Why You Need Communications APIs: A Primer
By now, high-level stakeholders across industries understand the technical capability and economic strengths APIs offer, but you might still be wondering why you need communications APIs. Their usefulness (and usability) is so high that missing one of their benefits could result in a decision-making error that haunts the organization for years to come.
First, let's take a quick look at the application programming interface's high-level uses. In short, the tools allow an organization to plug in technical capabilities it was unable to implement before. From click-to-call capabilities via a suite of powerful communications APIs to back-end data-crunching strengths once thought beyond the organization's grasp, these benefits enable digital transformation efforts. If you're still asking why you need communications APIs, however, here are a few more reasons, with a focus on that specific functionality: communications.
1. Better ROI on Your Tools
Most business endeavors come down to money, so it's a given that financial considerations play a major role in every technology decision you and your stakeholders make.
Fortunately, this need reflects arguably the biggest strength a stack of communications APIs has to offer the modern business: They can help you save money on the tools and apps that utilize them, relative to the costs of self-development. While communications tools are designed for easy use, the development of rudimentary over-network tools can be expensive — even with teams of highly skilled people doing the building — making it difficult to add features employees or customers find essential.
Your organization undoubtedly relies on having the right communications tools in the right place to enable productivity and improve the customer experience. But most companies can't afford to develop these tools with such powerful functionality from the ground up. With their advanced features and relative ease of implementation, though, communications APIs are a less complex, less expensive, but more powerful option. Instead of overspending on baseline capability or doing without, they open a path to greater communicative reach at a fraction of the cost, thus making your communication-dependent apps less of an investment upfront.
Click-to-call features, video calling, automated SMS messaging, and other use cases are supported with the right communications API, which makes it easier to design customer-facing tools customers actually want.
2. Improved Productivity
After financial efficiency, the next most important factor in a business's operations is productivity. The benefits communications APIs offer in terms of productivity are so widespread one can see results anywhere they choose to look. Consider an organization that struggles with countless unconnected apps, for instance, many of them communications-related; instead of bouncing between systems, a communications API integrates the organization's communications needs into a cohesive, singular unit. Because the tools are made to be built into new and existing systems, it's easy to add advanced functionality into almost any system.
Then there's the functionality itself. With a communications API platform at their fingertips, employees can communicate with customers and amongst themselves better and more efficiently, with tools that effect greater portability and reach. Need to carry a number from desktop to desk phone to mobile? It can do that. Want to make fast, easy video calls from within a company platform? APIs make it easier than ever.
3. Better Customer Experience
A customer, hoping to receive help with a high-ticket purchase, downloads a company's app in search of help. Unfortunately, the app features numbers to locations the customer is nowhere near and doesn't offer personalized, customer-centric care — an experience every business would go to great lengths to avoid.
Communications APIs can transform this situation. Click-to-call features, video calling, automated SMS messaging (for marketing or aftercare purposes), and other use cases are supported with the right communications API, which makes it easier to design customer-facing tools customers actually want — and can benefit from.
4. Savings and Consolidation
Consider just how many outside hands need to touch a complex technical project in the average enterprise environment. There's a good chance outside expertise — consultants, contractors, and others — need to check boxes and commit code, adding expenses that may make a communications project too costly to bear: From higher hourly rates to big consulting fees, the costs can add up.
Here, a communications API represents a centralizing effect. Since one outside party is providing the product, everything from baseline expenses to troubleshooting becomes easier, faster, and less expensive. Instead of worrying about input from multiple businesses, you've got one trusted adviser to help you on your way.
In other words, if you've considered beefing up your technical output with a communications API, the time is now. Why let your products — and people — suffer when there's a better way?