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Why open APIs should power customer experience offered by contact centers

Guillaume
Guillaume Schwoerer Lead Product Manager at Odigo

Current challenges of customer experience (CX) include keeping up with customers across a wide array of communication channels and accommodating agents who wish to work from home. When your existing Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution can’t do it all, API-powered CX technologies can give your contact center the functionalities it needs to keep your brand competitive and your agents satisfied.

Why
April 28, 20223 min of reading

Communication is key to delivering exemplary customer experience (CX). Whether it’s conversational AI that helps pick up on the nuances of customer speech, or making use of metrics like the net promoter score to gauge satisfaction from feedback, customer service is a continuous process of listening and responding to customers. It makes sense, then, that to deliver top-tier CX, the software and solutions that help do the job must also interact.

APIs, or application programming interfaces, are intermediaries that allow two different pieces of software to communicate with each other. There are private APIs, which developers use to access in-house backend systems and other internal data for analytics and automation purposes. However, this discussion is about public (or open) APIs, which allow access to information outside of an organization, in this case to improve customer experience. The benefits of public APIs include flexibility in data migration, in-depth analytics and, most relevant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, better CX. When CX tools are able to share information and functionalities with each other, contact center capabilities expand broadly.

API-led customer experience means the capability to communicate across all touchpoints

An API-powered customer experience can drive value because of the work required to keep and win customers. Striving for better CX in this modern day and age means unifying multiple channels – voice, email, messaging, social media – into a single omnichannel experience for customers to eliminate frustrations caused by redundant communication across channels. Any channel necessary can be integrated and managed by contact centers thanks to APIs. Public APIs can help CCaaS solutions merge multiple interactions into a single thread to avoid repetition and promote quicker understanding of customer issues that separate, discrete channels are less competent at doing.

Behind the scenes, APIs can also handle data sharing for enhanced decision making. This aptitude is especially essential in the hospitality industry, where APIs help hotels, airlines and travel agencies communicate to smooth out the booking process for customers, suggest pricing recommendations and illuminate opportunities for upselling. The result is not just serving customers the CX they deserve, but also helping brands maximize ROI in the process.

API-powered CX technologies and strategies help you innovate to accommodate the new realities of work

Speaking of health, the global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 majorly disrupted workflows across all industries. Time revealed that many companies rose to the occasion by quickly adjusting to the restrictive temporary realities of the pandemic, but also uncovered the expanded possibilities of remote and hybrid work. APIs enable customer experience visibility on contact center activities wherever agents are, whether in the center, working from home, or elsewhere. What’s more, public APIs are also cloud-based, so there’s no loss of functionality (or level of customer experience) no matter where your agents are working from. 

All of these perks mean that contact centers can easily set up virtual call centers, remote teams or distributed teams. Even under the extreme time crunch with which the initial lockdown set in,  modern CCaaS solutions rose to the occasion with minimal disruption to everyday contact center functions, and got a full teleworking solution up and running in as little as one week. Even better for your brand is that productivity can go up as much as 38% when converting to remote mode. On top of it all, working from home contributes to the agent experience (AX) in small ways such as minimizing commute-related stresses (e.g. spending money on fuel, which is especially salient at the moment). The effects of deploying APIs to provide customer experience radiates benefits for everyone involved in creating it.

APIs make communicating with your customer base easier than ever

The simple and rapid integration of APIs with your existing data environment can help reduce your contact center’s deployment and run costs. A lot of human tasks can be handled through deploying APIs to provide customer experience. It should be noted, however, that APIs (much like other innovations in the artificial intelligence realm) do not aim to replace the roles of agents. They can save countless hours by automating routine tasks such as call routing and data compilation, leaving enough time to focus on the customer issues that matter most.

The easiness factor extends to making the choice to use APIs itself. Though they are state-of-the-art technological tools, using them doesn’t require a change in strategy any more than buying a hammer and nails to hang a picture requires you to draft a blueprint for a new house. Committing to API-powered CX for your brand begins simply with finding out which ones can simplify your contact center’s processes.

Find the right API for the customer experience you want to deliver

Open APIs can vastly improve the customer experience capabilities of your contact center and your brand in myriad ways. Odigo CCaaS solutions are capable of connecting to a large number of APIs to integrate your contact center with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions, workforce optimization (WFO), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and more. To reap the benefits of API-powered CX using Odigo’s best-of-breed solutions, visit Odigo Connect Marketplace, or click below to schedule a chat with one of our experts.

Guillaume Schwoerer
Lead Product Manager at Odigo

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