For instance, tickets can be created based on actions taken within an app, and updated and managed through third-party applications. Additionally, the Groove API makes it easy for companies to import and export tickets and customer histories. Documentation for the API is publicly available on the company's new developer portal.
According to Groove founder and CEO Alex Turnbull, "I’ve been getting tweets, emails and chats pretty consistently for the past year, all requesting, demanding or begging for Groove to release an API." But despite acknowledging the benefits of an API, Turnbull kept an API on his "wish list" for two years, citing two primary reasons: focus and product.
"Over the last year, we’ve been laser-focused on meeting a few very specific business goals, and to do that, we’ve relied on the high-ROI strategies and tactics that we already knew to work," he explained. "That means that, like every startup team that always has more to do than time and resources to do it, we’ve given up a lot of important things for 'later.' "
In terms of product, Turnbull admitted that Groove had gone "deep into technical debt" and needed to improve the foundation behind his company's product before he felt comfortable launching an API. "Forcing other people’s development teams to do extra work and deal with a buggy app? Frankly, that would be unacceptable," he said.
Patience Is a Virtue, but so Is Execution and a Willingness to Learn
While Turnbull's patience and dedication to launching an API on solid technical footing are laudable, delaying the launch of an API clearly wasn't without risk given that competitors in the space, like Zendesk, have built and been evolving API offerings of their own. In some cases, the availability of an API can mean the difference between winning and losing a new customer.
Perhaps with that in mind, Turnbull is now focusing his attention on making sure Groove's API is successful. Despite his company's success with its SaaS offering, "if there’s one thing that I know for certain, it’s that 'if you build it, they will come' does not apply here," he stated.
To ensure that customers know about its API, Groove has developed an engagement plan and will reach out to prospective partners who the company has identified as having a "natural and obvious product fit" and "shared values and a track record ... of building useful integrations for their users."
In an effort to sweeten the deal for prospective partners, Groove is willing to offer partners promotion through its blog and social media channels, as well as through direct messaging to its customers.
Turnbull is also keeping an open mind. "Because it’s so early, we haven’t yet figured out all of the ways that we’re going to support our integration partners," he admitted. "But we’re going to be testing different approaches and doing everything we can to ensure that we’re helping our partners as much as they’re helping us and our customers."