1. Demystifying CTI
This is the first of three blogs we will be publishing on “CTI and CRM – What you should know”. We’ll start by busting some common myths around CTI.
CTI and CRM – Myth One
Computer Telephony Integration is witchcraft
As with most technologies that require knowledge in more than one area, the integration of Telephony and CRM systems is not free from misconceptions and wrong assumptions.
For some, CTI is just a screen pop that shows you who’s calling. Others might tell you that they will have to develop a system from scratch to give you basic functionality. In the past, many would simply refuse to touch it because they specialise in only one of the technologies and understandably didn’t want to venture into unknown territory.
There is no magic in it – there are good CTI solutions out there, developed by teams who understand telephone systems, CRM systems, and the business processes that benefit from combining the two. In most cases, you can use them out of the box or with minimal configuration.
CTI and CRM – Myth Two
CTI is only for call centres
Telephony integration is for ANY organisation that has a CRM system and engages in a high volume of telephone calls. Phone-based sales operations are an obvious scenario for telephony integration but by no means the only one.
Imagine you run a Customer Services team or a Technical Support desk. Having all the relevant information in front of you when the phone rings saves time, helps you provide a better customer service, and makes your brand look good. What if you manage a large car dealership that needs to call customers to confirm details and book test drives? What about a takeaway restaurant? Yes, some may receive hundreds of calls between 6 pm and 8 pm, making every second on the phone count, not only for customer satisfaction but for their own operational efficiency.
Telephony integration is for all businesses that have telephone based teams – inbound or outbound.
CTI and CRM – Myth Three
I need CTI with call recording
This is perhaps one of the most common myths, and a question we get asked often – does your solution do call recording. The answer is no.
Call recording systems are either built into the Telephone System (particularly in cloud-based systems) or often a standard feature of a Call Management Application. What the CTI solution must do is log every call (inbound or outbound) in the CRM system, against the right contact.
If you have all calls registered properly in your CRM, you will know exactly when the call was made/received/missed, and therefore it will be a lot easier to retrieve the correct audio file.
CTI and CRM – Myth Four
I need TAPI for CTI to work
TAPI is not the only API available, and a good CTI solution should be able to support several standard telephony interfaces, such as TAPI, TSAPI, CSTA, or MiTAI to name a few.
However, the functionality of the CTI will be restricted by the functionality of the API, which is why you should always test it in a real-life scenario (a.k.a. free trial!) before buying it.
CTI and CRM – Myth Five
CTI will be more expensive than the CRM system
CTI solutions have a very straightforward ROI, with an obvious increase in productivity.
For outbound teams, it means more calls per shift, and therefore more meetings booked, more customers reached, more sales deals closed. For inbound teams, it means more calls taken, more orders placed, more records updated, more meals on their way, more cases closed – and all with a significant reduction in human error.
We would suggest a solution that gives you the flexibility of having Named and Concurrent users, with subscription licensing. It makes it easier to budget, to get approval, and keeps you from being locked in. Even small organisations can access a full-stack CTI integration without breaking the bank.
Rule of thumb for any IT system, before buying anything or embarking in long and expensive developments, identify a couple of existing solutions, take a free trial and see if any of those fit your business.
You can start with our solution, intelli-CTi.