An Applications Programming Interface, or API, is one of the most powerful tools in computing and communications. In essence, an API is a bridge between two separate applications, setting rules for the exchange of data between the two. Companies often release APIs for their own software, in order to encourage third-parties to integrate with their platforms. The outcome is greater flexibility, fewer data siloes, and a more seamless overall experience for users.
In the contact center, API integrations are essential. 80% of agents say that they use multiple different systems to communicate their customers. From outbound and inbound calling solutions, to Workforce Management tools, to Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), the contact center is a highly complex engine, uniting multiple disparate systems into a perfect, high-performance machine. Its success or failure depends on how well those individual parts work together.
Of course, you could always opt for a single stack solution. One vendor, one product, and a seamless interface. Where possible, this is an excellent option. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Most organizations have a history; vast amounts of customer data stored in systems of record, even custom made solutions tailored to the needs of their industry. In these cases, completely abandoning third-party solutions is unfeasible. You need to flexibly integrate those parts you can’t replace.
In this blog, we go into detail on the most important contact center API integrations, including:
Internal communications tools, to unite front and back office behind a single point of contact.
Customer Data Platforms, to bring all your data into a single, usable format.
AI integrations, to prepare your contact center for an AI-powered future.
Cost-Cutting with Contact Center API Integrations
Before we go into detail on specific integrations, we need to understand why integrations matter so much in the first place.
As established, most contact centers employ multiple different systems for different business functions. Tech stacks like this form over time, as organizations respond to specific needs by adding a specific piece of software, and before you know it, you have ten different solutions, all unable to inter-communicate properly. The consequences of this are pretty enormous:
Your users have to spend time switching between apps, searching for the right one to use, or manually copying data between them. In a fast moving environment like the contact center, this leads to a direct loss of value.
When something goes wrong, pinpointing the problem can be a challenge. Without an in-depth understanding of how your tech-stack works, even diagnosing problems can take far too long.
When faced with inefficient systems, humans create their own solutions. This unfortunately can lead to human error, laziness, or inefficiency, as your users try their best to navigate a difficult situation.
Integrations are crucial when it comes to optimizing manual process. In the future, however, automation will become increasingly important. To better understand how contact center API integrations will support automation, read on.
Contact center API integrations then, have the potential to drive up contact center efficiency, create real value for your organization, improve system resilience, and elevate Agent Experience (AX). So, which integrations are the most crucial?
Contact Center API Integrations for Collaboration
The contact center isn’t always a collaborative environment, but the reality is very different. Depending on the industry, contact center agents have to work with a huge variety of different stakeholders.
In the utilities sector for instance, agents have to liaise between customers, control rooms, and engineers on the ground. In healthcare, agents must speak to patients, clinicians, and administrators to handle patient inquires. Collaboration is essential to the work of the agent.
So what do these integrations look like?
An integration into a collaboration tool, such as Microsoft Teams, unifies your contact center solution (that is, the part of your tech stack that receives and routes customer contacts) with your back office communications tools (that your entire organization uses on a daily basis).
Messages can be sent in one application and received in another. Users statuses can be seen across both apps and calls can be transferred across both. The result is a seamless communication experience from within a single interface.
Contact center API integrations boost the efficiency of your collaboration, making it easy for both front and back office users to contact each other seamlessly.
Through an intuitive service designer, API integrations can be brought into your customer contact ecosystem without the need for code. Even users without technical expertise can leverage the power of contact center API integrations.
The result is time saved, more customers supported, and greater value for your organization. And these aren’t the only contact center API integrations that can drive efficiency.
Unified Data with Contact Center API Integrations
Customer contact begins with data. Personalizing customer interactions, tracking customer sentiment, meeting regulatory requirements, and more; data is at the heart of everything the contact center does. Making that data accessible from a single, unified location is the first step toward building a high-performance contact center.
When it comes to customer data, single integrations aren’t going far enough. Data is simply too complex, often spread across too many systems, and stored in too many different formats. Your contact center needs to move beyond API integrations; you need a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
A CDP is a latticework of contact center API integrations, bringing data from multiple overlapping systems of record into a single, usable format and interface.
This puts customer data at your employees’ fingertips. This provides a critical advantage to your frontline agents, letting them tailor interactions to specific customers, guide intelligent routing decisions, and speeding up manual data-entry tasks.
Format also matters here. Data stored in different formats can’t always be migrated between different applications. This leads to siloed data, a problem that becomes even more acute when looking to data-powered AI technologies.
Data empowers human agents and is absolutely essential when automating customer communications. In the AI-powered future, seamless integrations into systems of record will support massive efficiencies.
An AI-Powered Future with Contact Center API Integrations
The AI revolution is in full swing. The contact center is right on the frontlines, leveraging Natural Language Processing, sentiment analysis, and increasingly, generative AI to create outstanding, efficient experiences for customers. But, bringing AI into the contact center isn’t easy.
First, you need to lay the data foundations. Whether that’s training an LLM on customer data, or leveraging customer details to create automated, personalized experiences, getting all your data into a single, compatible format is a crucial first step.
AI moves fast; particularly generative AI. Some of the world’s biggest tech businesses are rushing to announce their new generative AI solutions, and startups around the world are scrambling to make the most of the new market. It might be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and embrace the efficiencies, but with several high-profile generative AI bungles hitting the headlines, caution is the order of the day.
Contact center API integrations are essential here. Not only do you need to integrate with one generative AI solution; you need to be prepared to integrate with many. As the market shifts, and different providers rise and fall, designing a custom solution that unifies multiple different providers is the best bet for driving value.
The future will be powered by AI. To bring AI into the contact center, you need flexible API integrations.
Contact Center API Integrations with storm®
Contact center API interactions are critical to meeting your customer contact goals; whether that’s boosting agent per capita efficiency, or driving up customer satisfaction. Seamless integration builds resilience, efficiency, and makes life easier for your employees.
Content Guru has over two decades experience designing and implementing contact center integrations. With a library of hundreds of ready-made and custom integrations, whatever your needs, Content Guru stands ready to meet them. Our team will conduct a rigorous operational assessment of your contact center, identifying pain points and developing API integrations to overcome them.
Content Guru’s Kong API Development Portal allows customers to access its entire library of integrations at a click. Through storm® FLOW™, Content Guru’s no-code service designer, API integrations can be leveraged even without advanced technical knowledge.
Want to learn more about how Content Guru supports contact centers? Download our whitepaper, Data First: Your Essentia; Guide to the Customer Data Platform to learn more.