and faxes go unanswered. The traffic from the company’s website passes the view and has nothing in common with the call center activity.

And one day you see or hear an advertisement of technologies that facilitate the customer relationship and integrate data and voice. Of course, you get interested and find a consultant who implements this into the work system of your company. Firstly, when a customer calls, the call center agent sees a screen pop with all the required information. Secondly, there are interconnections between the host and the switches.

In the course of several months you realize that you have invested in a new technology and advisory services, however, the staff has not been trained and the activity of the call center is not coordinated with the activity of other departments. So, you are forced to start it all over and hire another consultant to establish customer relationship you have aimed at.

To install a computer telephony system used to involve much effort and work. Everything is different now. Nowadays, the system of computer telephone integration is turned upon introducing computer intelligence into common telephone calls. Regardless of your service call center level or technical features of phone infrastructure in service, you may use core computer telephony applications starting from screen pops to predictive dialers.

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