In order to serve customers in today’s mobile, digital-focused world, you need timely, rapid, and multichannel communication. That means going beyond placing the number for your help desk on your website.
Instead, companies across industries are increasingly leveraging SMS and voice capabilities within their web and mobile apps such as for authenticating users, sending account alerts, or providing product delivery notifications to customers. Doing so can help optimize customer engagement and user experience while improving operational efficiency and security.
Initially, cloud communications API platforms (CPaaS) disrupted traditional telecom solutions by enabling software companies to integrate SMS and voice capabilities into apps using common programming languages. This led to rapid innovation and exciting new use cases for communications APIs.
As demand for SMS and voice integration has increased, CPaaS providers like Plivo have launched serverless, low-code, visual builders that provide out-of-the-box use case templates to enable more organizations, beyond cloud-native software companies, to leverage the benefits of an API platform. You can use these visual builders to more easily create communications workflows and significantly reduce development effort, in some cases by up to 80%.
In other words, with a few drag-and-drop moves (similar to what you might find on a visual website development platform like Wix or Squarespace), you can create and deploy new SMS or voice integration services in 80% less time than you could by using the usual combination of APIs and XML.
What might these integrations look like? Consider the following three use cases to see how your company could benefit from PHLO, Plivo’s visual workflow builder.
Use Case #1: Alerts & Notifications
Perhaps the most common, widely applicable use case of SMS and voice integrations is for sending alerts and notifications, such as:
Automated account alerts, e.g., notifying customers of account activity regarding logins, usage, etc.
Dispatch or delivery notifications, e.g., informing customers when a shipment is in route or delivered
Reminders, e.g., alerting customers of an upcoming appointment
For example, one of our customer Deckers, a footwear brand, has built SMS delivery notifications to notify partner stores of upcoming orders so they can take the necessary actions needed to fulfill those orders.
Deckers has many brands under its umbrella, so if they had to make changes to these notification workflows using a traditional development cycle, it would be a time-intensive process that requires significant developer resources everytime. Instead, Deckers uses PHLO to quickly adjust their notification workflows by just dragging and dropping modules as needed.
In addition to using SMS alerts, businesses can benefit from setting up voice delivery alerts. For example, our customer Bosch InTrack, an integrated supply chain event platform, uses PHLO to send voice alerts to security teams about incoming deliveries. Because Bosch operates in multiple markets, they need to be able to quickly add or modify voice alerts to support different languages, and PHLO makes it easy to implement these changes.
Use Case #2: Two-Factor Authentication
Another common and critical use case for integrating communications capabilities into your app is for verification/authentication purposes. For example, two-factor authentication (2FA) no longer just applies to cases like banking app logins. Due to increasing cybersecurity concerns, businesses across industries want to verify users’ identities when they login to apps and websites.
Another Plivo customer, Bigo.sg, an innovative OTT company that enables a modern social network, uses SMS and voice to verify sign-ups. With PHLO, Bigo is able to quickly build a workflow that issues a one-time password (OTP) via SMS and then defaults to voice verification to improve conversions.
As another example, our customer Gojek, an on demand last mile delivery marketplace service, uses voice OTP for verifying users. PHLO helps them quickly add a new country and corresponding language and enable users to choose their preferred OTP format — text-to-speech, their own voice, or a combination of the two.
In fact, any company that intends to verify or authenticate users via SMS or voice calls needs superior reliability globally to ensure a seamless customer experience. That’s why you need to find an SMS and Voice API provider that has a high-quality carrier network to guarantee high delivery rates across the globe, and you need to design a workflow that encompasses best practices to efficiently support 2FA globally. Using PHLO makes building these workflows simple; you can start with an existing template and easily adapt your verification/authentication requirements via drag-and-drop modules.
Plivo’s CPaaS platform itself uses multi-factor authentication, among other security features such as encryption-at-rest for all databases and files, to keep customer access and data secure.
Use Case #3: Call Forwarding & Cloud IVR
In addition to different types of alerts and verifications, companies also benefit from integrating SMS and voice capabilities into their apps for customer service purposes.
For example, interactive voice response (IVR) systems are the backbone of customer support organizations. They’re used when customers call into a system that then directs calls to the appropriate department. (Think of reaching a system that says “Press 1 for Sales; Press 2 for Technical Support.”) In the past, companies used complex, on-premise infrastructure to run these systems, but now you can use scalable, cloud-based APIs to play audio and trigger the call forwarding.
Nutanix Beam, a multi-cloud optimization service delivered as part of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS, uses Plivo to power its IVR for incident response and escalation. Using PHLO’s visual builder, Nutanix can add or edit an escalation point in seconds.
Another customer, Practi, a subsidiary of Just Eat, develops cloud-based software solutions to manage retail businesses. Practi uses Plivo to power IVR and call forwarding for its customers. Using PHLO’s drag-and-drop templates, Practi can quickly build new IVR flows for new customers and customize recorded greetings and “thank you” messages.
Instead of having to involve your developers each time you want to tweak these types of announcements and associated forwarding rules, you can use PHLO to easily make updates without having to rewrite any code. That ultimately gives you more flexibility in serving your customers.
Start Simplifying Your SMS and Voice Integrations
As more businesses undergo digital transformation and customers grow used to communicating with brands digitally, so too does the need to integrate SMS and voice capabilities into your customer experience.
Rather than making these integrations a hassle that interrupts your ability to focus on your customers, you can use PHLO, a straightforward, visual way to quickly build practical workflows that help you communicate with your customers.