My first trip to India, my first trip to Chennai as a partner of Freshworks, started with a short flight from Amsterdam to London Heathrow, a 25-30 minutes transfer to the flight to Chennai and an amazing taxi drive through Chennai in the early morning of March 12.
It was the beginning of an amazing, sometimes puzzling, but overall very inspiring week amongst more than 100 partners from all over the world and enthusiastic employees of Freshworks.
On Tuesday I visited the office of Freshworks, at Infocity, in Chennai. Not only because of the presentations of several ISV partners, but most of all to put faces to names I already knew, or at least half, and share ideas. It proved to be one of the most fruitful days of the entire trip. Being able to talk to so many (young) people, experience their enthusiasm, being able to explain what we, as a small Dutch company, can contribute to their tools and how we could expand, elaborate and grow with them. There was always a listening ear, an understanding nod and helpful suggestions.
The partner conference was rewarding, in the sense that it was more than worthwhile to travel half the world and be present there. Inspiring speeches, workshops, roadmaps, new products, demo’ s. It sometimes made me wonder who I was to be a part of this all. it also was exhausting at times, to hear so many ideas, so many plans. Not because of the quality of the plans and ideas, but because of my inability to see the forest for the trees at every moment.
Of course, there is room for improvement, but isn’ t there always? This does not go for the evenings (the gala and the beach party) of which I cannot reveal anything of course: What happens in Chennai stays in Chennai.
The week at Freshwork made me realize that we are just at the beginning of what will become an even more amazing trip towards realizing extraordinary cx for our customers and their customers
Salesforce: What is CTI? How Does it Work with Salesforce?
Although many businesses have hopped the omnichannel bandwagon in recent years, phone is still the most preferred channel of communication. A study conducted by North Ridge Group found that 56% of the respondents still prefer phone to reach out to the customer service desks because it’s effortless and easy.
This inference from the study suggests two possibilities
• Businesses still need to strengthen their presence across non-traditional touch-points
• Phone is regarded as the best medium to articulate one’s concern or pain-point even when alternative communication channels like text, chat or social media are becoming popular
This brings us to our discussion about CTI, a technology that connects hard phones to a computer system to deliver a smooth experience for all types of voice communication. This is particularly relevant for third partyintegration – such as Salesforce. However, before we come to that, lets understand – What is CTI?
Definition Of CTI & Its Application
CTI or Computer Telephony Interaction is a call center technology widely used by customer service teams to improve call center interaction. The technology essentially unifies computer with telephone system and can be configured at two levels –
• Desktop- CTI integration with desktop helps in showcasing rich data in the form of a screen pop up. This allows agents to view complete customer information even before the call is connected with the customer.
• Call Routing – Helps in identifying the caller and routes it to the right department or agent. Additionally, agents can also transfer the call to relevant agents/departments, put call on hold and even dispose the call.
Why CTI Is Relevant for Call Center Interaction?
Revenue and efficiency are two primary concerns for businesses today. Both these entities are tied down to call center interaction for a very good reason. If a customer gets a satisfactory answer or resolution to a query in the first call, it becomes the key driver of customer satisfaction, ensuring loyalty and trust. As a customer calls in, the agent does not waste any time to hunt customer information, everything is visible in a single view. Typically, the agent may view the following field of information about a customer-
• Personal information about the caller
• Account status
• Status of the ticket-open, closed, reopened
• Previous call logs
• Complete chat history
With instant access to the above information, not only the agent productivity increases and the first call resolution (FCR) rate of the call center is also high. It is estimated that a 15% increase in FCR results in a 57% reduction in repeat calls. This is good news since handling a query within the first call may increase customer retention by 96%.
To summarize our discussion, the relevance of CTI in terms of call center productivity can be understood as under –
• Saves Cost & Resources – CTI also leads to significant reduction in cost and improvement in resource saving for organizations in a variety of ways. This may include – reduction in CSR churn, reduction in the cost of customer database errors, reduction of telephone network toll expenses, reduction in liability cost etc.
• Reduction In Call Handling Time – Since the CTI display offers all the relevant information even before the call is connected, the agent is able to offer a quick resolution. The agent can wrap the call quickly and will be able to take more calls in a short amount of time.
• Reduces Aggravated Session – The customer no longer needs to repeat their query to an agent in subsequent calls, therefore, instances of aggravated call sessions are relatively lower.
• Positive Agent Experience – Since the agent is able to accommodate several customer requests in a short duration of time that too with minimal instances of irate, the agent experience is better. They feel empowered and do optimal justice to their jobs.
