Table of contents
What are CTI screen pops? Oh, just a customer service agent’s secret weapon for personalizing their conversations and delivering ultra-fast service.
Among the many acronyms used in the world of call centers–IVR, ACD, WFO, the list goes on–CTI is one we can’t afford to overlook. It stands for Computer Telephony Integration, and it describes the interaction between phones and computers. Why is this important? It’s because there are so many different use cases for CTI within the contact center space, including:
- Call routing
- Voice recording
- Automatic dialing
- And, the topic of today’s post, screen pops
In this blog post, we’re going to take a deeper look at screen pops, one of the most fundamental and valuable features enabled by the right CTI integration with your CRM system.
We’ll look at what CTI-enabled screen pops are, their many benefits, and what you’ll want to do and see when implementing your own.
Now, we know screen pops seem like old news. Who hasn’t heard of a screen pop by this point? But once upon a time, screen pops were the hot new innovation on the block. And in today’s modern call center environment, screen pops are more important than ever for agents, and customers too. It seems like everything these days is about elevating the customer experience, and screen pops help to do just that.
That’s why this post focuses not only on what screen pops are in today’s contact center world, we also talk about why you should use them—and how to use them in the most innovative ways possible.
What is CTI/IVR technology?
Before we get to screen pops, we should first discuss their parent technologies: CTI and IVR.
As we mentioned above, CTI stands for computer telephony integration. It enables computers to carry out phone functions like outbound dialing, answering and distributing inbound calls, and transmitting data. This might not sound like a big deal today–after all, most of us have a phone-computer hybrid in one hand at all times. When it was first introduced, however, CTI was revolutionary and opened up a new world of possibilities for business automation.
Now on to IVR. It stands for interactive voice response, and it’s a technology that enables people to interact with computers using their voice. If you have any type of virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri, IVR is what allows you to communicate with it.
Put the two together and you have a customer communication powerhouse for call centers. With CTI/IVR call center technology, a caller can respond to a prompt using their spoken voice and a computer on the other end of the line can decide what to do with the information, whether that’s pointing them to an automated tool, connecting them to a live agent, asking for more information, or another suitable option.
What’s a screen pop?
As we mentioned above, in today’s contact center environment, when people talk about CTI technology, they’re often talking about screen pops.
Simply put, a screen pop describes caller information that’s populated on an agent’s screen during the handling of a call. This goes for both inbound and outbound calls.
Screen pops give agents an instant look at a caller’s history, last agent spoken to, ticket number, payment history, account balance, and more. During calls or even after, agents can use screen pops to make live notes and updates, as well as edit customer data and information.
Picture your most recent “unfortunate” customer service call. Without CTI-enabled screen pops on the end of the other line, you were likely forced to repeat all your same information to a live agent, even after going through an IVR. Nobody wants this—not the agent and certainly not you.
With CTI-enabled screen pops, however, your experience would’ve been much different. The info collected by the IVR would be integrated with your data from a CRM. The agent would see all of the data you entered into the IVR, as well as your entire relevant customer info. It’s smooth sailing from the moment you’re connected with a live agent.
Ultimately, screen pops are about empowering agents and satisfying customers by improving interactions and first-call resolution rates.
Why use screen pops?
CTI-enabled screen pops offer a range of benefits when seamlessly integrated with your CRM system.
Increase agent productivity
Agents can immediately find the information they’re looking for without having to search for pertinent data.
Screen pops also give agents a single user interface they can use to handle a call, take notes, and view customer data all on a single screen. This means they don’t have to search through multiple screens to find information or make edits, simplifying the process for agents and saving time for agents and customers both.
Elevate the customer experience
When agents can personalize calls with customers, anticipate needs, and provide faster call resolutions, everyone is happier—especially the customers themselves.
We especially enjoy it when a customer service agent can recognize us and greet us by name. Thank you, screen pops. You help us feel at ease right from the start of the call.
And during the call, screen pops can help the agent recognize that we’ve been a customer for many years, and help to make sure we’re speaking to the appropriate agent or department.
Even after the call, screen pops would allow the agent to take notes about our conversation, such as our potential interest in upgrading my current credit to the next level up.
If your agents have the relevant information they need to tailor their conversations with customers and make their pitches or scripts that much more effective, they’ll be that much more likely to convert.
Screen pops enable agents to better manage leads and campaigns. Why? Because agents suddenly have access to relevant data from call histories, as well as the customer profile, along with other key information. They can use this information to focus their calls, personalize their conversations, and improve their conversion/resolution rates.
Benefits of Screen Pops
It’s clear there’s a lot to gain from choosing a call center software that supports CTI screen pops. Here are a few more benefits.
Nobody likes to be on the line with customer support, even when that support is exceptional. Modern consumers are busy people and there are a million other things they’d rather be doing than pressing zero to reach an agent. Screen pops can shave off a significant amount of time that’s typically spent asking the customer for their identifying information, waiting for them to track down their account number, and so on.
Consistent cross-channel experiences
Though we usually talk about screen pops in the context of voice calls, that’s not the only place they’re useful. Screen pops can deliver relevant information on any support channel, like live chat. This ensures your excellent customer experience extends beyond phone support and is consistent across all your communication platforms.
Add a human touch
Though there’s no denying IVR is highly useful, using it can often feel cold and robotic. Screen pops enable personalization (like the use of the customer’s name) that makes the conversation feel a little more human.
Less agent frustration
Inadequate technology accounts for a significant portion of agent frustration, and frustrated agents aren’t great ambassadors of your brand. Screen pops give them the information they need without any additional effort on their part, which is a big step toward a more amicable call.
How should you do screen pops?
For both inbound and outbound screen pops, here are some things to keep in mind.
Tips for effective user experience
Notifications are great.
But just like your smartphone, too many notifications on an agent’s screen aren’t helpful, it’s distracting. So make sure your screen pops are right-sized and not intrusive to the agent experience.
Web browser compatibility
You need to make sure that your CTI works with the web browser of choice for your contact center. That’s just 101-level stuff.
For instance, there haven’t been issues with Internet Explorer compatibility.
Don’t let screen pops be the only way agents can recognize an incoming call, because if they’re not looking at the screen, then what? Calls can get lost in the shuffle that way.
Instead, make sure you have another way to ping agents to let them know inbound calls are coming.
Tailor for the task at hand
Empower agents to identify customers right away by giving them an enriched agent desktop that includes a unified view of the customer.
Upon connection with a customer, via screen pops, agents can be automatically presented with the customer’s account info, full interaction history, service ticket status, and so much more.
These screen pops can be tailored by the agent’s current task at hand, derived from customer inputs through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, assigned to the agent’s appropriate skill level—you name it, a screen pop can probably be displayed for it.
What about the cloud?
Glad you asked.
In today’s contact center environment, the shift to the cloud enables new capabilities for the power of screen pops.
By moving to the cloud, you open up the possibility of different systems connecting through APIs, meaning there’s no need for complex or deep integration. For example, you could integrate real-time customer account information into a screen pop so agents can tailor the conversation appropriately.
And cloud technology removes the need for on-premises hardware, translating into short-term and long-term cost savings for your business.
At LiveVox, the handling of screen pops using our CTI software is just one of the many features included with our Voice solutions.
Thanks for joining us in this deeper dive into CTI and screen pops. We hope you found this article as helpful and informative as you want every screen pop to be.
In a call center, a CTI screen pop is a window that automatically appears on an agent’s screen during an incoming call. It displays relevant details like the caller’s name and previous support record.
CTI stands for computer telephony integration. It’s the technology that enables computers to carry out phone functions like outbound dialing, answering and distributing inbound calls, and transmitting data.
Pop refers to an automated window that “pops” onto an agent’s computer screen during a call. It gives them customer information and relevant context, like the customer’s purchasing history or previous support interactions.