While it is hard to believe, it has been only a decade since digital channels have been used in earnest by contact centers. Up until 10 years ago, most support was done over the phone—digital channels such as social, messaging apps and live chat were not the preferred means of communication.
How the times have changed.
Today, for most industries, a contact center is far behind customer expectations if they don’t offer some means of digital communication. Yet while these channels are massively popular for customer service, few businesses are able to integrate them with their contact center software. Before founding HelpSocial, we faced this challenge while at Rackspace, the #1 managed cloud company. This experience led us to create an open application programming interface (API) to enable digital channel integration across the company.
HelpSocial’s Open API
When it comes to the customer service stack, integration is very important. What good is a new tool if it doesn’t have the ability to connect, communicate and display information inside of your primary contact center system?
This was a driver for creating an open API for HelpSocial—so you can take advantage of all our proprietary technology to bring customer messages from digital channels into your contact center software. Instead of bouncing between multiple systems—and even having multiple databases with customer records—the HelpSocial open API nests your agents’ responses within your native system.
This not only improves efficiency in answering customer queries, addressing complaints and identifying promoters, it also provides a single source of truth for all customer interactions. This is key when you’re looking to scale out your contact center’s ability to serve customers across all digital channels, something we experienced firsthand when building HelpSocial.
Digital Dilemma at Rackspace
We started HelpSocial while employed on the social media support team at Rackspace to better serve our customers. We noticed a shift around 2010: many customers were seeking out assistance on social channels, so HelpSocial was created to provide Rackspace’s world-famous support on these new digital channels.
But there was a major problem with the lack of integration between these channels—such as social media—and our traditional support-ticketing platform.
This lack of integration was a struggle many enterprises faced at the time. Sure, we could quickly respond to a customer issue on social media, but we lacked the ability to easily to really understand who the person behind a tweet was. For example, we had no way to:
- View detailed internal customer information with each social post
- Access past ticket history
- Understand which conversations our support team was currently working on
- Retrieve notes on best ways to engage with different customer accounts
- Record our interaction on social media and pass the issue over to a technician for further support
This resulted in much time and energy wasted in trying to fill all these gaps with new processes, which ultimately led to more processes to make sure nothing was forgotten and everything was followed up on. HelpSocial became the answer to our problems.
We built the platform with an open API specifically for the purpose of integrating the data and conversations from digital channels with the core systems used for for customer support. Our social media team was able to help a customer from any digital channel while maintaining fidelity to the main platform that handled phone calls and support tickets.
Digital Channel Integration Is Important
Our open API is just one feature of HelpSocial, but its ability to enable integration with your contact center software is what makes our platform so powerful. This is the secret sauce that allows for all customer interaction to be housed in one system, regardless of channel.
And since our platform was designed for digital channel integration, we have developed strategic partnerships with many industry leaders in the contact center software space. Check out our pre-integrated partners Genesys and NICE inContact to see a couple of examples. Through this collaboration, contact center platforms have quickly integrated digital channels, empowering brands to better assist their customers while working within a central system.
Be sure to check out the rest of this series on HelpSocial Stories, where you’ll learn more about the real-world use cases that led to the features and tools in our platform, including how our tagging feature changed the social sentiment on Rackspace overnight.