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What is CTI? How Does it Work with Salesforce?

salesforce-cti-integration-call-center

Although many businesses have hopped the omnichannel bandwagon in recent years, phone is still the most preferred channel of communication. A study conducted by 
North Ridge Group found that 56% of the respondents still prefer phone to reach out to the customer service desks because it's effortless and easy. 

 This inference from the study suggests two possibility-

  • Businesses still need to strengthen their presence across non-traditional touch-points
  • Phone is regarded as the best medium to articulate one's concern or pain-point even when alternative communication channels like text, chat or social media are becoming popular

This brings us to our discussion about CTI, a technology that connects hard phones to a computer system to deliver a smooth experience for all types of voice communication. This is particularly relevant for third party integration - such as Salesforce. However, before we come to that, lets understand - What is CTI?

Definition Of CTI & Its Application

CTI or Computer Telephony Interaction is a call center technology widely used by customer service teams to improve call center interaction. The technology essentially unifies computer with telephone system and can be configured at two levels -

  • Desktop-  CTI integration with desktop helps in showcasing rich data in the form of a screen pop up. This allows agents to view complete customer information even before the call is connected with the customer.
  • Call Routing - Helps in identifying the caller and routes it to the right department or agent. Additionally, agents can also transfer the call to relevant agents/departments, put call on hold and even dispose the call.

Why CTI Is Relevant for Call Center Interaction?

Revenue and efficiency are two primary concerns for businesses today. Both these entities are tied down to call center interaction for a very good reason. If a customer gets a satisfactory answer or resolution to a query in the first call, it becomes the key driver of customer satisfaction, ensuring loyalty and trust.   As a customer calls in, the agent does not waste any time to hunt customer information, everything is visible in a single view. Typically, the agent may view the following field of information about a customer-

  • Personal information about the caller
  • Account status
  • Status of the ticket-open, closed, reopened
  • Previous call logs
  • Complete chat history

With instant access to the above information, not only the agent productivity increases and the first call resolution (FCR) rate of the call center is also high. It is estimated that a 15% increase in FCR results in a 57% reduction in repeat calls. This is good news since handling a query within the first call may increase customer retention by 96%.

To summarize our discussion, the relevance of CTI in terms of call center productivity can be understood as under -

  • Saves Cost & Resources - CTI also leads to significant reduction in cost and improvement in resource saving for organizations in a variety of ways. This may include - reduction in CSR churn, reduction in the cost of customer database errors, reduction of telephone network toll expenses, reduction in liability cost etc.
  • Reduction In Call Handling Time - Since the CTI display offers all the relevant information even before the call is connected, the agent is able to offer a quick resolution. The agent can wrap the call quickly and will be able to take more calls in a short amount of time.  
  • Reduces Aggravated Session - The customer no longer needs to repeat their query to an agent in subsequent calls, therefore,  instances of aggravated call sessions are relatively lower.
  • Positive Agent Experience - Since the agent is able to accommodate several customer requests in a short duration of time that too with minimal instances of irate, the agent experience is better. They feel empowered and do optimal justice to their jobs.

Salesforce CTI Integration - How Does It Work?

Customer support teams are the front troopers of any organization. In order to deliver exceptional service on call they need to be in-sync with all the information that is being updated in the CRM. With Salesforce CTI integration, agents can get a 360 degree view of the customer in real time. This is necessary for building a rapport with the customer as well as improving positive customer experience.

The following illustration aptly depicts how Salesforce CTI Integration works -

salesforce-cti-integration

Transforming Salesforce Into an Integrated Sales Engine

  • Agent Efficiency Gets a Whole New Meaning - With a single username and password authentication, agents no longer have to switch between applications. Everything is visible on a single screen.
  • Automated two-way synchronization -  All the information is synced in real-time, this ensures that the agent has access to updated information. This is no lag and agents are able to service the customers better.
  • Integrated Dashboard Fosters Sales - With Salesforce integration, tracking sales activity is a breeze. Supervisors can also instantly manage agent performance in real time. They can procure information related to call source, ongoing calls and call duration.
  • Eliminates  Human Errors - The click to dial feature allows agents to call a customer directly from the CRM. There is no need to punch the number manually, thus eliminates any instances of human error.

In a nutshell, enterprises that have high customer traction rely on CRM solution.  Integrating the platform with call center software will be incremental in improving contact center efficiency.   Salesforce is one of the most popular cloud CRM platforms that is used worldwide. Therefore a telephony software that can be integrated with Salesforce can improve customer experience by manifolds. It is an integral part of customer experience solution.

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