CTI is a communication technology that allows users to perform and manage call functions through their computers. Instead of a physical telephone handset, people can use an on-screen panel to perform call functions, such as answering calls, putting callers on hold, and disconnecting calls. What does “CTI” stand for? “CTI” is an acronym for “computer telephony integration.”

CTI is typically used in call centers to enable businesses to have more control over calls. With CTI, they can route, monitor, and record calls. They can also analyze call center agents’ performance. CTI’s signature on-screen popup helps track customer data, improving customer experience and client relationships.

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Read More about “Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)”

Computer telephony integration began with the screen pop technology that provides agents with the caller’s logged information. For example, when you call the hotline of your Internet service provider (ISP), CTI looks for information relevant to your account within its database. It then automatically populates the call center agent’s screen with the details.

As a result, the agent already knows your account details before answering the call. They would only need to validate the caller’s identity by asking verification questions. To see CTI in action, watch this demo video:

What Are the Functions of Computer Telephony Integration?

Computer telephony integration technology has evolved over the years. In addition to screen population, which is the core of what CTI is, it can now enable the following functions that make call center operations easier:

  • Call routing: CTI can process data collected from the caller to route calls to the correct departments. For example, if the caller cited billing issues as the reason for calling, CTI will direct the call to the billing department. In the same way, callers with fraud-related concerns are routed to the fraud department, while those with technical problems are directed to the technical department.
  • Call management: Through CTI, call center agents can answer and disconnect calls, put callers on hold, and arrange conference calls.
  • Record integration: CTI can be connected to a company’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems so that any new data from the call can be automatically added to the customer’s record.
  • Reporting: Data from CTI can be integrated with data from other systems, making business reports more comprehensive and informative.
  • Interactive voice recognition (IVR) systems: The recorded messages you hear before getting connected to a live agent are made possible by CTI. Without CTI, call centers cannot implement IVR.

The functions may differ from one CTI solution provider to another, but these are some of the most common ones.

What Are the Benefits of Computer Telephony Integration?

After knowing what CTI is, you may already have an idea about how useful it is to both callers and call centers. Among its specific benefits are:

  • Improve customer experience: Computer telephony integration technology provides agents with caller information, so when the call is connected, the agent already knows what the call is about. That can help make customers feel at ease. Also, CTI systems route customers to the correct departments, saving them time.
  • Increase call center agent efficiency: Call center agents no longer need to open multiple applications to obtain customer information. Computer telephony integration automatically populates their screens with the necessary data. They can also quickly retrieve historical data if necessary.  
  • Provides self-service experience: By enabling IVR, CTI systems allow customers to use self-service options to address their concerns.

What Are the Disadvantages of CTI?

Like any technology, there are downsides to using computer telephony integration. If you know what CTI is, you should also learn about its disadvantages, which include:

  • CTI can be expensive: CTI solutions can cost hundreds of dollars per user per month. Large companies with thousands of clients may be able to afford computer telephony integration, but smaller businesses may not find it ideal.
  • Risk of data leakage: The most significant disadvantage of CTI is that multiple agents can access customer data. It only takes one person to obtain confidential data and share it with someone else maliciously.
  • System downtime: Technical problems can cause the CTI solution and the whole call center operation to bug down. That could result in more problems, including income loss and customer dissatisfaction.

CTI solutions continue to be a significant player in the call center industry because of the advantages they offer. By 2028, Market Watch predicts the CTI market will reach US$5,547.4 million. Security, cost, and reliability issues would need to be addressed by every company opting to use CTI systems.

Key Takeaways

  • CTI stands for “computer telephony integration,” a communication technology that allows users to manage call functions through their computers.
  • CTI is typically used in call centers to give businesses more control over calls, analyze agents’ performance, and improve customer experience and client relationships.
  • CTI enables call routing, management, record integration, reporting, and IVR systems.
  • The benefits of CTI include improving customer experience, increasing call center agent efficiency, and providing a self-service experience.
  • Companies using these systems must address security, cost, and reliability issues.