Computer telephony integration
The CTI has been introduced to provide integration of telephony systems with computer based technologies. It was first introduced in 1980s. CTI software is referred as middleware. This software translates signals between telephone systems and computers. This helps co-ordinate routing calls and account information to the agents. CTI software can be customized for different telephone systems.
Functions of CTI
• Routing calls as per number dialed by caller or it selects in voice response systems.
• Transfer customer records and informations on the agent screen during the call between representatives
• Notify computers to send the records to the agents.
As mentioned main application of computer telephony integration is voice response units and record retrieval from computers located at distributed places. There are many applications where in voice response technology is employed such as cable television, mutual fund companies, Airlines, Railways, universities etc.
The fig.1 depicts block diagram of computer telephony integration system. As shown PBX/ACD(Automatic Call Distributor) is connected with Interactive Voice Response System(IVRS). IVRS is connected with computers housing customer data in databases. Various agent groups are interfaced with PBX. PBX will have connectivity with PSTN lines.
There are many other applications of CTI such as response to callers to provide customer contacts in the form of e-mail, telephone calls and chat. For this purpose contact centers along with queue management software is equipped. Fig.2 depicts the same connectivity between mail server, CTI middleware and PBX.
The contact center does following:
• Perform customer service based on internet queries
• Share documents to guide customers to fill out web based forms and provide customer feedback surveys.
• Route the outbound call to inactive agent.
• facilitate real time chat with online customers
• Confirm internet based orders and prepare reports