Key Features To Look For | Computer Telephony

And so here are five key features that you might want to add to your call center through computer telephony. There are many others, and the list grows all the time. (That’s part of the wonder of this industry.) Again, these are the ones I see most frequently, that provide demonstrable benefit to the companies that implement them. You can add them by adding software that contains them, or as part of a general CTI overhaul. The benefits of each of them are always the same — faster and better customer service.

  1. Simultaneous Screen Transfer. An agent is speaking to a client. The agent has the client’s database up on his screen. The agent needs to send the call to someone else for special treatment. Push a button on his screen, “Who would you like to send this call to?” He types the name, hits Enter. The call and the updated screen go to the specialist.

  2. ANI/Caller ID Database Lookup. A call comes in. It carries the calling number. Your ACD grabs the calling number, passes it to your database over your LAN. As the phone rings on an agent’s desk, the agent’s screen pops with a screenful of information on the caller. What he bought last time. What his problems were. How they were resolved. What he tried to buy last time.

    Automatic phone lookup can shave 15 minutes off a typical call — the time the agent takes to ask the hapless caller such questions as “What’s your name, address, phone number, etc.?”

  3. Predictive Dialing. When your agents are not answering incoming calls, they could be making outgoing calls. “Last month and the month before, Mr. Smith, you bought four dozen boxes of paperclips. May we send you another four dozen?”

  4. Other Database Lookups. Many agents are linked to only one database. But customers always want more information than one database can provide. A price list. A list of your dealers. Other machines you’re compatible with. How to get the machine fixed. Layouts of the hotel rooms you’re renting.

  5. Fax server. Your agent is answering a call for help. Explaining the solution is too difficult and time consuming. It’s easier to say, “May I fax you several pages of explanation?” Let your fax server send the pages while you make another phone call. Let your customer follow the jumping ball on the fax he just received.