Computer Technology Integration (CTI)

Author: CCa2z

Date: 12th November 2004

"Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is the functional integration of business software and telephone based communications." It allows organisations to personalise the contact centre interactions with their customers, increasing customer loyalty while at the same time improving operational effectiveness.

The Key Elements of CTI

CTI technology now sits at the heart of many contact centre technology solutions - from diallers, workforce management and IVR through to many of the standard software based ACD's available in the market today.

The applications most commonly associated with CTI are as follows:

  • Telephony enabling CRM business applications
  • Maintaining customer data and contact history
  • Host based routing
  • Multi-media call handling
  • Outbound call management
  • Call blending
  • Integrated Management Information Systems (MIS)

Typical uses and Business Benefits

The true benefit to a company of implementing this type of technology is that it allows more complex routing decisions to be made for inbound customer contact based on additional information that is held within the company's applications. In most cases the additional information that is used resides in the specific customers account record.

In reverse, if the centre is focused on outbound activity, this technology can be used to co-ordinate the delivery of the specific customer record to the agent who can then make an outbound call with all the information they require at their desktop. This again provides the ability to drive that outbound activity automatically whilst improving productivity by dialling the call for the agent.

CTI has become a vital piece of technology for any centre, no mater what its size. Its benefits can be summarised into the following areas:

Improved customer service - Allows call routing of caller based business data as well as telephony data. This better enables a caller to be routed to an agent equipped to complete the transaction. Customer details are presented to the agent as the call arrives, allowing the agent to have a better context for the call. The customer information is maintained and transferred with the call.

Reduced costs - Increases overall efficiency, saving time and money

Increased revenue - With up-to-date, detailed information about customers, agents can engage in smarter, more personalised interactions with customers, proactively selling new services

Increases agent productivity - Generates better management information and control allowing agents to handle more calls on a day-to-day basis.

Enhanced communications infrastructure - Customised and integrated telecoms and IT systems to improve business processes to give strategic competitive advantage. (Sabio)

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