How APIs Can Revolutionize Your Company's Communication Strategy
December 19, 2016
Any successful modern business must be built on the foundation of clear communication. This includes communication between executive leadership and employees, as well as communication between the company and its customers. Thankfully, there are new technologies that make communication as frictionless as possible.
There are numerous definitions for the term API, but Vangie Beal of Webopedia supplies one of the best general explanations.
“Application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications,” Beal explains. “An API specifies how software components should interact and APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.”
In even more basic terms, APIs let multiple programs, devices, and applications communicate with one another in order to automate business processes, maximize the value of services you’re already paying for, and create powerful and efficient reports that make your business even more insightful.
The most relatable example of an API in action involves the use of social sharing buttons on websites. When a website features a button that says something along the lines of “Share on Facebook (News - Alert),” the ability to tap into Facebook and automatically upload a post without leaving the referring website is made possible by API integration. Facebook has an API that other websites and plugin developers can access to create seamless sharing.
Curious what other APIs exist in the marketplace? Well, chances are you interact with dozens of them on a daily basis. Examples include finance websites pulling real-time stock prices from the S&P 500, Twitter (News - Alert) sharing the songs you’re listening to on Spotify, and a sports blog showing live ESPN box scores in the sidebar.
Three Benefits of Using APIs in Your Business
While the aforementioned uses of API integration are all wonderful, they may not be totally helpful for your business. However, we can almost guarantee that you can use APIs to revolutionize your company’s communication strategy. Let’s analyze a few specific benefits and applications.
1. Mass Communication Capabilities
Do you find mass communication challenging? Whether it’s trying to reach all of your employees across different locations and departments, or attempting to get in touch with thousands of customers at once, mass communication is rarely easy or smooth. But, with the right API, suddenly everything seems to fall into place.
“Tapping into a mass notification system as powerful as DialMyCalls will help close the communication gap that may be hindering your organization's full potential,” explains the voice broadcasting provider, which works with more than 80,000 organizations. “Our calling and texting API can manage contacts, create and broadcast messages, provide detailed reports as well as a plethora of other advanced features that our web-based platform offers.”
If you can find a calling and texting API that allows you to do these things, then you should jump on the opportunity to streamline your communication efforts. You’ll wonder how you ever approached mass communication without API integration.
2. Unified Access for Communication Channels
Have you ever found yourself in a retail store trying to explain to the salesperson that their website is advertising a special sale that doesn’t exist in store? Eventually, you – the customer – have to be the one to pull up the Web page and show them.
What’s happening in situations like these? Most of the time, their various systems – website, app, CRM solution, e-commerce platform, etc. – aren’t seamlessly interacting with one another. As a result, the brand’s communication with customers falters.
“In almost all of these cases, it would actually serve the business a lot better to ‘fix’ these legacy systems, so they can embrace and use the same APIs that the client-facing front ends also use,” marketing executive Yves de Montcheuil explains. “This way, both sides get the same view on the same data, and soon enough you can stop maintaining legacy systems that actually cost a lot more than you think.”
3. Responsive Customer Service
Today’s customers are spoiled by technology. Not only do they expect businesses to respond to their complaints, requests, and feedback, but they also expect fast responses. If you don’t have a system in place to swiftly respond, then you’re missing out on a chance to build relationships with your customers.
The good news is that there are APIs to help you past this pain point. You can establish APIs that send personal emails to customers after a purchase is made from a third-party sales platform. You can send a message to your social media team’s project management platform every time you get a mention on Twitter. Options abound – so make sure you aren’t ignoring them.
Get Familiar With APIs
It would be smart for you to familiarize yourself with APIs. By understanding the full potential of API integration, you can begin looking for the right tools and applications to move your business in the right direction. Once you get comfortable with APIs, you’ll start to maximize the use of each tool, application, and plugin you use – thereby delivering more cost-effective communication.
Edited by Alicia Young
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