Computer Telephony Integration: Everything you Need to Know
- Last Updated: 07 Feb 24
- 17 min read
Want to improve your contact center efficiency and customer satisfaction but worried about the hefty communication bills? 🤔
Do you need guidance for integrating your telephone with a computer to combine the benefits of both? If so, you have come to the right place.
In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Moreover, we will cover other important things that will help you in improving your business communication.
So, stick to the end and integrate your telephony with the computer.
- Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) combines the benefits of a computer and a telephone to improve business communication.
- Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is ideal for businesses of all sizes and nature.
- Businesses can choose any kind of CTI from Basic CTI, Advanced CTI, Omnichannel CTI, Cloud-based CTI, and On-premise CTI based on their needs.
- KrispCall is the ideal CTI software provider in 2024 as it is affordable and has rich features.
Let’s start. 🚀
What is Computer Telephony Integration?
Computer telephony integration is a communication technology that combines a call center’s telephone system with the computers used by call agents. This integration eliminates the requirement for phones since call agents can handle calls directly from their computers. For example, Call Center Automation is a type of CTI.
It comprises a range of technologies that enable computers to handle and oversee telephone operations, including basic operations like
- Placing and receiving calls.
- Transferring calls.
- Engaging with call-related data.
However, CTI is known for offering some advanced call management and handling features like:
- Call routing.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
- Enhanced Reporting.
- Screen Pops.
- Call Monitoring.
- Automation in Data Entry.
What are the Benefits of Computer Telephony Integration?
Computer Telephony Integration brings several benefits to the table for any business.
How? Let’s see some of the most important benefits of implementing CTI in your business.
- Employee Productivity: CTI ensures improved employee productivity as its workflow and reduces the time agents spend on repetitive tasks by using features like click-to-call and automated call logging.
- Customer Satisfaction: CTI offers customer information to the agents, which can help in faster resolution, personalized service, and better customer experience.
- Reduced operational costs: CTI has the potential to reduce costs related to hardware, software, phone lines, and personnel that are typically associated with managing traditional phone systems.
- Employee Satisfaction: CTI enables employees to avoid repetitive tasks and make their overall work much easier, which leads to employee satisfaction and better efficiency. In addition, this leads to employee retention in the long run.
- Remote work flexibility: CTI enables employees to have the flexibility of working remotely by allowing them to make calls and access data from any device as long as they have a stable internet connection.
What are the Different Types of Computer Telephony Integration?
When considering the use of CTI, there are many types of Computer Telephony Integration.
However, when we look at the specific needs and functionalities of CTI, there are mainly 5 types:
1. Basic CTI
Simple CTI combines standard phone functions with computer programs. This kind of CTI is user-friendly and doesn’t need any unique gear. Besides, it’s among the most cost-effective CTIs for businesses.
Features of Basic CTI includes:
- Screen pops
- Call logging
- Caller ID.
2. Advanced CTI
Advanced CTI is known for its wide range of advanced features. It offers broader integration and automation capabilities. As a result, it is perfect for a business that makes and receives large volumes of calls every day.
Features of Advanced CTI include:
- Call recording.
- Voice recognition.
- Predictive dialing.
- Automatic call distribution (ACD).
- Interactive voice response (IVR).
3. Omnichannel CTI
Omnichannel CTI is one of the most recent trends in the CTI industry. This CTI integrates voice calls with other communication channels like email, web chat, and social media. In short, users can access any communication channel from a single platform.
Features of Omnichannel CTI include
- Unified agent interface.
- Multi-channel routing.
- Context-aware interactions.
4. Cloud-based CTI
Cloud-based CTI is also known as a hosted CTI solution, which can be accessed via the cloud. This means businesses can access the communication channels without having to establish an on-premises infrastructure.
Features of Cloud-based CTI include
- Web-based interface.
- High scalability.
- Pay-as-you-go pricing.
5. On-premise CTI
On-premises CTI is one of the most common and oldest forms of CTI. In this program, CTI software is installed and managed on-site.
Features of On-premise CTI include
- Greater control.
How does Computer Telephony Integration Work?
