The digital transformation has been a revolution in every sense. It has brought many challenges, but it has also brought advances that make our daily lives easier. It has enabled individuals and organizations to access thousands of applications and interfaces to simplify their routines and processes.
There is a technology, which you may have heard about years ago but don’t know what it stands for: API. This acronym stands for Application Programming Interface and allows us to integrate our systems with other third-party systems to streamline communication between software applications according to a series of rules. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Don’t worry, read on and we’ll explain it to you.
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a set of computer functions and protocols that allow developers to create and integrate specific programmes for databases, operating systems, online platforms or social networks. In simplified terms, we can say that API is the interface that facilitates communication between different programs.
We could say, therefore, that an API works as a bridge that allows us to connect different types of software or applications and, in addition, it can be created in several programming languages. Its main purpose is to save time and money by optimising processes.
APIs and cloud communications
Traditionally, adding communication functions to applications was a huge investment in both time and money. Now, however, thanks to an API, a company’s developers can incorporate different channels, significantly reducing the time required to do so.
But how? Well, many vendors provide access to an API reference code so that the contracting company’s developers can work and add extra functionality to their applications. It allows applications to be improved in an easy and simple way.
Nowadays, technological progress has given rise to the existence of a multitude of communication channels that enable interaction between companies and their customers. Offering different channels for your customers and potential customers to communicate with you is key to show an image of a committed company. The aim is to make the contact process easier for them and, therefore, to offer them a quality service. In fact, all companies that want to make the customer experience an element of differentiation offer a wide variety of contact options. This is why the use of APIs is perfect for both augmenting these channels and facilitating the process.
Faced with this wide variety of communication channels, different tools have been created to help companies with their management in order to improve their productivity and achieve maximum efficiency. We highlight virtual PBXs, which is a communications system in the cloud that allows total control over internal and external communications, whether by voice, chat or video. This type of tool has a wide variety of functionalities, which are normally implemented through APIs. Some examples are:
- Integration with your CRM
Combining a CRM with your communications system will allow you to record all your customer information in one place. The interconnection of your tools makes it possible to access the customer’s file directly from the call and consult all the interactions that have taken place with them. In addition, you will always know where the calls come from.
This means that your agents will provide faster and more efficient service by knowing and being able to complete the customer’s information while talking to them on the phone.
- Integration of a payment system
Thanks to an API, you can connect your communication solution with a telephone payment system. It has a PCI security system and no human intervention, so transactions are completely secure. The implementation of this service will allow you to save on operation costs and your agents will be able to focus on other issues such as answering other calls. Everything happens in the cloud, so you don’t need any installation or extra equipment.
Finally, it is an automatic and completely secure system, so your customers will have greater confidence when making payments to your company with a credit card.
- WhatsApp integration
Offer another channel of communication to your customers by adding WhatsApp. Communicate with your customers around the world in a simple way and enjoy the benefits of chat communication with the control of WhatsApp Business API.
Its implementation allows you to offer instant customer service and the possibility of sharing messages, documents and multimedia files with your customers. These functionalities allow you to perform actions such as, for example, claiming unpaid bills and invoices to your customers, ensuring that they receive the message and offering them a convenient and simple response channel. You can also keep them informed of new developments at any time.
It is essential to highlight the importance of the fact that nowadays everything is stored in the cloud so that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and this is also true of communications systems. Thanks to this type of tool, such as the virtual PBX, which we have just discussed, or call center software, you will have access from anywhere with just a device with an internet connection. In order to enjoy the advantages of using APIs in your communications system, it must be located in the cloud.
Advantages of using an API in your communication system
- Saving time and money
The use of APIs in a communication system makes it possible to implement powerful new functions in customer-facing applications much more quickly and efficiently than they could if they had to develop those capabilities using their internal resources.
They also save time, as there is no need for the complex developments required for integrations. So your agents can focus their energies on more challenging projects and initiatives that will boost your company and put it ahead of your competition.
On the other hand, they are also more cost-effective because it is no longer necessary to incorporate teams of in-house developers with advanced knowledge to connect business interfaces and applications to our communication system, and therefore we no longer have to bear the cost of such services today.
- Task automation
Your agents will be able to focus on more priority tasks thanks to the automation of other tasks. For example, as everything is connected, after receiving the interaction you will not have to register it as it will automatically be reflected in the customer’s file, allowing you to have total control over all the company’s processes. Thanks to automation, your business processes are optimized and a better service is offered to your customers.
- They favor innovation
APIs provide flexibility and reduce barriers to innovation, thus facilitating the arrival of new strategies and ideas. As a result, they are essential for digital transformation and for the creation and development of innovative business models.
- Improve the user experience
By relying on APIs, you can make your employees more efficient by optimizing your organization’s operations through automation. This leads to an improvement in the experience of employees, customers and thus the overall CX of the corporation.
Find out more about APIs and cloud communications with Fonvirtual. Contact us and we’ll show you how to get the most out of your communications system and maximize the power of your service!