How To Take Advantage Of CTI & SMS To Communicate With Your Customers
In a competitive marketplace, small businesses must strive to go above and beyond in their efforts to cater to their customer’s needs. Fortunately, you can enhance interactions between your company and its customers by utilizing SMS applications and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) software.
By using CTI and SMS systems that integrate with your CRM, you gain centralized control over your business communications through a simple interface. Using that interface, users can effectively communicate with their customers to manage their expectations and anticipate their future needs.
If you are looking to increase productivity and encourage customer engagement, CTI and SMS applications may be the solution you need. To learn how you can take advantage of CTI and SMS to communicate with your customers more effectively, continue reading.
What Is Computer Telephony Integration?
CTI systems merge telephones and computers seamlessly. These systems are powered by voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology, allowing voice and other media forms to travel over the internet. Using a CTI, users can make outbound calls, receive incoming calls, and perform other related tasks directly from a computer or mobile device. CTI systems can also be integrated directly with CRM platforms, like Salesforce, allowing small businesses to capture, track and manage data linked to incoming and outgoing calls or texts.
Key Features Of Computer Telephony Integrations
The PhoneIQ CTI system offers a suite of business-oriented functions. Here are some key features CTIs offer:
A CTI system can be fully integrated with your Customer Relationship Management software. Therefore, all customer information relating to calls can be accessed right from your CRM dashboard. With this integration, you get all of the essential caller details you need, including historical data from past interactions.
With this information on hand, agents can serve each customer better and resolve their issues efficiently and accurately.
CTIs include phone control features like mute, hold call forwarding, and conferencing. This keeps agents from needing to switch between the computer software and a physical phone. This mode of operation prevents distractions, allowing operators to keep their focus on customer interactions.
Dialing phone numbers manually is time-consuming, especially when many of the calls go unanswered. That’s why some modern CTI systems also include automated dialing features that remove multiple steps from typical call center procedures. Some of our automated dialing features include the following:
Click-to-call services allow users to simply click a number to make a phone call. Similarly, customers can use click-to-call systems to connect with call center representatives while using an app or browsing a website.
Predictive dialing is a type of automated dialer that places phone calls when agents aren’t available. The software selects a phone number and dials it for the call center operator, reducing the amount of time spent manually dialing numbers. By using an algorithm, the predictive dialing system then predicts how long it takes for an agent to answer a call. Based on previous data, the system modifies the dialing rate to ensure that agents spend an appropriate amount of time speaking with customers and addressing their needs.
With a Power Dialer, you can import leads, contacts, and accounts to streamline your dialing campaign. Power dialer also automatically dials through your work queue, seamlessly completing your cadence based on call results.
Screen pop-ups, or screen pops, are an essential feature of CTI systems. A screen pop is a window that automatically appears on the agent’s desktop whenever a customer calls in or is reached. The window displays relevant information that can be used to resolve customer issues.
Screen pops typically include caller authentication information, caller history, and other customer data. Having this data instantly available allows operators to provide a more personalized service without the need for toggling between apps to find customer data.
- CTI & SMS automation features for improved customer communications:
- Automation dialing
- Predictive dialing
- Power dialer
- Screen pop-ups
- Call Routing and Transferring
- Workflow automation
- Automatic Activity Capture
Call Routing and Transferring
A way to leverage automation for customer experience is with call routing and transferring. By using an Automatic Call Distributor, data from inbound calls gets matched with data from the company’s database then the call is routed to an agent who is best suited for that call. For example, if a Spanish-speaking customer is on the line, the software will search for an agent who is a proficient Spanish speaker then automatically route the call to them.
With CTI systems, repetitive tasks can be eliminated through automation. Call logging, case creation, and task creation can all be automated using PhoneIQ. Call recordings, notes, and other relevant call information is also recorded automatically in Salesforce. This built-in process automation makes automating your call center workflow easier than ever.
Automatic Activity Capture
All customer interactions are automatically captured in Salesforce when you use CTI systems. This includes phone calls, voicemails, texts, and more. Automatic activity capture boosts agent productivity, while also helping you keep track of every activity that occurs in your CRM.
Benefits Of Incorporating CTI Technology
Tools like CTI systems can be leveraged to optimize communication processes, encouraging sales growth, consumer engagement, and lead generation. CTI systems can also enable you to provide higher levels of customer service, producing interactions that lead customers to share their experiences with other consumers.
If you are interested in implementing CTI systems in your business, here are some of the benefits of this technology.
Better Information with Direct CRM Integration
If you were tasked with introducing a new platform to your workforce, you’d be confronted with the difficult and time-consuming process of training your staff to use it. Fortunately, CTI systems can be directly integrated with CRM platforms like Salesforce. With everything working within your current CRM, you don’t have to worry about providing employees with too much additional training.
