An Application Programming Interface (API) permits two applications to speak to one another. APIs empower Unified Communication and Collaboration Platforms (UCCP). UCCPs bring forth information and functional accountability, allowing information to travel swiftly interdepartmentally.
One key function of UCCPs is messaging. Messaging APIs enable communication by many channels out of one interface. Messaging includes SMS, Social Media, Live Chat or Email. For customers, they’re able to reach the business in the most convenient and preferable way for them. Within the company, messaging connects teams on single issues in real time. As a customer, we expect the waving of a magic wand and a ‘poof’ resolution to appear. In reality, it takes a village. Let’s look at how a messaging API can benefit both the company and the customer experience.
Picture this: You ordered something online, only to be deflated, because what you received is much different than what you expected. You take time out of your busy schedule to message the brand, because there’s really no time for you to call. First, you send an email, and after not receiving a response for two days, you take to social media and notice the comment section isn’t heavily monitored. Finally, you look to message via social media and you see that the vendor typically replies within a few hours. You articulate your concern, include photos for impact and hit ‘send’.
Here’s what you don’t see or know: The brand has a small customer experience team and the longest waiting customer emailed over 12 days ago. Marketing is continuously promoting, yet there aren’t enough people to address comments. And, not to mention, the comment section is full of complaints; who wants to deal with that?. So, the team focuses on the customers who they perceive as less irate--those who message via social media. When you get your response, it reads, “Please send us an email so that we may further assist you.” You realize the reason for the short response time is because there’s no real resolution. This is the point when you’re ready to scream (literally).
When you receive messaging like this, it’s a clear indication that their UCCP strategy has failed and their APIs are lacking. Messaging APIs connect communication tools and provide you with one view of all engagements or messaging your customer has received or sent to you. In the example above, the message from the company would have read something like: “Thank you for letting us know about your issue. I saw your email sent on [date] and I apologize for the delay in our response. Check your email, as you’ll have a return shipping label sent to your inbox. If you’d like a replacement item, kindly respond to this message and I’ll get it shipped right away. Otherwise, if I do not hear back from you within 3 days, I’ll go on and issue a full refund.”
The message, along with notes captured on the communication can now be properly tagged, and the results will move to other impacted departments, such as:
- Product and/or Buying for direct feedback on what Customers are seeing and expecting versus what they’re receiving
- Marketing can be made aware that the photos are misleading and should be adjusted to better reflect reality
The contact queues can be reduced drastically as the inbound requests can be merged and satisfied. Ultimately, the right messaging API tool can reduce customer effort, improve employee experience and support operational efficiency by bringing down your cost per contact. Any practice that creates more satisfied customers and reduces cost is certainly worth implementing.
Well-built APIs allow businesses to add real-time communication functions to their systems in minutes, without having to build them from scratch. Programmable voice and messaging APIs make it easy to start engaging with your customers right away.
We’re finally in a place where we understand that businesses need a unified communications platform. BCaaS, or Business Communications as a Service, is a new term that ensures information flows from the user, to the front office, from front office to back office. With the right BCaaS platform, you can get a 360 degree view of your customer.
Companies have attempted to bring communications together through acquisition. But Edify is the only cloud-based platform, built from the ground up, that unites business communications in one place. Enhance your own apps or customize your communication systems to reach your audience where they want to connect, improving relationships with your customers. Click here to learn more.