Businesses Supporting Customers, B2B Partners Through VoIP APIs

Loraine Lawson
Oct. 09 2012, 09:00AM EDT

Businesses are using a voice over Internet service to address a common problem: The gap between online users and customer care centers. A 2011 TeaLeaf survey found the abandonment rate for online shoppers reaches 41 percent when these customers encounter a problem. One way companies are addressing the problem is by integrating VoIP APIs within their websites so customers can click-to-call for help, according to a SureVoIP blog post.

SureVoIP a UK-based service that supports international calls, offers a “hyerpmedia API,” which means it supports voice services, faxing and SMS messages. This REST-ful API connects directly to the core UK telephone network, rather than another provider, which makes it’s services faster than most VoIP offerings, according to the company’s post. The open API is limited to 5000 requests per hour, but user can pay to upgrade.

The API allows developers to create scripts, applications or mashups for interaction with SureVoIP’s platform. For organizations, that means you can support SMS messages, faxes, generate VoIP calls, manage your accounts, search numbers and provision numbers.

Of course, integrating calls is only one piece of integrating e-commerce with customer call centers. Once your customers call, you also need to be able to help them solve the problem. Nearly two in five customers did not have their problem resolved by customer service, and 37 percent decided to decrease their business with that company because of it, according to the same survey.

Still it's a good first step, and it's just one of the six clever examples SureVoIP shared in its post. Other use cases that attracted our attention:

  • CRM integration with a “well-known CRM platform” to push call information (ringing, answering, on-hold, hangup) to business partners and customers who calls the SureVoIP inbound number.
  • Send text notifications about services in a “well-known hotel chain.
  • Send SMS alerts to an internal portal to contact the on-call IT support.

The company is currently working with a local university to deploy its first mobile app and a Developers’ portal, which will include code examples for some of these unique use cases.

If you'd like to explore other VoIP options, there are more than 240 telephony APIs and 440 messaging mashups currently registered on our site.

Loraine Lawson Loraine Lawson is a freelance technology journalist specializing in covering data, all things integration — including APIs— and B2B supply chain management issues. She's been writing online since the days of hand-coded HTML pages. Lawson was a newspaper journalist but managed to jump ship just before "print journalism" made the endangered species list. Now she works almost exclusively online while managing a toddler, preteen and a really annoying but somehow lovable miniature Schnauzer/Jack Russell mix. The plants, who didn't complain, are now resting in peace.

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[...] Businesses Supporting Customers, B2B Partners Through VoIP APIsProgrammableWeb (blog)One way companies are addressing the problem is by integrating VoIP APIs within their websites so customers can click-to-call for help, according to a SureVoIP blog post. SureVoIP a UK-based service that supports international calls, offers a &#8230; The rest is here: Businesses Supporting Customers, B2B Partners Through VoIP APIs &#8211; ProgrammableWeb (blog) [...]