CTI operates by using VoIP technology to link business applications with office phone systems. CTI is a functionality that comes bundled with many SaaS solutions.
Since VoIP enables voice calls over the Internet than wired landline networks, users can access their phone system from any location and on any device as long as there is a working Internet connection. With VoIP and cloud PBX, CTI features can be accessed through smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, and tablets.
In short, here is the process of how a CTI works. Connecting your computer and phone systems ⇒ Exchanging data between them in real-time ⇒ Providing agents with call control and automation features ⇒ Delivering actionable data.
Here is a detailed step-by-step process on how it works.
- Connection: CTI software functions as an intermediary, bridging the gap between computer applications like CRM and databases and the phone system PBX or VoIP platform while using APIs or direct integrations.
- Exchange of Data: During the data exchange process, the call comes in, and the phone system transmits the caller information to the CTI software in the form of a caller ID. After that, the software (CRM) assesses the database for the relevant information and gives the details about the caller.
- Call Control: CTI enables agents to manage calls straight from their computer. One-click and calls are made or moved seamlessly. Other tasks, like recording calls or initiating group chats, are also possible.
- Automation: CTI can automate various tasks to improve efficiency and accuracy with various tools and features like Click-to-call, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automated Call Distributor (ACD)
- Analytics: CTI collects data on call happenings, agent performance, and client communication. This info lets us understand our customers more, pinpoint to what needs betterment, and boost the workings of our call answering facility.
How to Configure Computer Telephony Integration in a Business?
Here is how you can configure CTI in a business.
Step 1: Assess the needs, features, and specific requirements for the CTI.
Step 2: Select the best CTI software based on your budget, compatibility, and business needs.
Step 3: Purchase the required licenses for the CTI software and follow the installation instructions.
Step 4: Configure the CTI software to establish a connection with your telephony system.
Step 5: Configure other features and settings
Step 6: Test Integration and start using the CTI.
What are the major Features and Functionalities of CTI?
There are hundreds of features and functionalities of a CTI. However, there are a limited number of features and functionalities that are useful and a necessity in almost all businesses. These are listed and explained as follows:
Integrations with third-party business software
Computer Telephony Integration combines CRM platforms, and team collaboration tools to make communication and operation simple. These integrations bring together tools into one platform, giving you immediate access to extra communication channels, customer account history, sales activity, workforce optimization tools, and other useful features.
Some common third-party integrations include:
- Video calling tools like Zoom
- Task management apps like Asana
- Team collaboration software like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
When a call comes in, the CTI systems screen pops up. This feature shows all the information from the CRM, knowledge base, and other integrated applications. This way, agents don’t have to waste time switching between screens to find the data.
Automatic dialer modes
Automated dialers enhance the efficiency of reaching leads. Streamline the sales call procedure by providing different automatic outbound dialing options.
These auto dialers eliminate the need for dialing to ensure compliance with various regulations, filter out phone numbers that are disconnected, busy, or unanswered, and clean up lead lists. With auto dialing in place, agents are only connected to leads who have answered their phones and are prepared to engage with a representative.
Some of the most used Automatic dialer modes include
- Predictive Dialer.
- Power Dialer.
- Preview Dialer.
- Progressive Dialer.
IVR and auto attendants
IVR, also known as Interactive Voice Response, is a feature that allows customers to navigate through a recorded call menu or greeting when they contact your business phone number.
With IVR, customers have the freedom to direct their calls by either speaking their response into the menu or inputting numbers on their phone keypad. The IVR auto attendant then efficiently connects callers to options such as Ring groups, Departments, Individual agents, Extensions, Voice mailboxes, Call queues
Efficient call routing techniques and strategies play a vital role in reducing wait times, distributing workloads evenly among agents, and improving the rate of resolving issues on the call. The primary objective of call routing is to connect customers with agents who possess the training and expertise to address their concerns.
How can you use CTI in Call Centers?
1. Caller Identification
Call centers find CTI useful for identifying callers. This system can tell who’s calling just by their telephone number. This helps agents get the customer’s information before answering, making the service feel more personal.
