There are many types of call center software on the market today, but perhaps none are as valuable to a contact center as computer telephony integration (CTI) systems. CTI solutions enable computer-based control of both inbound and outbound phone calls, and dynamically link the various communication channels within a contact center – such as phone, email, Web, fax, and IM/chat – with agent desktops and other mission-critical computer applications.
Computer telephony integration, also commonoly referred to as computer telephone integration or just computer telephony, was first introduced many, many years ago in the form of “screen pop”-type applications. Data was collected from callers – usually through the use of interative voice response (IVR) systems or other types of call center software – then instantly “popped” onto the agent’s desktop as the call was transferred. So, the agent had all the needed information presented on his/her computer screen before picking up the phone to speak with the client.
Today’s computer telephony solutions have come a long way. CTI has evolved, and is now far broader and more feature-rich. Most computer telephony integration packages provide a wide range of capabilities that automate many functions, including caller authentication, voice recognition, dynamic routing and processing of interactions across multiple channels, message collection and distribution, and more.
Additionally, CTI-type capabilities are often incorporated into many other types of call center software solutions to enhance their value, including IVR, call monitoring and recording, and automatic call distributors, call routers, and other phone switches.
Some of the key features of today’s most popular CTI applications include:
The benefits of CTI technologies are clear. As with many other call center software packages, computer telephony integration dramatically increases customer convenience and satisfaction, because callers don’t need to repeat their information (i.e. account number or order number) multiple times. This, in turn, accelerates average call handling times, contributes to improved first call resolution, minimizes the number of “dropped” calls, and reduces related toll expenses.
That’s why contact centers of all sizes will continue to realize significant advantages through the implementation and use of computer telephony integration and related call center software.