Managing your address book, juggling client data and attending to ongoing service matters or support issues can leave you wishing you had at least one extra pair of hands.
With telephone networks increasingly reliant on computer technology and the internet for their infrastructure, it only makes sense to port some of that work onto computers, as well.
Fortunately, there’s a software solution that can automate much of the misery, leaving you free to manage your contacts with a single click.
Click to Dial
Imagine seeing the caller’s name, contact information and notes relevant to your past dealings with them, when your phone rings – all displayed on your desktop computer screen. Then being able to answer the call by clicking on the contact name.
There’s a text box on the screen where you can make notes as the conversation progresses, and these observations can be passed on to other members of your team, for further action if necessary. And at the end of the call, you have a new entry in the journal created as a log for incoming calls.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
The above scenario is an example of computer telephony integration, or CTI. And there are plenty of others.
With CTI, it’s possible to create live links from phone numbers displayed on web pages, data forms, and in the text of email messages. Clicking on the telephone number might bring out a pop-up menu displaying the contact, with an option to dial – which you can accomplish with another mouse click.
CTI automation means it’s possible for an incoming call to be grabbed by a control sequence which can then pass on the caller ID or transaction records to another application, which could perform caller ID processing. And so on.
Computer telephony integration is at the heart of xtelsio CTI, a software client which enables PC-directed control of desktop phones and address book data.
The xtelsio CTI client supports existing address book data held in Lotus Notes, ODBC, Outlook Contacts, and the Microsoft Outlook Plug-in. Users can employ click-to-dial techniques to make calls out of any of these applications.
The software includes support for the Asterisk PBX driver, and also provides IP-based drivers for Gigaset DX, Yealink, snom, Mitel/Aastra, and Tiptel.
The xtelsio TAPI Driver for Asterisk™ provides on-click support for dialling and hanging up, and forwards caller and called ID information for incoming or outgoing calls on to TAPI applications over multiple lines, on one or more Asterisk systems. There’s a TAPI Driver for snom phones which incorporates a direct control mode, where you can initiate or accept calls in a “hands-free” mode.
Several of the software clients may be used in a PBX network environment with a TAPI driver, via the xtelsio CTI Server. The server runs under Windows XP, NT, 200x, Vista and both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7. It includes a server-based call journal feature, which is activated to log all calls when a client PC is switched off.
xtelsio CTI is available for trial download at the company’s website, where you’ll also find contact and pricing information. For users of PBX Hosting’s White Label Channel Partner Solution, the software offers automation and ease of use, to complement the existing features of the platform.
Integrating with PBX Partner Channel
The IP PBX Partner Channel is a White Label multi-tenant hosted PBX platform sold exclusively to the telecoms channel. It’s an enterprise PBX designed for network providers, telecoms companies and IT support companies.
Drawing on its relationship with other industry carriers, PBX Hosting is able to port both UK-wide geographic and non-geographic area codes for Partner Channel subscribers. This translates to portable numbers, for your customers; when they move their phone service to you, they can keep their existing numbers.
Number porting, customer PBXs, billing information, automated support ticketing, order DDIs, and allocation of Emergency Services Data all take place via the Partner Portal, a centralised resource based in the Cloud. Subscribers can brand flyers, banners, and other marketing materials to their own business, via their console access to the Portal.
It’s a hosted service, so the headache of configuring is passed on to PBX Hosting’s technicians, who will set up your inbound and outbound trunking, ensure that updates and patches are regularly shipped, and monitor security matters.
There’s an initial buy-in of 100 phone extensions, with the option to add more phone extensions or features as needed. And with the nuts-and-bolts technical stuff handled by PBX Hosting, you’re free to concentrate on giving your customers the level of service they expect.
This is where the benefits of CTI can truly be felt; 100 extensions can quickly build up quite the customer base. And that means caller/customer data and contact information soon piles up. To keep your call centres running smoothly – and to make each individual call the value-rich experience your customers expect – computer telephony integration is a valuable weapon in your arsenal.
Want to find out more about our partner program and xtelsio? Give us a call on 0207 0999 930 or email: email@example.com