2. Screen Pop-ups
So, how do call centers use CTI? One of the best answers is that they use it like a toolbox stuffed full of customer info. When your phone rings, before you can even say “hello,” the CTI’s screen lights up. It displays info about the person on the line, past conversations they’ve had, and other handy details. These things help the agents help you be better.
3. Call Routing
Call centers can also use CTI for routing calls. CTI systems can smartly send calls to the right person or group. They look at things like past chats, the language the caller likes, and what they need help with. This makes talking easier.
4. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Call centers may adopt CTI for IVR, benefiting both clients and representatives. By merging Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), details from automated programs can seamlessly shift to live operators, enhancing the customer encounter.
5. Agent Performance
Call center victory and effectiveness hinge on how well the agents perform. Interestingly, CTI is a tool that call centers can utilize to check and rate agent performance. This technology can sense and evaluate how good an agent is by looking at data such as the length of time needed to resolve calls and customer happiness marks.
Top 5 Computer Telephony Integration Software Providers in 2024
There are many CTI providers. However, not all are suitable for you. So, we have listed 5 CTI providers in based on the following factors:
- Modern features
- Country Coverage
- Testimonials and Customer Reviews
- Business-centric Solutions
- And More..
|Pricing and Plans
|Unified Callbox, Global Calling, Text Messages (SMS), Voicemail, Voicemail to Email, Shared Phone Number, Call On Hold, Call Notes, Call & Contact Tagging, Call forwarding, Call Analytics
|$12/month (if paid annually)
|Custom Call Routing, Live Activity Feed, Outbound Power Dialer, After Call Work
|Starting price: $40 per month
|Click-to-dial, Automatic call distribution, Call recording, Integrations with popular CRM systems, Contact center Omnichannel communications, Customer journey management, Contact Center agent assist, Work automation, Task routing
|Starting Price: $75 per month
|HD VoIP Phone Service, Unlimited Calling in North America, Unlimited Business Text Messaging, Unlimited Online Faxing, Unlimited Web Conferencing, Team Chat, Call Screening, Call Recording & Rating, Call Park, Call Forwarding
|Starting Price: $18.95 per month
|Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Integrations, Workflow Automation, Collaboration tools, Task Management, Customization, Cloud Storage, Employee Management
|Starting Price: $61 per month
KrispCall is the ideal CTI software provider for businesses of all sizes and natures. KrispCall cloud-based CTI solution that is known for its ease of use and affordability. This software provider is on our number 1 list because of its coverage, where it offers service in over 100+ countries. Over 4500 customers trust it throughout the world.
In addition, the users especially like the user-friendly interface and cost-effectiveness. With KrispCall, you do not have to worry about hidden fees or additional costs. Lastly, it offers some of the most advanced features and integrations at a very affordable cost.
Features of Krispcall
- Unified Callbox
- Global Calling
- Text Messages (SMS)
- Voicemail to Email
- Shared Phone Number
- Call On Hold
- Call Notes
- Call & Contact Tagging
- Call forwarding
- Call Analytics
Price: Starting at $12 per user per month.
Next on the list, we have AirCall as one of the best CTI software providers in 2024. Aircall is more popular among small and medium businesses. This provider takes the number 2 spot on our list because it has over 80 integrations, which is among the highest in this industry.
It only gets better from here, as this software provider has gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and exceptional customer support. Aircall places an emphasis on accessibility, enabling agents to handle calls efficiently and collaborate even while on the move.
Features of Aircall
- Custom Call Routing
- Live Activity Feed
- Outbound Power Dialer
- After Call Work
Starting price: $40 per month
Third on the list is Genesys. Genesys is a leading provider of enterprise-grade CTI solutions. This service provider is higher on our list because it offers some of the best enterprise-level scalability and service. It also offers a high customization to cater to the needs of every business.
Finally, Genesys prioritizes data security and compliance, adhering to strict industry regulations, making it a trusted choice for sensitive sectors.
Features of Genesys
- Automatic call distribution
- Call recording
- Integrations with popular CRM systems
- Contact center Omnichannel communications
- Customer journey management
- Contact Center agent assist
- Work automation
- Task routing
Starting Price: $75 per month.
