How to Improve Customer Experience Through API Integration

16 September, 2022

It's never easy to throw an end-of-year dinner party that people will remember for the right reasons. In addition to ensuring that guests interact and are entertained, you must cook in the kitchen to make sure that your visitors are well fed. But juggling front and back-of-house duties often mean you have little time to mingle with guests!

To make things easier for yourself as the host, you could order from a food delivery platform and have dishes conveniently delivered. This way you could mix and match different cuisines to delight your guests. Or you could hire a private chef to cook for your dinner party, freeing up your time so that you can socialise with your visitors.

Companies putting together a dream technology stack often face the same issues as hosting a party. With so many web applications to choose from, how do you make sure they talk to each other? You could build the integrations yourself but that would mean diverting resources from elsewhere and distracting you from your business.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can make your apps communicate through application integration and how it can help you enhance the total experience for both your customers and your agents.

 



What is API integration?

API integration means connecting two applications together so that data sources can be freely exchanged and shared between them to keep data in sync, enhance productivity, and drive business. The apps could be web-based SaaS solutions, desktop applications or mobile apps. For example, you can integrate a live chat and call customer service at your Shopify site by inserting some simple code from CINNOX.


When you integrate CINNOX with Shopify, you can start delivering unparalleled CX by engaging your online visitors with a smart web widget that humanises their experiences with multimedia engagement and knowledgeable agents. Plus, your service agents can view the browsing history of visitors landing on your website, helping them to anticipate enquiries and provide a more personalised service.



Why is API integration important?

As your company grows, your software tech stack will grow in complexity and variety it. How then do you make sure that your teams are working together and aligned with your business goals? If they're not sharing data or working from a single view of your customer, there will be opportunity costs caused by disjointed customer experiences as well as lost productivity from having your teams look for information.

For example, if a customer starts a live chat enquiry to ask about the whereabouts of their shipment, your agent shouldn't be asking them for the tracking number! Instead, application integration ensures that your agents can pull the tracking number from their recent purchase and then quickly report on the location of their package.

When you connect different apps, you are creating a seamless and unified experience for your customers and teams. Remember that customers see a single brand when they interact with your company. Plus, the less time agents spend looking for information, the better the customer experience they can provide.



How do you integrate applications?

Returning to the dinner party scenario, you might cook everything yourself, buy meals from a food delivery app, or hire a private chef for the event. The same is true for application integration: you could build it yourself using a no-code tool like Zapier, use a publicly accessible open API, or hire developers to write it from scratch.

1. Integrate using a no-code solution

Zapier is a popular online automation tool that enables you to automate business tasks across different apps. You can connect thousands of applications without writing complicated code or relying on developers to build the integration. It works by notifying an app to perform a specific action when an event happens in one app.

Multiple apps are connected through automated processes known as Zaps. Each Zap consists of a trigger and actions. When you enable your Zap, it will perform the action steps whenever the trigger event occurs. When a telesales enquiry from your CINNOX virtual number is closed, for example, the Vybit app can play a gong sound!

A trigger is an event that starts a Zap. If you want to inject some buzz into your contact centre, for example, you can use IoT integration with Philips Hue lightbulbs to change the colour of your mood lighting every time a new enquiry is answered by an agent in CINNOX. The trigger in this example is 'Enquiry Picked Up by Agent'.

An action is an event a Zap performs after it is triggered. For example, to give new customers a warm welcome and reassure them their new account is ready, you might want to send them an SMS to their mobile number. Here, the CINNOX action in this case is 'Send SMS' along with the contents of your onboarding message.

2. Use a publicly accessible open API

An open API, often known as a public API, is an application programming interface (API) made publicly available to software developers. It gives them programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service by establishing ground rules on how one application should communicate and interact with another.

CINNOX provides an open API that allows developers to integrate valuable customer and employee experience data with any app or service they are developing. This way, instead of reinventing the wheel by coding a total experience platform, developers may simply utilise the open API to access its features and functionalities.

So, should you use a no-code tool or the open API? It depends on what you are trying to achieve. Zapier is good for quickly building a workflow that connects CINNOX with supported apps on the Zapier platform. If your app is not supported by Zapier, or you want to perform a specific function such as sending an OTP SMS, the open API gives developers more granular control and access to powerful features.

For example, CINNOX has built-in support for many popular social chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and LINE. But what if you wanted to integrate enquiries from others such as KakaoTalk, Telegram or a trending app in the future? Easy. You can treat them as third-party messages by using the open API.

3. Build your own custom integration

If the apps you wish to connect are not in Zapier or do not have public APIs, your other option is to build the integration. This provides you with the greatest control and customisation choices, particularly if your proprietary software is subject to strict security and regulatory requirements, for example, a mutual fund investing app.

However, whether you utilise an in-house team or an external contractor, building the integration with the help of developers is going to be costly. Furthermore, it will take a longer time to write and thoroughly test the integration. Plus, you are responsible for continuous support in the form of security fixes, upgrades and enhancements.



What can I do with API integration?

Plenty! The only limitations you will face are those imposed by your imagination and what you can do using a no-code automation tool or an open API. To help you in getting started, here are some use case ideas that range from practical and useful to motivational and inspirational. Let's take a look at them in turn.

1. Turn bad experiences into good ones

Missing customers' enquiries hurts both your brand and the overall customer experience. When people reluctantly abandon a chat or call that has been unattended for a long time, it will cost you in the form of leads that do not convert into sales, a bad reputation with customers, and a lower customer lifetime value.

By quickly following up on missed enquiries, you can convert a bad experience into a positive one. Using Zapier, create a Zap with a trigger of 'Missed Enquiry' in CINNOX and an action of 'Create Spreadsheet Row' in Google Sheets that include information such as the enquiry ID, channel (email, WhatsApp, etc), and the time/date stamp.

 

2. Sync customer data between apps

Companies should have a unified view of their customers. When your sales, marketing and support teams all rely on their own data, it may lead to a disjointed customer experience. For example, misspellings and typos discovered in one database may not be present in another. Which is the true view of the customer?

You can centralise all of your customer data in CINNOX to get a single perspective of your customers. For example, if your teams use HubSpot for CRM and email marketing, Zapier can use the 'New External Contact Created' trigger in CINNOX and the 'Create Contact' action in HubSpot to share the customer's name.

 

3. Keep your agents engaged and motivated

The customer service and support function can be a challenging one for your agents. Not only are they prone to burnout and stress, but they must also show your brand in the best possible light while providing an exceptional customer experience! How can you keep them happy so they remain productive and stay with your company longer?

One way is to infuse gamification using a real-time leaderboard on a large TV screen that everyone can see. As each enquiry is accepted by an agent, Zapier can use the 'Enquiry Picked Up by Agent' trigger in CINNOX to trigger a Geckoboard action to 'Add Record to Dataset' and update the live scoreboard as events happen.

There are no limits to the apps and services you can connect to create automated experiences for your customers and teams. For a smoother and seamless customer experience, use the open API to create a physical repair button in your product that sends the GPS location to the nearest mobile service team, while simultaneously creating a new enquiry in CINNOX and sending the customer a confirmation email!



Connect your data to do more in less time

Application integration saves you and your team time by removing the need to deal with the technicalities of sharing data between different apps. Explore what no-code automation with CINNOX and its open API can do for your customer and employee experiences today.

Talk to an expert


 

Leave a Comment