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Telecom APIs: A Key IT Tool to Scale Services and Improve Customer Experiences

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telecom apis
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Enterprise communications have shifted significantly in recent years. In response, businesses are searching for new technologies like cloud-based tools to stay on the cutting edge and improve their operations. One key cloud-based tool is telecom Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Telecom APIs allow companies to add communication capabilities to existing processes, which can result in streamlined workflows and enhanced customer experiences and engagement.

APIs are a helpful tool for programmers for developing software or promoting interactions between two systems. APIs can be used in numerous ways and are a powerful way to deliver scalability and adaptability for businesses.  

Conducive for use on mobile and desktop environments, software developers can leverage telecom APIs to integrate texting, calling, and other telephony functions directly into applications or services. Developers’ integration of telecom APIs delivers direct access and authority to businesses over high-quality telephone resources. These resources help the business with real-time purchasing, porting, provisioning, and configuration of voice and messaging services.

Behind the scenes, telecom APIs are generally supported by VoIP networks to route calls and messages from one user to another. Partnering with software-centric carriers can help IT teams integrate robust, cloud-based telecom offerings into existing products and services.

Below are three key examples of how business software developer teams can integrate telecom APIs to grow competitive advantage. 

Connect mobile and remote workers

The workforce has seen a rise in remote and gig work, which doesn’t seem to show signs of slowing anytime soon. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend has been central in enabling employee mobility and magnified the urgency for enterprises to address their employees’ demands for flexibility and autonomy over their schedules. To deliver on employee’s changing demands, businesses need a mobile communications strategy that will back a distributed workforce and maximize employee efficiency. By bringing telecom APIs into hybrid employee communications strategies, businesses can take advantage of the power of modern telecom solutions and enhance connectivity, regardless of the location of their employees and customers.

For example, telecom APIs can support businesses as they hire, manage and interact with gig workers, which can be especially useful in sectors like hospitality, retail, and food services. With an API-enabled website or mobile app, a company can give employees access to a user-friendly platform to manage their work schedules. Using the platform, employers can share updates on company events and help coordinate unexpected sick days. Employees can easily communicate with team members about shift changes or text customers status updates on deliveries or services. Dispersed and highly mobile industries like construction can also benefit greatly from telecom APIs. For example, field service personnel can use mobile devices to provide timely project information or disseminate real-time updates to clients. In addition to improving the work environment, APIs improve the user interface for customers, which has a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Boost customer service

Today’s consumers want the flexibility to select communications services that fit their unique preferences and needs. Data demonstrates that people largely prefer texting in comparison to other channels of communication. Specifically, more than eight out of ten smartphone users would rather connect via text than via email. This trend shows how customer communication preferences have evolved in favor of faster, more efficient channels. Offering more than one option for customers to interact with a company can strengthen relationships and positively impact brand loyalty.

Companies have been incorporating SMS and MMS messaging capabilities into their suite of communications tools in response to the trend of consumers preferring texting. Messaging APIs power these interactions and can also make SMS/MMS messaging more impactful. Messaging APIs can also be used to send texts to customers once they opt-in to receiving them (a central way companies share discount codes, updates on service, or sales information to customers). Companies can deliver on the immediacy that customers want by leveraging telecom APIs.

Beyond delivering the communications tools that customers want, telecom APIs can also help companies enhance their customer service with contextual data from past interactions. For example, when a customer calls a company through a telecom API, it will automatically generate a call detail record (CDR). The CDR is then linked to the inbound calling number, which creates a record of communication. From then on, whenever that specific customer contacts the company using that number, support representatives can review the record for important background details. With a chain of past interactions, the company’s support team can eliminate the need to ask reiterative questions and provide personalized service to the customer. As a result, the customer has an elevated experience and comes away better satisfied with their service.

Scale communication capabilities

Enterprises of all kinds can adopt telecom APIs as an automation strategy to scale their services. By taking this approach, businesses can have confidence in their ability to respond to changes that might come their way.

One use case of leveraging APIs to rapidly scale is if a business needs to switch to a new telecom carrier or add additional phone numbers to its account. Telecom APIs can make the transition process much more streamlined by quickly building a bridge of service or solution. For example, number porting APIs make it easy for companies to scale numbers up or down based on usage. Changes to usage might be influenced by business growth, opening new offices, or downsizing a department. Lastly, enterprises can also use telecom APIs for numbers associated with restaurant reservations, appointment reminders, shipping notifications, hotel bookings, and other services where the user wants to receive time-sensitive updates via texting or calling.

As businesses navigate change, they can still provide the support and services customers are accustomed to without breaking their IT budgets. Through the integration of telecom APIs, enterprises can instantly purchase, port, provision, and configure voice and messaging services with direct access to and control over high-quality telephony resources.

Businesses are actively using Telecom APIs to support their distributed workforces, boost customer service and retention, and enable greater scalability of communication capabilities. As customer preferences and the technology landscape continues to evolve, businesses can remain nimble with telecom APIs.

Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado.