It may seem like a complicated process, to integrate and deploy telephony with Salesforce, but generally it is not as time consuming as you’d expect. Outlined below are the key things to consider when implementing any Salesforce CTI project.

Managed Vs Non-Managed

First things first, you need to understand if your chosen provider offers you a managed or non-managed service and installation process. For example, at NewVoiceMedia we offer a completely managed package, meaning that except for granting us access to your Salesforce environment, which should be light work for your Salesforce administrator, we work with you to design and implement the solution. This means your involvement with the package is reduced to understanding your key requirements and being able to relay that to us.

If you chose a non-managed service provider, you will need to understand more about your exact requirements and configuration. But don’t worry, this guide will illuminate all the key facets of any project and give you a great platform to work from.


Provisioning

The fundamental starting point of any project involving telephony, knowing the telephone numbers you need or want and how to make sure it is all set up and available for your chosen provider to work with.

This may be included as part of your managed package (if you have one), but if not, draw up a list of all your numbers and/or the ones you want and ensure your provider can use them or route incoming traffic/phone calls from them.


Understand your technical requirements

The next step is understanding your technical requirements. You must ensure the network is capable of handling the increase in traffic as your voice channel moves to IP.

What type of interaction will your chosen cloud provider have with your existing telephony and infrastructure? Will it overlay it (like NewVoiceMedia) and be completely system agnostic, or does it require extra downloads, patches or integration work? This could be costly and a potential managerial headache. So, make sure you know upfront what you are getting from your supplier.

You will need to involve your IT or network teams at this step and test the stability and quality of your network too, making improvements where necessary. NewVoiceMedia conducts a Site Readiness Survey (SRS) for all of our customers to ensure we deliver the level of quality and excellence expected.


Access

With any technology and implementation, there will be different groups of people needing different levels of access and different features. Once you know that your network is ready to accept a cloud communications network, and your telephony has been provisioned, you need to think long and hard about your access rights.

Who needs access to what data and when? What features will your telemarketing team need versus those of your middle and senior managers? Who is going to operate as an administrator for your solution? These are all questions that need answers. Some careful planning ahead of any Salesforce CTI project will help smooth the implementation process.

It is important to consider the level of integration and access to data that your Salesforce CTI vendor will need to work. What type of data will they be pushing back in to your Salesforce? It’s worth considering ahead of making a decision.


Routing and solution design

Now that you understand who has access to what and what everyone’s roles will be, you can start to map out your routing and solution design. This stage can be as complicated or as simple as you need it to be; it really depends on the number of use cases you anticipate or require as a business.

Think about all the different reasons that your customers contact you, and then consider how you would want each of those calls to be treated as a starting point. From here, you can start to consider contextual circumstances and exemptions that mean your customers are handled differently. For example, a VIP customer may be priority routed, or a customer with an outstanding balance may be transferred directly to collections rather than their account manager.


IVR Options & Call Prompts

A major benefit of a cloud based CTI platform for Salesforce is the introduction of intelligent IVRs. By connecting your communications platform with your data inside Salesforce you can start to offer your customers personalised IVR options based on anything that you know about that person.

This opens the door for some clever and dynamic menus. So, start thinking about how you might be able to apply these to help your customers get what they need faster. Don’t worry about being perfect first time; the beauty of cloud is that making changes is fast and simple.

Finally, consider the style of those messages you want to deliver to your customers, are they going to be professional or recorded internally? Think about how you want to reflect your brand, and then make those decisions accordingly. A personal and friendly tone may work for some but not for others. Find the right balance for you.


Reporting

Salesforce CTI technology effectively plugs all your communications data into Salesforce, allowing for some pretty smart reporting. With such a wealth of data and reports now available, you need to think about how you are going to extract the data you need from your new platform in a way that is meaningful.

This all comes back to the roles and access you assigned earlier: who needs which reports and dashboards? Work with your provider to help build out your reporting where possible or at least draw on their expertise to help you create some yourselves.


Testing

Ensuring that everything is implemented correctly and works as expected is a vital part of any project. Don’t skip or skimp on this stage; make sure you get what you were expecting and that it works as specified in your design phase.

All Salesforce CTI suppliers should go through a rigorous testing phase, and you should absolutely push back on them if anything doesn’t work as stated.


Training

The technology is only as good as the user. So, book in plenty of training time to get the best return on your investment. Think about setting up more targeted and specific sessions with fewer attendees so your staff can get quality time with the product expert to run through their typical day-to-day usage.

It is worth booking and paying for more sessions than you immediately need, because there is no doubt that people will need refreshers, and new starters will need a crash course in time.


Support

Finally, your support requirements. Your contractual agreement with your supplier will no doubt factor into your support – usually tiered depending on your expenditure. Think about what you will realistically need, and pick the service level that will best suit your requirements. Picking support based on the costs associated with it can be a slippery slope.

Think about your support logically, are you likely to need hand-holding when you start or do you think you can be up and running quickly? What will your ongoing requirements be? For example, are you growing rapidly and taking on many new staff? What type of impact do you anticipate this to have on your support needs?

As things can move rapidly, pick one for you that will still work in a few months or years.

Is this technology limited to a service environment that just receives calls or can it be used elsewhere? What is the difference between the two, if so?
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