Approaching Computer Telephony Integration
The combination of a wealth of technological solutions and limited budgets can make it tough to prioritise your IT investments and tougher to predict which ones will make the most difference to your workplace. While Directors and C-Suite members want technology that will transform the productivity, sales and perception of your business, IT is concentrating on making sure new technology integrates well with existing systems, putting out fires and fulfils the wishes of department heads and other business leaders. These conflicting forces make it difficult to find and agree on software solutions that suit both parties.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is a product that fits perfectly into this scenario. It works to transform customer service, efficiency and productivity across departments and is built to integrate with CRM. The nature of CRM puts relationship management at the heart of your business. By employing a telephone integration solution in tandem with CRM you are ensuring that you are maintaining those relationships with every phone call you take or make.
If you’re thinking of presenting CTI as a solution to your company’s problems, you should stack the deck and go into that meeting with all the essential benefits in hand. This blog will provide you the ammunition you need to win over your managers and assuage any IT worries.
Benefit 1) Know thy customers: CTI improves customer relationships
If someone talks to customers as part of their job role, CTI will help you make the best first impression possible. CTI allows you to have all the information about your customers at your fingertips the minute you connect with them over the phone.
When a customer calls a company with telephony integration, their details appear on a staff member’s screen before they even answer the phone. From within the CTI window, you should be able to access the customer record in your CRM system, providing them with a personalised service based on the information you already have on record such as purchase history, marketing subscriptions or open support calls.
By personalising your conversations with customers, CTI allows you to make deeper connections that increase customer satisfaction and, most often, repeat business or referrals.
Benefit 2) Work faster, work smarter: increase productivity and efficiency with a streamlined workflow
People whose jobs depend on phone calls are always looking to engage in more, and higher quality, conversations with customers and leads. CTI provides a number of features to speed up the pre-call, call, and post-call process.
On an inbound call, users can see the caller’s information pop up on the screen before they even answer – giving them a head start on preparing to handle the call effectively. These caller details are those recorded in your CRM from all previous interactions with the caller, giving users a historic view of the caller’s engagement with your business for maximum call efficiency.
During the call, users can take notes and initiate other business processes from within the CTI program, saving them from taking time between calls to record their previous call activity. In the case of CTI solution intelli-CTi, the CTI application is on the side bar, giving users the ability to use their office applications to solve customer problems or provide information at the same time they are in the CTI program, saving them the hassle of switching between multiple screens for a more efficient customer service process.
On outbound calls, the benefits are much the same. CTI’s ability to click-to-dial out from with CRM records means users can review customer/lead information before they make the call and dial from within CRM without missing a beat. Remember, when your job is making calls, any saved time between conversations is good time. By giving users time before and after the call, as well as more efficient conversations on the call itself, CTI allows teams to handle more incoming calls and make more outgoing calls, satisfying customers and winning new business.
Benefit 3) Make the most of money you already spent (without breaking the bank)
Investments in CRM are serious ones and there is a lot of pressure to make sure that investment pays off. While CRM helps you record and manage your customer interactions, CTI enhances that functionality by looping your phone call activity into the 360 degree customer view that CRM provides.
The combination of CRM and CTI gives customers a seamless experience as users don’t need to ask for information they already have and customers don’t have to provide it.
In addition to enhancing your existing technology to maximise existing technology investments, CTI actually reduces costs to your business. Reduced call times and the ability to answer calls more quickly and efficiently lead to increased productivity. The tracking and reporting features of CTI software mean you know which employees are most efficient and allow you to create teams of these employees. This reduction in overhead costs is another bonus to the company bottom line.
Home Learning College, a distance learning provider, gave CTI full marks when they moved their student enquiry service in-house. According to the college’s system manager, HLC saw increased conversion rates since abandoning their outsourced call centre and employing CTI technology.
Benefit 4) Compatibility: CTI plays well with others
Whenever the issue of new software investment comes up, there is always the looming question of compatibility. While this may not be true of all CTI systems, intelli-CTi has a wide range of support for existing systems.
In addition to support of standard telephony interfaces like TAPI, TSAPI, CSTA, MiTAl and OAI, intelli-CTi supports a wide range of telephone switch-based features like Integrated Voice Response (IVR), voice recording, Direct Dialling, DTMF routing and more.
This compatibility extends to Citrix/Terminal Server, and intelli-CTi even works over a VPN, allowing remote based workers to reap the benefits of CTI systems alongside their office based colleagues.
Benefit 5) Hassle Free Deployment and Installation: Don’t let CTI ruin your life.
The second big technical issue with new software is the deployment and installation. If you’re going down the CTI route, you’re looking for a system that ticks all the boxes on features, is compatible with your current systems AND won’t be a nightmare to implement.
If your preferred system has a simple installation and configuration process, as intelli-CTi does, you are in the clear. A simple deployment saves you time, which ends up saving the company money. If you have several locations that need CTI, make sure your solution has flexible deployment capabilities across multiple sites, again as intelli-CTi does. Choosing a CTI program with reduced development costs and a quick deployment, in addition to the ROI enhancements the working solution provides, can be the best choice for your users and your budget.
With an out of the box software like intelli-CTi, your project can wrap up in less than a month. Returning to Home Learning College, the work took just four weeks from trial, testing, acceptance and installation to roll-out and going live.
Benefits win over bosses
If you are tasked with researching and making a business case for the implementation of CTI technology, these benefits are what should be in the top of your mind. We hope that we have provided you with some useful information you can use to convince the decision makers in your company that CTI is the best way forward for the business. Just remind them that CTI:
- Improves customer relationships
- Increases productivity and efficiency
- Boosts ROI on existing technology like CRM and can increase conversion rates for more sales
- Plays well with other systems for limited compatibility issues
- Installs easily with a potential timeline of weeks rather than months
These are just a few of the proven ways CTI enhances businesses. To see how intelli-CTi could boost your business, visit our intelli-CTi microsite.