Phone Systems Buyer's Guide
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and other advanced features
Table of Contents
- Introduction to small business phone systems
- Types of commercial phone systems
- Sizing office phone systems
- Features of office telephone systems
- Advanced corporate phone systems features
- Choosing office phone dealers
- Office phone systems pricing
- Phone system buying tips
- Find a Business Phone Systems supplier
For companies who make more extensive use of their phone system, modern corporate phone systems can offer some significant benefits.
Automatic call forwarding, also known as "follow me anywhere," helps both your employees and your callers. By routing incoming calls to wherever your employees are--whether on the road, working at home, or at a remote location--automatic forwarding increases the likelihood that callers reach the person they need. There's no need for callers to make a second or third call and your employees avoid returning to an overflowing voicemail box.
Call convergence enables your corporate phone system to handle phone calls, voice mail, e-mail, instant messages, video conferences, faxes and other types of communication.
Computer telephony integration (CTI) covers a wide range of applications that connect your computers to your corporate phone system. One example is one-click dialing for outbound call centers. Employees can use their contact management applications to place calls without manually dialing the number, thereby reducing errors and time per call.
Other CTI applications handle incoming calls. Inbound cals can be identified by caller ID and routed to the correct representative before they are even answered. Then callers' account information can be displayed automatically when an employee picks up.
CTI applications are usually sold separately from phone systems. If you are interested, you should investigate various CTI application options then make sure the corporate phone system you choose will be compatible. Most high-end corporate phone systems are CTI-ready.
For businesses with the highest call volumes, automatic call distribution (ACD) can really increase productivity. ACD manages incoming calls to maximize efficiency and reduce call answer times. It also tracks per-call and per-employee statistics, allowing you to improve your call center's responsiveness. While ACD is extremely valuable for large call centers, most small businesses probably will not see much advantage to it. Read on for more information about office telephone system features.