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Call management is a software-based application that monitors all calls within an organisation and provides management reports to show where costs can be attributed. Most call management systems have a standard set of management reports that can be generated as well as the ability to use ‘wizards’ to construct bespoke reports directly linked to individual company business processes. Modern call management systems provide greater functionality and can measure a complete set of business parameters, for example, time to answer, most frequently dialled numbers and missed calls.
Why have it?
The resultant management reports generated by call management applications have a wider range of business use. From checking call bills with your network operator, generating a list of top dialled destinations through to monitoring abuse of your telephone system. Call management systems can determine if you have too few lines to answer your customer calls (missed business) as well as the time taken to answer calls – too long and you miss even more business. Want to measure the productivity of one sales team against another or check that you are spending too much time on the phone to low value customers? Then call management is for you.
CTI stands for Computer Telephony Integration, the joining together of computer applications with your telephone system. There are many CTI applications; the linking of a customer database to your phone system will provide you with the instant information about who is calling you on a PC screen. This basic application has become known as ‘screen popping’. Beyond this more sophisticated products will address call and contact centre management, telesales scripting, call recording and retrieval, voicemail, and unified messaging. Web based CTI applications that offer a sales or service based interface with your organisation with ‘click to call’ facilities can also be linked to your communications systems.
Why have it?
CTI provides a great deal of automation and can enhance business processes. Research has shown that ‘screen popping’ can increase the number of callers handled in a given time dramatically by having all the information you want to hand at the time you take the call. Call and contact centres are pretty useless without CTI applications routing the calls to the right destination and providing the ‘cradle to grave’ management reporting on how your company handled each call. Likewise, other application addresses at this web site, unified messaging, call recording, call management etc, function entirely through CTI.
The ability to record telephone conversations for later playback and analysis. This encompasses recording both ends of a telephone call for incoming, outgoing, internal and conference calls. Conversations are recorded to a storage medium, often a hard disc on a local PC, or network device. Key features would include a fast search facility to track down recordings for playback – this is essential for practical use and the more sophisticated systems would additionally use text to speech recognition to search out the recordings. Voice recording files are often recorded in Windows wav file format that makes them easier to use in an organisation.
Why have it?
There are may uses that voice recording can be put to, including some applications where the ability to record conversations is becoming mandatory. In the main this essential use would apply to public liability sectors, for example, fire, police, ambulance, where there is a need to check back on events that may involve life or death situations. Outside of this the biggest user of call recording systems in recent years is the call centre market. There are two significant drivers. Firstly, all recordings can be used to train call centre agents. Recordings can be played back and measured against a training score sheet (an application often built in to many call recording systems). Secondly, where call centres are conducting financial transactions there is a need to verify agreements made over the phone in the case of a later dispute.