This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Darach Beirne, Vice President of Customer Success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado
In today’s world, there are myriad challenges and hurdles that business leaders must overcome, especially as the economy recovers from the disruption during 2020. Over the previous 12 months, businesses have leaned heavily on digital tools and resources to continue operating in a distanced, contactless environment. Among the many digital trends that have emerged, an increased reliance on cloud-based tools has become more prevalent.
Now, many businesses are beginning their second year of cloud technology investment and they are likely looking to deepen the impact of their tools and continue forging the path toward sustained growth and success. Along with their current resources comes an opportunity to expand their toolkit. There are a few technologies that can seamlessly integrate with many IT tools while unlocking new ways to deliver better customer experiences and more streamlined operations. One of the most powerful and simple options is Application Program Interfaces (APIs).
For companies that want to scale and become more resilient, APIs can be the key to reaching these goals. APIs integrate new telecom capabilities with existing functionalities, such as calling, messaging and video chat and even number porting or securing records of call details.
APIs offer the opportunity for companies to become more agile and resilient along with a way to expand their communications offerings to meet the changing expectations of their customers and shifting market economics. Businesses can make the most of their telecom resources using APIs in three critical ways.
Flexibility with number porting
Being able to adjust communications and quickly shift when the market changes has become an essential component of success in today’s world. Flexibility has become an indispensable asset, and telecom APIs can help organizations grow in this area. Number porting APIs, for example, make it easier for companies to move phone numbers when they change providers. Or, if a specific channel is being used more or less frequently, the business can easily scale it to match demand using an API.
APIs also prove to be useful with other campaigns as well. If an ad campaign isn’t generating more customer inquiries, the business can take the phone number from the ad and repurpose it. Telecom APIs make it simple and easy for a business to adjust in the wake of sudden changes—a valuable quality for staying afloat in today’s market.
Enabling SMS/MMS messaging
SMS and MMS communications is becoming a more widely-used tool for customer engagement. Data show that consumers prefer texting over other methods, with 85% of people with smartphones stating a preference for SMS or MMS communication instead of email. Not only that, but nine out of 10 of people will read a text message within three minutes of receiving it and reply within 90 seconds. As consumers demand faster communications methods, texting is one of the best ways to deliver on that preference.
For organizations that have already included texting on their roster of interaction options, the next step to adding value is to utilize APIs. Messaging APIs bring the prospect of creating intelligent SMS or MMS engagement and merge these with their current services. For instance, a salon can use an API to send appointment reminders via text that include a link for customers to confirm their appointment right from their smartphone. The modern business climate demands that organizations meet customers where they are, and messaging APIs can help them do just that.
Building call detail records
Telecom APIs have the power to help business leaders provide customers with better service that’s data driven. For example, calls taken through a telecom API will generate a call detail record (CDR) that’s tied to the specific phone number. Using the CDR, companies can have a record of previous communications with that customer. If that person contacts the company in the future through phone or text, the customer support team member will be able to see a historical record of engagement and be able to offer speedier service that’s driven by context.
On a broader scale, organizations can also use CDRs to help them take more informed operational action. CDR data like call volume or originating location gives businesses the chance to ensure their customer support operations and staffing are set up to meet current needs. The data can also serve as a record for planning purposes as trends or cycles emerge. Since many workforces remain distributed, CDRs allow businesses to ensure their customer service is still meeting customers’ needs in addition to providing a better overall experience for the customer.
Telecom APIs have the potential to help businesses gain firm footing in the market while providing them with the tools they need to build a successful future. Using telecom APIs, companies can become more flexible, meet their customers where they are and gain valuable insights that will help them deliver even better experiences down the line.
About the Author
Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. With more than 25 years of experience building and leading B2B customer success, Darach leads Flowroute’s dedicated customer support team, driving strategy for customer success and improved customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Flowroute, Darach lead professional service and sales engineering teams for providers such as Contenix, Huawei/3Leafsytems, InQuira, Siebel/Scopus and Ingres. He also has assisted high-tech companies develop strategies to improve the customer experience and increase scalability.
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