ZENDESK: Do more with more: contact center integrations
WHO YOU ARE:
The Contact Center
Your agents are handling the difficult task of trying to please customers, one phone call at a time. Wait, you say, ’re a contact center—not a call center—and our agents are doing more than answering the phone. So much more.
Good-bye misconceptions, and hello reality. The contact center today is a multi-channel hub of customer support, and if it’s hard to blow customer satisfaction out of the water in one channel, then optimizing across multiple channels may feel like an insurmountable task.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT
Besides binge-watching episodes of True Detective, that is. (We don’t blame you.) But there’s a lot to think about when it comes to providing multi-channel support. Should you allocate dedicated or blended agents to each channel? How can you forecast for growth by channel, and create a consistent customer experience across channels?
You’re enmeshed in tactical day-to-day operations, walking the tightrope of balancing customer happiness with agent happiness, all the while optimizing for efficiency. Where is that elusive sweet spot where everyone and everything is humming along? An agent’s time on the phone is valuable—are they building relationships with customers or asking annoying, redundant questions? You need data and insight into your contact center to make decisions that will impact productivity, but where can you get this data? What are the right investments that will allow you to save time and do more?
KILLER APP COMBO
Zendesk Plus or Enterprise integrates easily with a host of voice and chat services, as well as the apps listed below, which are particularly suited for the contact center. Whether Zendesk is your foundation, or a piece of your customer service solution, the apps and integrations below are a great baseline to help maximize your support. It’s easy one-stop shopping.
No matter the level of sophistication of your voice requirements, Zendesk has a partner for you. The voice integrations allow companies to make the most of their voice channel by routing calls to the best-suited agents within Zendesk. Through softphones and screen popups, agents receive the call and a full customer profile and ticket history.
There are several great voice integrations for Zendesk: inContact, Five9, Asterisk, Avaya, Genesys, Cisco CAD and Cisco UC Platforms, Loyally, and Shoretel.
Loyally’s provides cleaner, more complete and reliable data around phone numbers. Use this app to add personalization and eliminate the need for agents to ask time-consuming, detailed questions like how to spell a name.
In the spirit of releasing the Freshdesk SDK and opening up the Freshdesk App Gallery, we’re excited to announce that we’ve launched our Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) framework. With this framework, you can integrate telephony with your helpdesk easily and effectively.
Our CTI framework looks to solve a multitude of problems in most online helpdesks. Whether it is a company wary of the risks of large scale data migration, or a small business reluctant to shift away from their trusted call center software, we aim to address all concerns by releasing a framework capable of building a telephony integration to suit their specific needs.
Once integrated, agents using the system will be able to attend calls, access customer details and history, and maintain context for conversations through the call, right from the comfort of Freshdesk.
In addition to the features mentioned above, the CTI framework will also allow for much deeper functionalities:
I think we can all agree that the core values of customer support were formulated over the traditional phone. Despite major advancements in modern customer support software, the phone channel still remains an integral part in online helpdesks. It is for this reason that we think the phone should never be a stand-alone element in any helpdesk. With our CTI framework, you’ll be able to convert conversations into new tickets or link them to existing ones. You can organize your support and tie all your support channels closer.
Support over the phone channel can be tricky; agents walk a thin line between sounding too enthusiastic or too robotic. Walking on the right side of this thin line is made exponentially easier with context. With our Unified Screenpop API, you can spring up requester information and details on recent tickets automatically whenever an agent attends a call. Irrespective of whether you want to check ticket history, dig up older solutions or even just call your customer by their first name, we’ve got your back.
Apps can be built to allow call recordings to be attached to tickets. Documenting interactions can help agents deliver better support experiences and help supervisors measure agent performance. It can also be useful for a number of other purposes – attaching a call recording to a private note to circulate across teams for training or reference, sending a generic call recording to a user for a workaround solution, and so on.
Despite options to record every conversation you have, the habit to take notes during a call is something that cannot be replaced. Not only does it add clarity to your follow up calls, private notes will help you bolster intra office communication for when you might need help, or when certain tickets have to be escalated. Your apps can make shuffling screens or searching for pens during important calls obsolete by letting agents take notes directly in the call interface, to be automatically appended as private notes.
Different people have different preferences. Some people are picky about fonts, some about colors, and some are picky about how their phone dialer looks. With our CTI framework, you can tend to everybody’s preferences by offering customized soft-phones within Freshdesk using iFrames. What this basically means is, you could configure your app to pop a soft-phone dialer within Freshdesk, as opposed to using our native UI. Give your app a richer feel by configuring these finer details.
You can get your integration featured on the Freshdesk App Gallery for killer exposure to Freshdesk’s global customer base, or use it internally for your organization. Getting your app up and running on the helpdesk is as easy as making a few configurations.