John Smith, a busy man who had a corner office in his organization, had an issue with a product he had bought from an online store. He called the company’s customer service center and reached a representative who systematically recorded all relevant details and resolved his issue within minutes. He hung up enthusiastically and vowed to keep his business with them forever. Millions of customers like Smith are immensely flattered by prompt customer service. Thanks to all the latest techniques and advances that make the system work more efficiently than ever. There are several factors that determine the success of a call center technology. One of the reasons for this is the efficient CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) plugin.
What is CTI?
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) refers to the process of linking computer software with telephone systems to take calls, add, edit and provide data, route calls to a specific department and escalate calls to other agents/managers/supervisors. In a customer service center, CTI provides a pop-up screen so that the caller’s information is displayed on the agent’s console (application). “Things have become so much easier. I learn something about the caller even before I answer the call. It is amazing! We resolve most cases quickly. We’re happy, and our customers are even happier!” says an enthusiastic customer service representative at the call center of a mega online store in the US.
CTI also stands for Customer’s Time is Important! – It’s all about improving the customer experience
CTI is one of those value-added services for implementing a customer service center (CRM solution) that has become a potentially critical differentiator in today’s complex marketplace. According to Global Analysts Inc., the global systems integration market is expected to reach $339.68 billion by 2017. Today’s systems integration market is driven by the need to integrate multiple application/system functions influenced by a modern approach. According to a study conducted by AT&T, 27 percent of customers who can’t reach a company’s 800 number shop elsewhere or skip the transaction altogether. An effective CTI correlates directly with a recognized customer experience. Delivering an unquestionable customer experience has become the main intention of every company.
One of the rapidly growing system integrators is NebuLogic Technologies based in Plano, Texas. The customer-centric approach coupled with a relentless drive to deliver the highest quality solutions has made NebuLogic an undisputed partner of choice for many Fortune 500 companies worldwide. “It is an honor and a very humbling experience to realize that our solutions are being used by thousands of service and sales professionals, delivering services to over 30 million citizens 24/7,” said Nivas Nallanthi, Chairman and CEO of NebuLogic Technologies . The IT company has deployed more than 100 customer service center solutions in various industries.
How does it work?
Computer telephony integration results in a pop-up window that provides agents with customer information so they can provide a full customer service experience.
“When the call is presented to an agent, specific customer data is pulled from the caller’s IVR interaction, from internal or external databases, or from third-party CRM providers. The information is routed through the NebuLogic Cloud Application Development Framework (NCADF®), which facilitates the process of data management. CTI creates a superior interaction where customers are not asked to repeat information when their call is routed to agents by automated systems or when their call is routed from one agent to another,” says Nivas For whom CTI is the most important Value-added service for every customer service center solution.
Currently, most CTI applications are developed for call centers. When handling incoming or outgoing calls, agents often use desktop computers to enter information. A typical call center handles hardware and software requests from various sources such as: public and private networks; language switch; automatic call distributors; computer hardware and software; specialized CRM application from software vendors; components such as CTI, IVR, voicemail systems; Email, chat and fax configuration with the application and other miscellaneous things.
Some of the main features of the CTI application for call centers are as follows:
When a caller has a problem too complex to solve in IVR and requires human assistance, the CTI system uses the information gathered via IVR and routes the call to the appropriate department or perhaps a specific customer service representative who is familiar with the caller’s account is familiar. When the agent answers the call, the customer’s complete information entered via IVR is already on the agent’s desktop screen, eliminating the need for the agent to collect the information needed to solve the problem.
Intelligent call routing.
Calls can be routed to specific departments or agents based on the call’s ANI (Automatic Number Identification) or DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service) information. CTI is clearly a powerful tool for highly efficient call center based CRM solutions.
Synchronized voice/data transmission.
This feature relays screen information at the same time as transferring a customer call. If the call is transferred from an agent to another department or manager, the call and data – including any updated information – are also transferred.
This feature uses ANI information from the telephone networks, which provide the billing directory number associated with the caller. Here’s how it works: When a customer calls the call center, the phone number is passed to a computer. The computer looks up the number in its database and identifies the caller if the details are already in the database. The computer then accesses the customer’s previous record and routes it to an agent, and the voice call is put through to that agent. Everything happens in a split second. The agent receives all the caller’s information as soon as he answers the call. In a busy call center, such automation can significantly increase productivity and fuel the trend of First Call Resolution (FCR) among agents. It can also improve the quality of service for a customer.
Benefits of CTI
CTI is an important tool that can take a company beyond mediocre customer service standards to deliver an unbeatable customer experience by:
- Improved customer experience: The automated routine processes improve efficiency and allow agents to focus on the customer’s needs.
- Optimal use of existing technology investments: When agents have instant access to caller history, it becomes easier for them to recommend the best products and provide better customer support. CTI pulls data from disparate sources and presents the data to the agent in an aggregated form, making it easier for the agent to make sales calls or resolve a problem.
- Minimized agent training time and costs: Agent training time and costs can be reduced as CTI streamlines the entire process.
CTI is clearly a powerful tool for any highly efficient and busy call center. The overall productivity boost provided by technology makes business processes more successful every day. The relentless customer service is important not only for customer service departments but also for the companies in the long run.