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Computer telephony integration products: Key features + benefits

Computer telephony integration (CTI) tools bridge the gap between phones and computers. Start a free trial today to see how a CTI product can help your business.

What is a computer telephony integration (CTI) product?

Última actualización en April 30, 2024

Computer telephony integration is a technology that enables computers to work with phones. While businesses primarily use it for calling phones from desktop computers, it can also link all your business applications—for example, syncing call center software, customer service software, or workforce management software to a phone system.

Computer telephony integration (CTI) enables telephones and computers to work together seamlessly. Businesses use it to streamline customer service workflows, personalize customer interactions, improve agent performance, and increase overall productivity.

With CTI increasing in popularity, you might already be familiar with some of its applications without recognizing it. Here are some popular ways businesses incorporate CTI into contact center operations:

  • Click-to-call: Agents can initiate calls from their computer through a toll-free number by simply clicking on a customer’s phone number.
  • Automatic call distribution (ACD): Incoming phone calls get routed to the most appropriate agent or department based on predefined criteria such as caller ID or interactive voice response (IVR) software selections.
  • Customer profiles: A customer’s record appears on an agent’s screen during a call, providing the agent with the customer’s information.
  • Voicemail to tickets: Voicemail messages get converted to transcribed tickets for easier assessment.

However, as you’ll see below, some software like Zendesk can expand on these capabilities to deliver an AI-powered CTI solution.

Synchronize your software with CTI tools

Boost agent productivity with AI

Discover Zendesk AI

Customers want answers fast, and it’s up to you to keep tickets moving swiftly. Zendesk AI comes pre-trained on billions of real customer interactions, so it’s ready to go from day one.

Intelligent triage can automatically detect the intent, language, and sentiment of the request and use those insights to route customers to the right teams.

AI can also give agents suggestions for how to resolve the problem, enable supervisors to monitor caller sentiment in real time and assist where necessary, and generate a call summary and list of next steps.

Additionally, AI agents and AI-powered knowledge bases can deflect calls by assisting customers without a human agent ever needing to get involved.

Consolidate and personalize your conversations

To move at the speed of your customers, your agents must be able to deliver seamless omnichannel support without constantly switching through tabs or asking customers to repeat information.

Our Agent Home unifies all your channels, so your agents can handle calls, voicemails, and texts in the same space they manage email, live chat, and messaging. With robust customer profiles, customer context can move from channel to channel so agents can personalize every interaction.

Stay dialed in with your customers

A screenshot of Zendesk telephony integration.

Communicate effectively with integrated voice software

Our integrated voice solution comes with all the basics out of the box, including interactive voice response (IVR), group routing, and overflow and after-hours routing.You can also customize your queue size and wait time and empower your customers to request a callback instead of waiting on hold.

Measure and improve in real time

Enhance your call center's efficiency with cutting-edge phone support analytics delivered in real time. Our comprehensive cross-channel reporting tools empower you to seamlessly benchmark phone interactions against other communication methods to elevate your customer service to new heights. Meanwhile, workforce management metrics help you forecast staffing needs and optimize team performance.

Additionally, our call monitoring and recording capabilities are designed to help you uphold the highest standards of conversation quality and customer privacy, offering peace of mind with every call handled. AI-powered QA can automatically generate call summaries, detect sentiment, and identify outliers from call transcripts.

A screenshot displays the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

Uncover insights with Zendesk reporting and analytics.

Experience fast time to value

Zendesk offers everything you need in a CTI system right out of the box—no developers required. Our customer service solution can help you get started in days, not months, so that you can realize the value of your investment faster than the competition.

With Zendesk, teams can get up and running quickly, boost agent productivity, and reduce costs. Not only that, but our product is easy to use, so there’s no downtime needed to train agents on our product.

Benefits of computer telephony integration products

Businesses that rely on traditional phone systems forfeit a competitive edge to businesses that adopt modern solutions. These are the primary advantages of CTI software.

Four icons detail the benefits of CTI products.

Increase customer satisfaction

While customers tend to prefer digital channels for quick resolutions, many still want to have the phone as an option for higher-stakes issues. Customers surveyed in our 2024 CX Trends Report ranked the phone as the most preferred channel for complex or nuanced problems.

While voice has been around for a long time, CTI software has helped expand its capabilities, providing agents with tools to improve the customer experience. For example, AI tools like intelligent routing and conversation summaries help support teams deliver faster support over the phone.

Help agent productivity

Call center agents have a hard (often thankless) yet important job. They frequently deal with angry customers as customers usually see agents as the primary representative of the company.

While businesses can attribute some burnout to staffing and culture issues, agents can also burn out if they lack the proper tools necessary to do the job. CTI can help prevent burnout by using AI to lend agents a helping hand and deflect tickets, especially during busy seasons—and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Reduce call center costs

CTI helps your contact center do more with less. Rather than hiring another full-time agent, CTI can increase virtual call center efficiency by reducing call handling time through automation and making more resources accessible to agents. Call reporting and customer analytics help managers better allocate resources by identifying struggling areas.

Personalize support

Personalization is at the heart of delivering a great customer experience. CTI allows your agents to access customer data quickly and easily, saving customers from repeating the same information to different agents. With access to relevant details about the customer's history with the company, your agents can provide personalized service in every interaction, enhancing the customer experience.

Frequently asked questions

Adopt an AI-powered CTI solution with Zendesk

Computer telephony integration can easily sync your phone system with your computers so your agents can provide seamless customer support no matter the channel. To harness all the benefits of CTI, you need the right partner: Zendesk. Our AI-powered voice capabilities, Agent Workspace, advanced analytics, and more can make your agents more efficient and optimize your customer experience. Start a free trial today.

See Zendesk in action