Having an integrated platform also means your data is stored and managed all in one place. Through your CRM, you can use reporting, metrics, and analytics tools in tandem with your new call center system. Call recordings and notes are also directly saved in your CRM, meaning you’ll never need to check in multiple locations to find important details about past calls. We advise you to make sure to follow the best practices for call recording and call monitoring.
Improved Customer Service Capabilities
With an integrated CTI system, you can achieve seamless communication across multiple platforms and channels. Because CTI systems allow you to easily monitor and track call data, you’ll never be out-of-the-loop on what your customers’ previous stated needs are. Furthermore, data gathered through your CTI can be used to provide the optimal experience. For example, if you discover that customers are much less likely to answer the phone on Saturday mornings, you can plan your next week of calls with that information in mind.
Simplified Employee Training
CTI systems save past calls within your CRM. These calls can be used to train new staff on appropriate phone conduct by providing workers with examples of good and bad conversations that they can reference to help them identify best practices.
Call monitoring can be used in training as well. Using call monitoring features, a trainee can listen in on a phone call live to learn from their senior coworkers. The opposite is also true, with managers listening in on agent calls to provide guidance or feedback.
Time Saved On Every Call
Having a CTI system in place allows you to minimize the amount of time it takes to make a call. There’s no need to manually input numbers because most CRM’s offer click-to-dial functionality. Even more time is saved by other critical features, like call routing, workflow automation, and automatic activity capturing.
Communication On The Go
If you aren’t at your desk or near a computer, it can be difficult to stay on top of communications. Even more so, trying to log every interaction to keep track of each customer’s case. So one of the many benefits CTIs offer is enabling automated sync and logging of all communications held from mobile devices, like Apple and Android smartphones.
Using CTI Systems To Your Advantage
Having all communications integrated into your CRM lets you keep better track of every interaction. Here are some ways you can track interactions and maximize productivity while using a CTI system.
SMS, or text messages, are said to have a 97% open rate. This makes SMS a powerful tool that can be added to your company’s arsenal. Here are some tips for integrating SMS in Salesforce. Some CTI systems, like PhoneIQ, offer SMS capabilities that allow reps to have direct 1-on-1 conversations all from within the Salesforce ecosystem.
Messaging can also be tracked using the native Salesforce dashboard and reports. With these tools available, your company can implement groundbreaking SMS campaigns that take your consumer outreach to the next level.
Incorporate Other Technologies To Improve Performance
The vast functionality of the PhoneIQ cloud phone system and CTI can also be supplemented with other technologies.
Take Einstein Call Coaching as an example. This is a tool that tracks the mention of important elements, like products, pricing, next steps, and other customer keywords. When paired with a CTI, this empowers sales managers to get greater visibility of the critical moments that occur during their team’s sales calls. Using these insights, managers can provide specific coaching that directly addresses agents’ weaknesses.
Modern technologies like AI can vastly improve efficiency in your business operation. Though, if you don’t have a means of tracking and recording calls, you can’t use such systems. That’s why it’s worth considering investing in CTI if you run a business that relies on phone systems.
Obtain Local Numbers For Markets That You Serve
Having a local number in a market you serve can improve customer service, build trust, and offer cost-saving benefits. Virtual phone numbers are effectively domestic phone numbers that can be used for each country where your business operates.
Using virtual numbers can help your company cultivate a stronger global presence. With virtual phone numbers in place, customers won’t need to subscribe to an international dialing plan to reach you from abroad. This makes your business seem far more accessible, which builds a positive image of your company for your international customers. If you want to know more, you can read How virtual numbers can drastically improve your call center performance.
Track and Manage Call Center KPIs
To drive operational excellence, call centers need to keep track of the customer experience, agent efficiency, and overall call center efficiency. This requires consistent monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). After integrating a CTI system with Salesforce, you can reference call-related data directly through the CRM dashboard. This means you can keep track of your call center KPIs and gauge overall performance seamlessly. Don’t miss out on the top KPIs to track for customer service.
- To use CTI Systems To Your Advantage
- Leverage SMS Texting
- Incorporate Other Technologies To Improve Performance
- Obtain Local Numbers For Markets That You Serve
- Track and Manage Call Center KPIs
For most businesses that need advanced call center capabilities, implementing a CTI system is the most obvious solution. They make managing call center operations simple; they integrate directly with Salesforce; and they offer users immense functionality with unique features like KPI tracking and SMS tools.
If you are hoping to enhance your phone system, consider PhoneIQ.
PhoneIQ is a cloud-based contact center platform used by companies on Salesforce that can help you gather insights, analyze customer interactions, and generate analyses that can be used in your KPIs.
Sign up for a free 7-day trial to find out more.