Why You Should Consider Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

November 25, 2022
min read
Why You Should Consider Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
Richard Conn
Richard Conn

It’s good to talk. While the adage will always ring true, telephony-based customer service is dealing with a raft of new challenges that are forcing businesses to pivot quickly and innovate as a necessity. Omnichannel interactions are leading potential and existing customers toward social media and live chat in droves, so phone services need to match that personalised, immediate interaction in a meaningful way.

One of the most impactful ways organisations do so is through Computer Telephony Integration. Through CTI adopters are realising that scalable, malleable solutions to their telephony needs are within reach.

OK, I’m Interested. What is Computer Telephony Integration?

CTI is a means by which businesses can ditch the landline and bring their phone-based business demands into the fold of their already-existing solutions. Such applications are fast becoming a staple of contact centre environments and other businesses that have adopted the remote working model in recent years.

Indeed, with IP telephony on the rise, thanks to such remote working practices, finding a means to integrate call systems into base operational applications becomes a no-brainer. It won't just cut costs, but it will mean that your business is ready to face any coming tectonic shifts in the business landscape as and when they inevitably happen.

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So, What Are the Benefits?

CTI isn’t just for the contact centres out there. The scalability that moving away from traditional landlines provides means that small businesses can grow easier without relying on exchange-telephony (PBX) infrastructure.

There are benefits from a customer-facing perspective also. Having direct integration with CRM tools from the off allows your sales reps and agents to have immediately available data the second a call lands. It means they can welcome customers as though they had been expecting their call and are more likely to intuit what that call will be about.

IVR-eady to Go!

If you have multi-departmental considerations, an IVR can be built easily and adapted thanks to CTI. Again removing the reliance on PBX landlines means VoIP can take the baton and allow you to build an IVR architecture that can be chopped and changed with a few clicks as your business demands.

Once seen as a sterile, impersonal means by which to keep customers in call limbo, an intuitive, responsive IVR can have customers marvelling at your understanding of their needs. Building one that can easily be adapted to ever-changing business needs is an easy-to-master skill with CTI and an easily-won feather in your developer resume.

Indeed, from here, your customers can be funnelled more effectively to the correct department where that trusty CTI/CRM integration takes over, and they can be in and out within minutes. Not only that, but it can also help you implement emergency and event-based contingencies with ease.

Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Should a sudden spike in calls put pressure on your relatively small team, call distribution, forwarding, and auto-callback can all be managed from within an integrated workflow. This can be particularly useful if your business is subject to seasonal scaling but just as crucial to combat any unforeseen incidents. 

There may be temptations for smaller-scale businesses to ditch phone support altogether. After all, who’s using their phone to make calls these days anyway, right? However, in a world where accessibility considerations are everything, denying yourself any means to be reached is to deny yourself, customers.

CTI makes telephony a competitive walk in the park for any business scale, so don’t leave your talk-dependent customers out in the cold! 

Outward Boundless

CTI can allow for greater flexibility and intuitiveness when utilising lead generation tools such as an outbound auto dialer. With telephony more meaningfully integrated into your CRM, the systems can work more efficiently in harmony without the need for cross-platform bridging tools.

Being able to dial directly from within a CRM using customer details with immediate access to transaction and interaction history will mean any agents working on your behalf can do so more effectively and expedite any call logging processes. 

Integration with APIs and office communication tools like Slack means that agents can readily share information on leads and pass contacts between each other for quick outreach, increasing collaboration and overall productivity.

Polish Your Performance

There are benefits from an analytics perspective too. From call volumes to wait times, from average call resolution to IVR path popularity, CTI can feed into a host of data analytics to help you better understand and refine your telephony. From here, building and maintaining an effective outbound call strategy is a breeze!

Free to use image sourced from Pixabay

CTI can also help when it comes to analysing your customer interactions themselves. Call recording and monitoring are one of the best ways by which you can ensure the most effective customer experience is being rolled out daily.

Further, you get first-hand, raw data straight from the horse’s mouth (so to speak!) about what customers want most from you and your service options. It doesn’t get much more self-fulfilling than that! Combine that with the relative ease of refining your workflow with CTI over PBX, and you can have changes enacted and live with a few small clicks.

Indeed, costs alone make CTI a consideration worth taking seriously. Many are much more cost effective than traditional PBX installations, and with subscription-based pricing now all but an industry standard, you can see what all the fuss is about without tying yourself down. 

There’s No Real Downside, Is There? 

There is not. SaaS integrations aren’t the aspiration anymore; they’re the standard. From free contract management software and accounting integrations to everything discussed above, the more you can streamline your operational workflow, the more you can dedicate time and resources to where they matter the most; the customer.

CTI is one of the best means to help quickly and meaningfully refine your telephony, allowing you to pivot on a dime when it comes to the ever-changing needs of your customers and workforce, no matter how remote either may be!

About the author:

Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8x8, a leading communication platform that offers virtual phone system with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. Richard has also written for other domains such as Invoca and Yesware. Check out his LinkedIn.

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