Where to start with Salesforce CTI implementations?

Salesforce CTI with Amazon Connect

Companies regularly ask how they may integrate incoming calls with Salesforce.  The don’t always look for a complete omnichannel approach yet. But they search for a solution to get customers connected with the right agent and ensuring that the agent has the correct information displayed.

So these are talks about how starting off with such an integration.  And basically the customer has some infrastructure, starts or is in an ongoing project for implementing Salesforce Service cloud, and needs information about the options for integrating.

Computer Telephony Integration

But first, what is CTI again… In one of my recent calls, we were talking about integrating Microsoft Teams with Salesforce.

Telephony integration

The process would be as follows:

  • The agent answers the call in Teams
  • Teams makes a call to Salesforce and
  • Shows the Salesforce browser session inside Teams (or perhaps in a separate browser window).

Initial question: ‘Is this Computer Telephony Integration?‘.  There is an incoming call and Salesforce gets queried to show data on the screen. So, yes. This is CTI. Is it optimal?  No, there are better possible integrations.

But the question for you is: What do you want to achieve?  What are your expectations?

CTI – Basic questions to start with

So, those are the first questions to ask! Do you expect to have a full-fledged implementation?  Or do you want to get a plain-and-simple solution?

What do you expect…? That’s where the conversation should start from.

Depending on the answer to this question, there are different routes.

For instance:

  • We have an Avaya platform, we have our IVR running on it and we want to continue using it. Well, Avaya has AppExchange solutions to integrate with Salesforce.  So you will be able to answer incoming calls in the Lightning (or Classic) Service Console.  That’s good.  What you won’t have is integrated reporting.  When you want combined reporting on Call data and Case data then you will have to find a way to link these data together.  For instance, if you want to know how many (incoming and outgoing) calls it took to get a Case resolved, then you will have to link the Call ID (Avaya) with the Case ID (Salesforce)
  • We use Microsoft Teams, are we able to use Salesforce and Teams together? Yes, there are solutions that make that integration.  But mostly this integration is done ‘on the desktop‘.  Meaning…the agent answers the call in Teams and at that moment a query gets done (from within Teams) to retrieve and open the Salesforce record.  So there’s no record displayed when the call is answered, but it takes a few seconds to show the information in Salesforce

Also read:

 

Service Cloud Voice

When you already use Salesforce, and just embark with Computer Telephony Integration, then Salesforce Service Cloud Voice would be your first choice.  It allows to use the out-of-the-box Omni-Channel widget to answer (and make) calls in Salesforce.  At this point in time, Service Cloud Voice is the most integrated CTI solution with Salesforce.

If you already make use of an IVR and ACD solution in your organisation, then it should be evaluated how much integration you expect, and what timing you have in mind.  If chose to use your existing PABX, then you will most probably use their AppExchange package to integrate with Salesforce. In this scenario, know that Salesforce won’t update the OpenCTI API any further.  Your supplier will have to update their AppExchange solution to ensure they use the new integration that has been setup with Service Cloud Voice.

Next steps

As you see here above, CTI comes in different flavors. It’s an abbreviation that covers much more than only Telephony integration.  And CTI means different things for different people.

Do you have a clear view on what you want to achieve?  Great!

Do you need clarifications and/or assistance?  Fill in our contact form.