What is CTI?
Updated August, 2019
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) can refer to any technology that provides an interactive link between telephone and computer systems (such as a CRM system), enabling desktop functions such as: Call Control, Power Dialing (Click to Dial), Screen Pop, Call Reporting and much more.
While there are many features of CTI systems; we would consider the following desktop features as key for any successful solution:
- Outbound Dialing Support (Click-to-Dial)
- Automatic Caller Recognition (Inbound/Outbound)
- Automatic Recording of Call History
Each of these recommended features are explained in more detail below.
Outbound Dialing Support (Click to Dial)
This feature means providing the user the ability to quickly and easily dial someone from an integrated application (sometimes referred to as “Click to Dial”).
For example, with intelli-CTi for Microsoft Dynamics 365, we provide a dialer that gives the user the ability to automatically dial a selection of numbers for the current record.
Automatic Caller Recognition (Inbound/Outbound)
This feature means providing the user with a list of potential matches at the start of a telephone call (sometimes referred to as “Screen Pop”). The user would then choose the appropriate “person” from the list (after receiving verbal confirmation), which would then associate the caller with a record within the integrated application (e.g. CRM).
While the recognition should be automatic – we would typically recommend against relying on automatically associating the caller, even if you only have a single match result – as you can never guarantee who the caller will actually be (e.g. it could be a caller using someone else’s phone).
Once the call has been associated, the CTI system could also automatically navigate the integrated application to the relevant record.
Automatic Recording of Call History
This feature means taking the valuable statistical information of the call and creating a relevant record in the integrated application. This could then provide a log of all calls that have been made to and from the caller within the application.
For example, with intelli-CTi for Microsoft Dynamics 365, we also provide an on-screen call notepad to allow quick note capture, and record this along with all the above information into Dynamics 365 – no more relying on Post-It notes!
Calls are logged against the Account and Contact records, providing the CRM user with a view of all phone interactions with the customer, including calls related to support tickets (cases) or opportunities. Reports or dashboards can be generated against these call records, allowing users to see important information like the total number of calls or time spent supporting an opportunity or resolving a support ticket/case.
Increasing User Efficiency
One of the main benefits of having a CTI solution, such as intelli-CTi, is an increase in business and user productivity:
- Time saved dialing or looking up customers within an application
- Call control and automatic in-call note capturing
- Ability to initiate business process/workflows based on a call