Nextiva is a leading cloud-based communications provider that offers a CTI solution as part of its suite of services. It makes our list of top five because it offers VoIP, video conferencing, and messaging, creating a unified communication ecosystem along with the CTI.
In addition, Nextiva is renowned for its exceptional customer support, providing dedicated account managers and 24/7 assistance, ensuring smooth implementation and ongoing success.
Features of Nextiva
- HD VoIP Phone Service
- Unlimited Calling in North America
- Unlimited Business Text Messaging
- Unlimited Online Faxing
- Unlimited Web Conferencing
- Team Chat
- Call Screening
- Call Recording & Rating
- Call Park
- Call Forwarding
Starting Price: $18.95 per month
Finally, Bitrix24 has secured a spot among the 5 CTI software providers in 2024. It provides a CRM CTI solution that eliminates data silos, allowing for efficient flow of information between call center interactions and customer records. This enhances personalization and boosts overall efficiency.
Furthermore, Bitrix24 offers an open-source edition, making it an appealing option for businesses on a budget or those seeking customization options.
Features of Bitrix24
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Workflow Automation
- Collaboration tools
- Task Management
- Cloud Storage
- Employee Management
Starting Price: $61 per month
What are the future trends of Computer Telephony Integration?
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is remodeling at an unprecedented rate. Exciting changes are on the horizon. Moving beyond standard voice calls. Better, integrated communication. It’s encompassing all channels, universally, known as omnichannel communication.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the next big thing and redefines CTI abilities. Carefully engineered AI assistants respond to questions and free up humans for more complex tasks. That’s the power of modern technology.
Businesses are always looking for ways to grow, be flexible, and save money, and cloud-based solutions seem to be the answer, especially for CTI in the future. There are many benefits to using the cloud. For example, it provides ease in deployment routine updates and can be accessed remotely. This suits teams working from different places perfectly.
Integrate Computer Telephony in your Business with KrispCall
KrispCall is cloud-based, meaning everything runs smoothly online with minimal setup and maintenance. You can easily navigate KrispCall’s user-friendly interface. Here is how you can set up Computer Telephony Integration in business:
- Evaluate the compatibility of your existing telephony infrastructure (VoIP, PBX) with KrispCall.
- Purchase a plan to acquire a CTI software License.
- Install KrispCall.
- Configure the connection and integrate it with CRM and business software.
- Configure features and other settings and your are good to start.
If this does not help, decide if KrispCall is the ideal solution for you. Note that this service provider has over 4500 customers in around 100 countries. This provider boasts impeccable customer service and affordability. Give it a try! And trust us, you won’t regret it.
Wrapping it up
computer telephony integration is the new solution for effective contact centers in every business and industry. From efficiency and cost saving to customer satisfaction, CTI offers it all. As a result, CTI has become an integral part of call center success.
There are hundreds of CTI software solution providers in the market. However, KrispCall can offer the best return on investment. So, if you are looking for a CTI provider. Consider choosing KrispCall. Schedule a free demo and find out if KrispCall meets your business requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Computer Telephony Integration Secure?
Yes, Computer Telephony Integration is secure because it offers improved data security, strong authentication, and encryption. However, sometimes, there might be security issues with complex vulnerabilities, vendor security practices, and human errors.
Do I need any special equipment to use CTI?
Yes, you will need special equipment if you are using advanced CTI like call recording and automated dialing). You will need the following equipment.
- Dialing boards
- Voice gateways
- Special recording software
However, if you are using basic CTI like screen pops or call logging, you will not need special equipment.
Can I use CTI with a mobile device?
Yes, you can use CTI with a mobile device. In fact, mobile CTI has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its flexibility and convenience.
How do you analyze the cost-effectiveness of CTI?
You can follow these simple steps to analyze the cost-effectiveness of CTI:
- Identify and calculate the total cost, including initial investment, maintenance and support, ongoing operational costs, and employee time.
- Determine the benefits and returns like improved productivity, improved customer service, better sales, and cost savings.
- Use metrics like ROI (Return on Investment) and Cost per Call to determine the cost-effectiveness.