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Telecom APIs Power the Modern Business


By Darach Beirne, Vice President of Customer Success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado

New technologies have propelled digital transformation forward, while changing customer preferences have created competitive landscapes for business communications that can shift unexpectedly. Companies that are nimble and adaptable ultimately come out on top, with their ability to embrace change and act quickly.

Savvy business leaders understand that they can navigate change by monitoring customer preferences and market conditions. As they do, they can flexibly readjust strategies as these moving parts shift over time. We've seen businesses be flexible in response to an increase in omnichannel presence, as well as broad transitions to hybrid or fully remote work. To support these evolutions, companies have relied heavily on digital tools and resources, especially cloud-based communication tools.

Cloud-based communication and telecom solutions have supported connection, customer support and collaboration - vital capabilities during the economic changes of the past year. In today's environment, the majority of IT decision makers consider application programming interfaces (APIs) vital tools for elevating customer experiences and meeting the ever-changing demands of business. By powering the communication between software, APIs enable disparate data and functions to be combined, creating rich user experiences and facilitating process automation. 

Telecom APIs specifically enable businesses to integrate existing processes with telecom capabilities like calling, messaging and video conferencing. They also support back-end features such as number porting and secure call detail records. Telecom APIs help businesses remain agile and resilient with their communication deployments and are critical tools in enabling businesses to secure ROI on their telecom investments as customer expectations and market dynamics evolve. Outlined below are three ways that businesses can utilize telecom APIs to help them modernize their operations.

Support SMS/MMS Capabilities

Text messaging - including short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) - enables businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors by utilizing a less saturated communication channel that directly reaches the customer. The benefits of MMS and SMS communications are applicable across almost all industries because they provide simple, fast and direct methods for interaction. Whether it's banking, hospitality, healthcare or finance, almost any industry and business can benefit from using texting as a form of outreach and engagement with customers.

Some examples include appointment reminders for doctors and other healthcare providers and prescription refills. Appointment reminders don't have to just be in the medical field either. Reminders can be used for a hair appointment, a meeting with a financial advisor, or any number of appointments and meetings.  There are also marketing outreach examples for selling products like insurance. Businesses may have customers who have bought homeowners insurance, and the business might want to remind them to renew their policy. Other examples include big box stores that can set up awards programs and send messages to get customers through the door. SMS and MMS help businesses maximize resource investment by facilitating real-time communication. Companies can increase engagement with customers and make sure teams are being utilized properly.

Strengthen Customer Service

Not all customers are comfortable with the same communication platforms. Some users prefer to speak with a customer support representative on the phone, while others would prefer to send and receive messages with text updates from pharmacies, grocery delivery services and even their doctor's office. The nimble structure of telecom APIs provide agility and enhancement of traditional telephony services that let businesses put the control in their customers' hands. The combination of these elements delivers personalized experiences many customers' desire, which directly corelates with improved experiences and satisfaction.

As the desire for a streamlined omnichannel experience grows among businesses and customers, telecom APIs also enable the creation of contextual communication experiences. Contextual communication aids in further personalization of interactions, as well as speedier and higher quality service. For example, interactions stemming from a telecom API will provide the business with full control and management of the records correspond with the phone number. This record helps the organization keep track of past customer communications, so that if the customer calls or messages the company again, the customer support representative can review the history of the engagement and then provide more intentional service without having to ask questions or go back to the carrier for support to get themselves up to speed on the customer's needs.

Easily Provision Numbers

Switching a phone number from one phone carrier to another can seem complicated. Telecom APIs bear much of the burden, enabling a smooth porting process for both the company and new carrier. For example, number porting APIs can help businesses support remote workforces. In addition, companies can easily upgrade business communications providers without the expense and hassle of having to notify customers of a number change and risk loss of business.

APIs also give businesses flexibility to adjust marketing and advertising campaigns based on their success rates or in response to market changes. For instance, if a company is using a phone number to track lead generation from a campaign in a specific geographic location and finds that it's generating fewer leads than other areas, they can transfer the phone number to an alternate location. Likewise, if an ad has ceased generating customer inquiries, the business can repurpose the phone number for that campaign by transferring it to a new one. These capabilities offer control over telecom resources, but also cost savings through resource scaling.

Telecom APIs provide a simple way for businesses to adjust in the wake of sudden changes and emerge as competitive, modern leaders. APIs are the gateway to providing reliable, flexible and scalable voice and messaging solutions for customers. Utilizing APIs now will help to distinguish competitive advantage in the long run and will, in turn, provide customers with advanced capabilities. As businesses embrace telecom APIs, they will see a lasting positive impact to both revenue growth and customer satisfaction rates.



Darach Beirne 

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.

Published Friday, April 09, 2021 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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