When it comes to collaboration in the workplace, we all know the importance of keeping lines of communication clear to facilitate team synergy. However, the way in which we communicate is changing, and recently we’ve seen the development of Unified Communications (UC). UC is a platform that allows collaboration and instant communication between employees, while also integrating discussion with clients, customers, and other stakeholders. Within this, application programming interfaces (APIs) play a significant role.
Primarily, APIs provide a secure method of passing data from/to one team member to another. Furthermore, they boost the capabilities of any one application, allowing it more advanced functionality. In the market today, there are various UC and APIs that work in unison to provide better business communications – we’ve compiled a list of the most common examples.
Chat Features and ‘Click-to-Call’
For a long time, UC focused on communication between colleagues with no real features for external communications outside of one team. Initially, the idea was to improve efficiency within a business, but this is now changing. By using APIs with UC, various chat and ‘click-to-call’ features are now available which opens up the service to customers and even suppliers.
Not are UC and APIs available through web browsers on a computer, it can also be integrated into mobile apps. For customer representatives, these platforms have their own advantages since it allows for quick access to relevant customer information at the click of a button. For a business, this is fantastic news because it encourages faster and higher quality customer service. It goes without saying that customers always seek positive experiences when interacting with your business, so it might be a good idea to invest in these types of solutions.
Business Software Integrations
If you’ve introduced a UC platform in recent times, you are probably familiar with the integration options with leading business applications. For example, businesses choose automatic call logging as part of their customer relationship management solutions, allowing for the very best customer engagement and support functions.
In truth, there are too many integration options for us to mention, but they’re all powered by API. For all of your customers, they need a reason to stay with your business otherwise they’ll be looking elsewhere. With these solutions still relatively new in the market, you can take advantage of them this year and become a leader within your niche. Suddenly, anyone that does business with you has clear lines of communication with your team, and they have the reason to remain as your customer.
The Future of UC and APIs
Whenever we discuss a new piece of technology like this, we always like to look at the future and what opportunities exist for businesses. Currently, more and more companies are using powerful UC systems for their websites and applications. Moving forward, there could be options to integrate into IoT (Internet of Things) too – allowing the expansion and all-encompassing integration of customer experience when they come in contact with your company.
For example, let’s say the company provides household appliances and there’s a problem with a washing machine. Assuming the washing machine is IoT-enabled, the customer would use the app or the website to start a video call with a member of the customer service team. With all the knowledge to hand, the rep can diagnose the issue before then fixing it within seconds. Nowadays, customers tend to put off contacting customer service because they need to find the right contact information and then explain the issue to two (or more!) people as they’re passed around departments.
With this solution, a button can even be pushed on the washing machine to connect them to your business directly. For the customer service reps, they have all sorts of information available to them within seconds including the specifications of the machine, history of issues, performance, and more. Therefore, the future of APIs and UC looks bright not only on their own but also because they’re easily-integrated into other solutions.
At this stage, we must remember that both systems are in their early days and we shouldn’t expect them to fix all of our business communications issues. However, they provide endless innovation when working in tandem and their many functions and abilities are only likely to expand as we head into the future. If you have a UC solution in your business, we urge you to research APIs because this can help you and your team to reach the next level of customer service. From here, only time will answer all the questions that surround the industry, but one thing is for certain: it’s going to be an engaging journey.