5 Must-Have Features in a Salesforce CTI for International Calling
In our globalized world, international calling capabilities are an essential part of many call centers.
With 66% of all global call centers located in the Americas, it makes sense that they need to be able to serve other nationalities, with international calling enabled.
At the same time, an increasing number of call centers are transitioning to the cloud and moving away from traditional PBX phone lines to VoIP calls or full PSTN replacement.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) has been developed as a result of the need for a combination of cloud and traditional dialing, with international calling as one of the main drivers. A popular way to integrate telephony with cloud calling through a CTI, is to embed it within a CRM (such as Salesforce) for maximum efficiency.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that call centers face when it comes to choosing a Salesforce CTI for international calling, before listing the five main features to look out for when you make your decision.
Main Challenges Facing Call Centers Right Now
We’ve already established that a large number of call centers need international calling capabilities, and the best way to achieve this is to integrate it using a Salesforce CTI.
- However, there are a number of challenges that can influence the decision on which new technology to choose, including:
- IT & Technology Demands: Before a call center can implement a Salesforce CTI for international calling, they must have the necessary software and systems in place to enable it, including cloud capabilities.
- Training and Skills: Call center agents and sales reps need to be trained up to use any necessary tools such as the CRM databases, predictive diallers, and how to handle international calls.
- Budget Constraints: 52% of call centers are planning to cut back on team size and spending in 2022, yet 55% of call center managers want to spend more on technology during this period. In other words, company budgets need to be balanced carefully and wisely.
- Business Priorities: In any business environment, there will be competing priorities. Call centers are under pressure to deliver the best possible customer experience (CX), become more efficient, and introduce various types of new technology. Business leaders and line managers are expected to deliver all of this with less time and less money.
- Employee Buy-in: One challenge that often gets overlooked when it comes to implementing any new technology or system in a call center is employee buy-in, which includes both advisors and managers. Change fatigue is becoming an increasing problem in call center environments. Just when employees get used to one system or tool, another comes along to replace it. Employees need to clearly see the benefits of any changes and they need to be communicated clearly.
A Salesforce CTI provides everything a call center needs to enable telephone calls, including international dialing, through the cloud and within the Salesforce CRM platform. Implementing a Salesforce CTI solution reduces the workload of agents and advisors, improves customer experience, and allows managers to log and track calls more accurately.
5 Must-Have Features in a Salesforce CTI for International Dialing
1. Global Outbound Calling with PSTN Replacement Capabilities
The most important thing to ensure when choosing a Salesforce CTI for international calling is that the service provides a true PSTN replacement, rather than an international termination. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
High-quality in-country routing support
One of the main things to ensure is that the in-country routing support is the best it can possibly be. Traditionally, call centers have relied on one of two not-so-good options:
- Set up long distance calling through international termination providers, which often charge high fees and, in some cases, lack reliability.
- Invest heavily in building their own in-country communication network by tying in with local telephone service providers.
Cloud-based in-country routing offers a reliable and affordable alternative to traditional international dialing. Cloud communications providers, such as PhoneIQ, offer in-country routing in multiple countries around the world. By linking up with local telephony carriers, cloud communications companies provide a whole host of benefits, including local call rates and pricing plans.
Full access to regional dial plans
When you choose a Salesforce CTI, you need to make sure that it is a true PSTN replacement that allows full access to dial plans across the countries you operate in. Make sure you opt for one that covers non-geographic numbers, such as toll-free, short codes, and special services. Most standard VoIP providers, as well as international termination services, do not allow toll-free and other special numbers.
Competitive local rates
Salesforce CTIs from well-connected companies like PhoneIQ, give you access to local carriers so, you are getting a full PSTN replacement that guarantees local rates and excellent call quality that is equivalent to a local telephone service.
Other calling features
In addition to the international calling capability, you should also look for other premium features such as call monitoring, call recording, and live reporting. The Salesforce CTI should integrate seamlessly with the CRM and include click-to-dial, automated data capture, screen pop, automatic call routing, and more.
2. International Phone Numbers
The great thing about using a cloud-based CTI that links with local carriers is that you can dial and receive calls internationally and display the correct phone numbers, including country codes and local numbers. This means that your Salesforce CRM will be populated with accurate data. Well-designed and implemented Salesforce CTIs such as PhoneIQ use validation rules and automatic number identification (ANI) to correctly store the details in the CRM database.
If you don’t have a true PSTN replacement, you won’t get the correct local format on caller ID. Why does this matter? Two main reasons, if the call gets cut off for whatever reason, you won’t have the correct number to call them back on and without the correct phone number, your Salesforce CRM won’t be able to automatically display the relevant customer details.
3. Click to Dial & Screen Pop
Click to dial and screen pop are essential features for any modern call center. Click to dial means that you can instantly make a telephone call to a customer with just one click on their details page within Salesforce. Screen pop refers to a feature that makes the customer details “pop up” on the screen as soon as an agent receives a call from a recognised number. Both of these features save a lot of time and increase call center productivity and efficiency.
4. Multiline Power Dialing
Multiline power dialing helps sales call centers to increase their productivity and exceed their targets. A multiline power dialing system automatically creates a call queue of sales leads to dial and places the call as soon as an agent becomes available. The call center management team can set the calls-to-agent ratio, which gives them control over the size of the queue and frequency of calls.
5. Live Call Monitoring & Reporting
Applying an advanced and powerful Salesforce CTI will allow supervisors and managers to listen to calls for evaluation purposes and intervene if necessary. Phone call data and audio recordings can be automatically stored for reporting and training purposes. Salesforce tools such as Einstein Call Coaching can help you detect trends and highlights that will certainly help you weed out a lot of highly valuable conversation data.
BONUS. SMS & MMS Capabilities
We know, SMS & MMS messaging isn’t technically international calling. Nonetheless, text and media messaging is a popular way for customers to access support these days. With a Salesforce CTI, you can send out support texts and receive replies that are automatically linked with the customer’s details.
Implementing a Salesforce CTI that allows international calling is a necessity for any modern call center that wants to stay ahead of the game.
The benefits of international calling within a true PSTN replacement CTI such as PhoneIQ are many, including lower cost, improved reliability, and flexibility of calling.
PhoneIQ provides an all-in-one Salesforce CTI that combines your cloud-based CRM with local and international telephony. Get in touch with one of our expert advisors today to find out more.