An Old Fashioned and a Manhattan both start with bourbon, but the execution and added ingredients yield completely different flavors. Even the sipping experiences diverge; a Manhattan is served in a long-stemmed glass while an Old Fashioned comes with a single, oversized ice cube. If you ordered one and got the other, you’d have a right to complain.
After all, they’re distinct products.
Heading back to the office now, most businesses require a CTI (Call Telephony Integration).
Depending on the industry, making sales can be virtually impossible without a high-performing phone system. An efficient way of speaking to customers is also necessary when providing support.
Yet the phone system is only the beginning, like pouring some bourbon in a glass. Depending on your unique needs, you can choose the features that will yield the optimal cocktail of efficiency and customer satisfaction when you mix it up with Salesforce.
We know getting there can be intimidating, so here’s an internal checklist for everything your phone system can accomplish:
Start by asking two basic questions. The first is whether your team will be using the CTI for sales or for customer support, or both.
Next, assess whether your team needs inbound or outbound functionality, or both. Inbound phone calls are associated with customer support while outbound calls are to sales teams what a Boston shaker is to a mixologist. See the table below for an overview of these options:
The rest of the considerations vary based on this divergence; just as making a drink in your kitchen and going out for the night result in completely different experiences.
Here are all the points to take into account when answering calls from leads and customers:
IVR. You’re likely already familiar with Interactive Voice Response systems. Now, think about whether your customers can benefit from a series of adaptable options before being connected to a representative.
Routing requirements. To crack your routing needs, consider if it matters that any given call is picked up by a specific person. There are two main ways to route calls:
Screenpop. This feature is a nice-to-have for agents, much like an appetizing garnish. When a call comes in, the system recognizes the customer phone number, then displays the customer’s information and history for the agent.
Call features. Your agents may need to be able to transfer calls, add a third participant and mute calls. Then, once a call is finished, consider whether you need to log the call disposition, meaning the outcome and status change resulting from the interaction.
Voicemail. Customers may occasionally want to leave a message. Some solutions allow customers to leave a voicemail in a general mailbox but not for specific agents. This would work great for an insurance firm. At a mortgage company, on the other hand, customers tend to have relationships with specific brokers and want to leave a voicemail for that person only.
You should also take callback functionality into account – it’s as crucial as muddling mint leaves in a Mojito. If a customer is leaving a voicemail message, it might make sense to give them an option to schedule a callback at a specific date and time. This minimizes the chances of them falling through the cracks.
Data dips. Imagine a customer calls their bank and is prompted to enter their credit card information. Once they do so, the system automatically cross-references and confirms that customer’s identity. This high-tech function of taking input on the phone and comparing with the Salesforce database is a data dip. It enhances personalization and speeds up customer service.
You may not need every single one of these features. It’s a matter of your personal appetite, like opting for a mixed drink topped with egg-white foam.
As mentioned previously, outbound calls are associated with sales. Agents need a reliable, methodical approach to contacting new leads.
Dialer. It all starts with a dialer tool, of which there are multiple types:
Next, consider whether your team is staying compliant when making outbound calls.
Compliance. You may need to set a maximum number of calls agents are allowed to make per day or overall. To stay compliant, you should also check numbers against the DNC, the global registry of do-not-call contacts. Lastly, if someone is not on the list but requests to be added, you will need to re-classify that phone number.
We talked about voicemail in the inbound context, when customers may want to leave a message. Of course, this tool is useful for sales, too.
Voicemail. There are two kinds of voicemails: auto and manual. These are as distinct as an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. An auto-voicemail drop is when the phone system automatically detects that the call went to the customer’s voicemail and leaves a message. When agents leave voicemails the old-fashioned way, that’s referred to as manual.
Additionally, your company can have multiple voicemail options; depending on the type of customer, the system will automatically leave the appropriate voicemail. This bonus feature is sure to delight, much like a fancy, colorful straw.
HVS. This tool allows you to create customized sales cadences. For instance, you can start with a phone call attempt. If the customer answers the phone, they receive an email message. If they don’t answer the call, the system will automatically send another type of email. These sequences could span multiple contact attempts across channels.
Note that apart from Salesforce’s native Lightning Dialer, none of the other systems integrate with HVS. You might make a phone call from another system, but it won’t register as a call attempt in the cadence.
Regardless of industry, this checklist is a great starting point when researching CTI providers. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions regarding both inbound and outbound functionality.
Our team has plentiful experiences helping clients set up a CTI integration with Salesforce. We won’t tell you what to order, but we’ll make sure you select something that leaves you wanting a second and third.