by Tony Harris
• May 4, 2021
Between smartphones, social media, and a growing work from home lifestyle, people are constantly connected to the internet. The new customer experience strategy is to create an immersive digital experience. Reaching new customers and nurturing existing ones by immersing them in your content is the goal, but it takes serious planning and implementation. Not only do you need to know where to reach your customers first, but you need to anticipate and follow their moves. But how exactly do customer experience and APIs relate?
The first step is to collect more customer data from existing social media and the Internet of Things (IoT) in real-time. Next, you’ll need to interpret it and develop a strategy to accommodate what you’ve learned. Finally, you need to reach out to consumers wherever they are. It takes some doing, but it’s possible with the help of APIs.
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More than a marketing buzzword, omnichannel is a concept of tracking and reaching customers with the same messages across all platforms thereby providing your customers a seamless experience. You’ve already seen examples of this in your life with suspiciously targeted social media ads. If you buy a car, you’ll immediately see ads for new car insurance policies. If you’re looking at apartments, you’ll start to see ads for moving companies. If you start to buy something online and leave the site before finishing the process, you’ll see ads for the very items you abandoned and a message that “they’re waiting for you!”. APIs play a central role in delivering an omnichannel marketing strategy to their customers.
Consider real estate prospecting and customer relationship management (CRM) hybrid ProspectNow. This platform gathers data on properties across the country, from single-family homes to apartment complexes, hotels, even industrial real estate. Their database includes all properties that are already on the market. But they also have a “likely seller” algorithm that identifies properties that are likely to hit the market in the next twelve months. How does it do this? It gathers data from owner demographics and the surrounding area and uses predictive analytics to identify factors common among those who want to sell. The algorithm includes machine learning, so it keeps learning from property sales and adapts.
Once an investor finds a property, the platform provides all available contact information for the owners and the means to reach them directly. An investor can call, send emails, or physical mail. The investor can also set up their own omnichannel advertising campaign, using templates provided by the ProspectNow platform. This particular example is increasingly common, demonstrating how customer experience and APIs now operate in the same space.
Not all omnichannel efforts are for marketing. Disney’s omnichannel experience aims to make your vacation run smoothly. It starts when users make trip reservations on the My Disney Experience website. From there, you can plan your hotel stay, dining reservations, and park attractions. You’re also given a MagicBand bracelet to keep you connected throughout your stay. It works as a room key, photo storage, payment method, and park pass. Disney’s customer experience changed significantly as a result of the pandemic, but many of these features persisted as the parks reopened.
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What does all of this have to do with your API strategy? When creating an omnichannel experience, you’re working with a variety of interfaces. You have to gather data from social media and e-commerce where applicable. You have to implement a way to analyze this data. And if your strategy includes physical objects with IoT technology, you need a way to integrate this into your strategy.
APIs are the keys to improving connectivity and integrating these disjointed apps together. You can create an API ecosystem out of social media APIs and your own, allowing them to share and interpret data. You can connect smartphones and other devices seamlessly so that the user has something to interact with. APIs also open the door for added functionality like authentication, automation, and artificial intelligence to keep your data safe and put it to good use. All of these are pivotal in enhancing customer experience through APIs.
DreamFactory is a full-service API management platform. We can help you get started with instant, no-code API generation. You can build one from scratch in minutes or convert your older SOAP web services into something more RESTful – more secure, simpler, more scalable. Once you have that, you can make use of all the apps and open APIs you need. What kind of user experience are you planning?
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