By Spencer D. Chin
TMCnet Web Editor
Computer telephony integration is an essential element in today’s communications landscape. The technology, which integrates telephone and computer operations, makes it possible to link customer contact channels such as e-mail, voice, and fax, with computer systems.
Computer telephony integration makes it possible to combine the storage capabilities of a networked computer system with modern-day telephones. With the ability to retrieve stored information, a call agent can find out information about a customer or access other databases and applications, making it possible to resolve customer issues easily and accurately. Computer telephony integration means no guesswork and less scrambling to answer customer complaints, because all information related to a customer and his/her personal information is stored in the computer.
There are two general types of computer telephony integration. One, first party call control directly connects the user’s computer and phone. This means only the computer associated with the phone can issue commands.
The second form of computer telephony integration, third-party call control, uses a dedicated telephony server and a computer network. Computer telephony integration enables any computer on the network to control any phone. The phone does not have to be physically attached directly to the user’s computer, though it can be physically integrated into computer as in the case of a VoIP soft phone.
Computer telephony integration is the driving force behind today’s sophisticated call center systems. Functions such as call information display, automatic dialing and computer controlled dialing, coordinated phone and data transfer, call routing, reporting, and call center phone control all can be implemented through computer telephony integration.
Complete computer telephony integration solutions not only provide the essential software tools to link the compute and phone system, but they also link enterprise resource planning with business processes and customer service efforts. Thus, the computer telephony integration system can be trusted to handle all of a call center’s needs.
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