Your business phone system can work seamlessly with many of the cloud-based business applications you already use…. What’s next?
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) aren’t new, but the ability for systems to communicate seamlessly has had a huge impact on Unified Communications over the past 24 months. Traditional Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions are almost legacy technology at this point and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is the next conversation. We can now help clients extend their communication strategy beyond the edge of their organization to customers, patients, and members, allowing them to communicate and do business on their terms. This is where the next generation of technology is focusing.
What APIs are Doing Now
Communication is becoming a platform conversation for most organizations. Customers aren’t replacing legacy technology, like an old phone system, with soon to be legacy technology. They want the future. The initial win for clients transitioning from the legacy world to a cloud-based solution is the out-of-the-box API integration capability. Integrations like Client Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, ticketing systems, and collaboration tools provide a better experience for both internal and external users.
These API integrations proactively provide users with contextual information in real time to increase user efficiency. Suddenly, you’re in a world where you call into an organization you do business with for assistance. The representative greets you by name because the screen pop-up notified them who was calling. They have your full client history in front of them – the tickets you’ve submitted, what you needed during your last interaction, and who assisted you during the process. You were likely routed back to the same agent you’d spoken with in the past for consistency. The result is a better experience, cutting a ten-minute conversation down to three minutes, and likely resolving your issue on the first call. You didn’t have to call back and they didn’t have to follow up. The integration drove significant productivity and efficiency into the organization and left everybody satisfied on both ends of the interaction.
Next Steps with API Integrations
A customer is more likely to buy more from you, to recommend you, and to remain your client when they have a great experience. It gives them confidence in the overall organization. Once you get started, there is a whole world of more advanced and custom capabilities you can build as you identify additional platforms or integrable APIs to take the customer experience to the next level.
Victoria Nguyen, ARG Cloud Adoption Specialist, has been involved in hundreds of integrations and is a strong proponent of the benefits of an API economy. “Integrating all interactions with a company into one seamless customer experience builds trust and improves the relationship, which, in turn, improves retention,” says Ms. Nguyen. “APIs allow you to access your own internal systems and to leverage technology and supplemental data that is open to the public (e.g. Google assets and public databases such as government records, contracts, or real estate listings). Improved data provides a more complete view of the customer’s needs and wants, which enables a more personalized and intentional experience,” she continues.
The possibilities are endless when you can tie communications into other solutions. When you’re ready to make the leap, incorporating mobile applications and geofencing capabilities into your communications strategy enables you to customize the experience based on your client’s location. For example, a solution for a restaurant chain can identify when a customer who placed a mobile order is approaching the restaurant. It notifies the kitchen line so that they can cook the french fries at the right time to ensure they are hot and fresh when the customer walks in the door. These types of tools can elevate your brand above companies doing business the traditional way.
Customer Experience is the new Battleground
Every organization is competing for clients, for money, members or donors. Whatever you sell or promote there are other organizations, possibly hundreds of organizations, that do the same thing. Technology delivers a seamless communication experience in our personal lives, so naturally people expect a company they do business with to leverage technology to deliver the same level of convenience. Consumers are more educated and tech savvy now than ever before.
In the past, we had a larger percentage of the population that didn’t embrace technology. Now, grandparents are texting and are on social platforms. This confluence of technology across generations is creating a renaissance for communications platforms. We’ve gone beyond phone calls and video calls to affecting end customers, driving more sales, stopping attrition and innovating to crush the competition. That’s what APIs and communications platforms converge to create. The smart companies are taking advantage of that. The ones who can’t adapt are going to die.
If you’d like help leveraging APIs and communications platforms for your organization, there is no charge to engage ARG. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below to schedule an initial meeting.