Businesses of every size use APIs to facilitate communication between two pieces of software. In a 2022 State of API Report, Postman found that nearly 9 out of 10 respondents agree that investments in API will either stay the same or increase over the next year. Voice APIs are a popular way to add voice calling to a system or software solution with powerful microservices to enhance business communications.
With a voice API from a reputable platform, your company or client can have reliable inbound and outbound calling in minutes. Here are nine ways to use a voice API in your development projects, the benefits for you and the business, and tips for how to select an ideal API partner.
What Are the Benefits of a Voice API for Developers and Businesses?
As a developer, you are likely familiar with APIs. Several communications APIs exist, including voice, SIP, SMS/MMS, and phone number APIs. They allow you to provide a fast and easy solution for your company or client by providing polished and functional software that you can implement in a few lines of code. Typically, voice APIs are ready for use after only a few minutes and offer extensive possibilities to the business.
An API can be built from scratch or purchased. When you purchase an API, your business or client’s voice communications are available from anywhere with an internet connection because the API is hosted in the cloud. The business will not need to invest in additional infrastructure if it has a strong internet connection and an IP phone, software phone, or mobile device to make calls.
You can implement and test a voice API at a low cost, especially when the voice provider offers a per-minute or metered voice plan. Metered plans are flexible, and you will only need to pay for the minutes you use. The flexibility also allows a business to benefit from the scalability of the cloud, using as many voice channels as they need and only paying for what they use in a billing period. It also means the company can scale back down at the end of a busy season with no penalties.
Small businesses with minimal investment in IT resources benefit from the enhanced security a reputable voice API platform offers. A Salt Security survey in Venture Beat found that 95% of security leaders encountered an API-related security threat within the last 12 months.
Related: Questions to Consider as You Look to Scale Your Programmable Voice Solution
Since the API is a primary attack surface that faces the public internet, attacks can result in costly data breaches and loss of consumer confidence. A voice API secured and maintained in the cloud by a world-class provider can fill the security gaps for small businesses with limited access to IT security specialists.
9 Ways to Use Voice API
Developers use programmable voice APIs to deliver solutions to small and medium-sized businesses, call centers, companies with mobile apps or websites, and organizations that require reliable communication in remote and hybrid office settings. There are numerous ways to use a voice API, but here are some of the most common ways developers implement them.
1. Build a Flexible Voice Solution
Many small and medium-sized businesses have office locations and remote employees in a wide geographic area or internationally. A voice API allows users access to a similar, high-quality calling experience from IP phones, software phones, or mobile devices, regardless of location, as long as the user has a strong internet connection. An API operates in the cloud, providing incredible flexibility to your company or client, whether they have several employees or hundreds of employees.
2. Integrate Voice API Into a CRM
Businesses typically use customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep track of clients. As a developer, you can integrate a voice API into a CRM so that users can call clients and intercept calls to better keep track of those callers. When a customer calls your company or client’s CRM, their number will be recorded in the CRM, where a user can note the client’s name, address, and other information relevant to their support or service. Users can also look up clients in the CRM and call them seamlessly to follow up or respond on a contact.
3. Add a Click-to-Call Button to an App or Website
Businesses often want to implement a simple way for clients and prospective clients to call them from a website or app. A click-to-call button can be added to your client or business’s website, allowing users to press the button and automatically call the correct phone number using their phone app. This feature can be convenient for ride-sharing and delivery apps, allowing users to call without knowing the other party’s phone number. It can also be an exceptional feature for websites offering over-the-phone support or sales.
4. Create an Interactive Voice Response System
Organizations that receive more calls than they can manage at one time often implement an interactive voice response system (IVR) to resolve this problem. An IVR system can ensure the business phone is attended to when a representative cannot answer. You can use a voice API to route calls to the IVR system before a representative picks up, saving the company or client time answering repetitive calls.
5. Transcribe Calls
Businesses may use transcription to analyze calls for training and quality or to read voice messages using email. Using a voice API, you can integrate a transcription service with your company or client’s phone line. The API will interact with the transcription software to automatically transcribe calls to text for later review.
6. Track and Analyze Calls
An organization may want to track where calls come from to serve a demographic or region better. A voice API can allow the business to access call detail records (CDRs) from a simple web portal, allowing users to track where calls are coming from, at what times, and how long callers are spending on the line. The CDR can be invaluable in building analytical data and business strategies.
7. Anonymize Calls With a Proxy
Whether users are calling from decentralized locations or the caller’s information should remain private, anonymizing calls with a proxy can be advantageous for certain businesses. A voice API will allow you to give business callers a uniform phone number regardless of where they are calling from, allowing remote workers the same calling experience as on-site workers. Certain businesses, like financial institutions, also rely on a proxy to keep caller information confidential.
8. Integrate Voice Communications With SIP Trunking
Session initiation protocol or SIP can be a powerful voice, instant messaging, video, and file-sharing solution. Integrating a voice API with SIP trunking allows the business to unify and manage communications.
Related: Programmable SIP: What You Need to Know When Getting Started
Remote users can connect to the SIP trunk from anywhere with an internet connection using a compatible device, and costly on-site infrastructure like a private branch exchange (PBX) is unnecessary. However, businesses wishing to use a PBX may be able to find a compatible solution. The SIP trunk automatically provisions channels for numerous simultaneous calls without additional private rate interface (PRI) connections, as traditional trunking must.
9. Unify Communication
You can combine a voice API with SIP, SMS/MMS, and numbers APIs to provide a unified communications solution. This allows an organization to manage and monitor all communications in a central location. As a developer, you can provide a comprehensive communications solution to a business in a cost and resource-efficient package operating in the cloud.
What to Look for in a Voice API Platform
As a developer, certain qualities make a voice API platform easier to work with and allow you to deliver the solution your company or client expects. A provider that uses a representational state transfer (REST) architecture will make your API more compatible, lightweight, and flexible.
REST APIs use common HTTP commands and data types, making them easy to integrate and resource-friendly. They offer stateless communication, eliminating information storage about clients on a server and making each request separate. REST APIs work well with the most common programming languages, allowing you to use your preferred language.
An excellent voice API platform will also provide software development kits (SDKs) and resources that simplify implementing and configuring your code. It will include version-controlled quickstarts with microservices in Docker containers to quickly implement services like e911 and proxy numbers. The platform should also have a library of articles like case studies to help you learn how to use the voice API to its fullest potential in various modern programming languages, such as Python, PHP, and .NET.
Get Started with the Right Voice API Partner
Flowroute makes your voice API development project easy. You’ll have access to documentation, quickstarts, and SDKs to help provide your business with a valuable voice solution. Our voice API is on a metered plan that lets you test the service without significant investment and pay for only what you use. Your company or client will have the speed and flexibility of our worldwide HyperNetwork to make seamless calls and implement enterprise-grade features like direct inward dialing (DID) and e911. Get started with Flowroute for your next project.