Make Life Easier for Customers (and Yourself) with APIs

Posted by Brooke Lester on Apr 21, 2021 2:13 PM

Make Life Easier for Customers (and Yourself) with APIs

There was a time when it didn’t matter how the customer felt about doing business with you – the only thing that counted was that they stuck with you. However, times have changed; customer experience is now a crucial factor in all industries. In addition, technological advancements mean that operational workflows no longer have to be laborious and time-consuming.

APIs can improve the customer experience as well as streamline your operational workflows – read on to learn more.  Are You Ready to integrate?

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How APIs Work

To understand how APIs streamline the customer experience and your operational workflows, let’s explore how they work.

APIs stand for application programming interfaces and the best way to think of them is as an electrical outlet. Electrical outlets allow you to consume electricity when you plug in a device; APIs let an application consume information from a data source. They deliver data in a way that the application can utilize it, much the way an electrical socket provides electricity in a way the device can function.

How APIs Improve the Customer Experience

One of the benefits of APIs is that they improve the customer experience. Here’s how APIs enable instant information transfer, so certain customer onboarding processes are significantly faster than through EDI systems. With speedier customer onboarding, customers can start purchasing from you sooner.

Moreover, instant information transfer means that you can answer customer queries much faster. Suppose a customer has a question about their order. In that case, you can quickly pull up the order status (something that EDI systems can’t do, as they’re built for processing large batches of information over a period of time).

Looking at information on a tablet.

How APIs Streamline Operational Workflows

In addition to an improved customer experience, APIs also streamline internal operational workflows. The two benefits that we discussed above – faster customer onboarding and instant information transfer – can help companies make their own workflows more efficient, too.

Customer onboarding affects your company’s operational efficiency just as much as it shapes the customer experience; when customer onboarding goes quickly, they can start buying from you sooner, which shortens the purchasing cycle.

“APIs also streamline internal operational workflows.”

Instant information transfer boosts operational efficiency because you can react to events much faster. Let’s say your supplier, located in Taiwan, closes down due to a tropical storm. When you have that information in advance, you can pivot to find another supplier who can quickly get you what you need. You maintain business continuity and satisfy customers without expensive delays.

Another way APIs streamline internal operational workflows is by connecting to a wider variety of information sources than EDI systems can. Today, companies use sensors, mobile devices, social media, and other technologies that offer vital data to supply chain partners. EDI systems alone can’t connect to these sources. APIs bridge that gap: they connect you to data sources so you can make better decisions.

“APIs streamline operational workflows by connecting to a wide variety of information sources.”

API integration makes the customer experience better and makes your company more efficient. Integrate. Then Dominate.

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