Steven Garcia (left), Chief Architect, Head of Product and Infrastructure Engineering, and Silvio Lombardi, Senior Sales Account Executive at SAP Digital Interconnect, explain what developers need in order to deliver successful multichannel customer engagement solutions.
The need for enterprises to be able to engage with their customers through multiple channels has never been greater. There is a proliferation of digital channels, some more prevalent in some parts of the world than others, and different people have different preferences in terms of which they like to use. Enterprises must take this onboard and enable their customers to engage with them on the channel of their choice.
In recent years, enterprises have invested significant human and financial resources in developing multichannel customer engagement solutions. For the developers tasked with building and rolling out these solutions, they want the reassurance of knowing that they are working with a secure and reliable technology partner, such as a communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) provider that will enable them to deliver successful solutions in a fast and efficient manner.
So what are the key factors developers look for when choosing who to work with?
Resources and capabilities
One of the key fundamentals for a CPaaS partner is a relevant API portfolio – a suite of integrated APIs , SDKs and enablement tools that will enable the enterprise and its lines of business to support various use cases and engage with their customer base and with other business applications and data. The API portfolio and developer resources must be able to demonstrate what the CPaaS partner can do for the business, while reassuring the developers that it is easy to work with and can help them succeed.
And if we are talking about multichannel engagement solutions, clearly, the developers need access to global digital messaging networks. That means being able to reach the many digital channels, from SMS and email to social and chatbots, but also, the mobile operators worldwide and their subscribers, to ensure the delivery of messages no matter where or when. SMS is one of the most widely used forms of messaging, with massive reach and very high consumer engagement, and of course it’s widely used for two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s also an efficient failover channel for instances where the customer is not responding to messages sent via their preferred communications channel. So it’s vital that your CPaaS partner can offer simplified global multichannel connectivity and engagement services.
Developers will also want to know that the CPaaS partner they choose to work with has a strong track record across a broad range of regions and industries, so that they have experience of, and can offer advice and guidance on, many different scenarios and use cases. It’s not all about writing code. A good partner will be able to help the developer and enterprise with their business issues and challenges, because they have experienced them before.
The developer will also want to be confident that the partner can help them bring their solutions to market rapidly. In the digital economy, a business cannot afford to wait months for an engagement solution to deploy; in some cases, it needs to be ready in minutes. They will also want the reassurance that the platform they are working with is fit for purpose. That all the necessary due diligence has been done, they can focus their efforts on bringing solutions to market – fast.
Building a business case
Of course, building a multichannel customer engagement solution requires a financial commitment from the enterprise, so developers need to build a business case. In this respect, it’s important that the CPaaS partner that the developer works with offer APIs that run in a secure environment, enable authentication and verification services, and that data privacy and security is respected. It’s also important to reassure the enterprise and its customers that the data flowing through the system is handled in a compliant manner, with respect to legislation such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Finally, the developer will want to know that, even while providing such a solid, reliable, secure development platform, the CPaaS partner is still competitive and flexible when it comes to pricing.
More often than not, it makes sense to align the API project with business objectives to meet a business need. It could be something as simple as reducing missed appointments or reducing the number of inbound calls to a company’s contact center. This particular objective could be addressed by using an API to add SMS, social or other digital channels to the enterprise’s communications platform and the CPaaS partner should be ready to investigate the business problem and suggest a solution, rather than leaving the developer to work it out for themselves.
In the final analysis, your CPaaS partner must be able to provide everything the developer and enterprise are looking for: a reliable, secure platform, that is easy to use and integrate, affordably priced and delivers multichannel communications with global coverage.
With all these pieces in place, it becomes a virtuous circle in which measurable outcomes such as efficiency improvements, reductions in costs, improved customer satisfaction and increased revenues, drive positive recognition of API projects and give the enterprise confidence to transform the way they do business and engage with customers.
To learn more about how CPaaS can improve your engagement solutions, read “Communications APIs: Mapping the Developer Lifecycle”; “The Business Value of CPaaS and Key Attributes When Selecting the Best CPaaS Partner”; “The Critical Role of CPaaS in Reaching Customers on their Channels of Choice”; and join our community.