How To Integrate A Voice API
Voice APIs allow you to send thousands of phone calls in minutes, seamlessly connecting you to your customer base while maximizing time, resources, and cost. This streamlined and cost-effective approach to mass calling is suitable for a variety of industries and purposes, making it a popular communication and marketing method.
After you choose a voice API provider, the first step to using your new API is integrating it. While the integration process should be straightforward, it can have several pitfalls for those unaccustomed to the process. Learning how to integrate a voice API can help you make the process easier and proactively mitigate common integration challenges.
Keep reading to learn more about how to integrate your voice call API and how you can make the process as simple as possible. In the coming sections, we’ll cover whether or not you need a developer, what to look out for, what coding languages you can use, and what resources you can use if you need help.
Integrating A Voice API
Companies have always been invested in finding the best way to communicate with customers according to their needs, whether that involves a touch of personalization or ensuring messages are delivered as fast as possible (or both). As such, it’s not surprising that companies want API integrations to happen as quickly and easily as possible.
If you carefully read the information below and follow the tips and tricks we’ve provided, you can avoid last minute questions or issues associated with API integrations. That said, you should also never hesitate to reach out to your provider if you have additional questions or concerns.
Do I Need A Developer?
A software developer or programmer should manage the voice API integration in order to best ensure a seamless integration. A typical integration takes roughly a day (12 – 24 hours) to write the code that will allow your system to communicate with the voice messaging API.
If your company does not have a developer or programmer available, contact your API provider and ask if one of their team members can provide integration services and support. Additionally, ask if they will be available for any future integration needs or issues.
Things To Look Out For
Depending on your company’s needs, there are several components of a voice call integration and software to be aware of. For example, you will need to be aware of the volume per minute, geographic coverage, and reliability.
We cover common API and integration issues below, including the aspects named above:
- Messaging Volume – Ask how many calls per minute an API can send or receive using text-to-speech, recorded WAV files, or both; ensure it can handle your anticipated volume. Additionally, confirm the calls are sent using a Tier 1 network.
- Geographic Coverage – Ask what coverage you can expect with the API. What countries are included in the coverage and which will incur an extra charge based on carrier? For international calls, what countries are available?
- API Reliability – Closely examine the service level agreement (SLA) to see the guaranteed uptime, if any. The best API providers will offer 99.9% uptime and a guarantee to protect clients against unpredicted outages.
- Packet Size – Make sure to inquire as to the maximum packet size the API provider can accept. Many providers are able to accept packages roughly 4 MB. If the provider is unable to at least meet this standard, ask about the limitations.
- Sound File Storage – An important component of cost is whether you will have to provide your own storage for sound files. If files are stored on your provider’s database, ask whether this is a free service or, if not, how and when you will be charged.
To avoid last-minute surprises, it’s best to ask about these aspects beforehand. You can also request a demo and a free trial, in order to better see how the API performs in real-time.
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What Coding Languages Should I Use?
Every voice API provider has specific coding languages that can be used for integration. Whichever provider you choose should outline which languages are appropriate for the product and features you want.
For example, Esendex’s Phone Notify! API can be integrated using C#, ColdFusion, VB.NET, VBScript, PHP, PHP with cURL, Ruby, or Java. Each coding language has a corresponding quick start guide and documentation, complete with code samples for your convenience.
Some coding languages involve as few as three steps, while others require a lengthier process. Typically, there are some shared steps across all the integration methods no matter which coding language you use. Obtaining a license key is one example of this, as it is usually the first step in every API integration.
Where Can I Get Help?
Your voice API provider should have several resources in case you need help, either with integrating the API or with the API itself. Common resources include customer support, quick start guides, API documentation, and the FAQ section.
We go into each of these resources below:
- Customer Support – Customer representatives are the front line for support issues or integration questions. Most voice integration providers have customer support during normal business hours, but the best providers offer 24/7 emergency support.
- Quick Start Guides – Quick start guides provide easy-to-follow steps so that your integration is as smooth as possible. These are helpful to review to ensure you didn’t accidentally skip a step or follow the process for the wrong coding language.
- API Documentation – API documentation provides more information on syntax, request parameters, and responses. Typically, code samples in a variety of languages are provided so you can view relevant information according to your integration method.
- FAQ Section – A common misconception about FAQs is that they only cover basic or simple questions and issues. This isn’t true; their purpose is to proactively address the most common questions and issues so that you can solve your problem quickly.
If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for through any of these resources, ask a customer service representative if you can speak with someone who is more knowledgeable about the API. Escalate the issue as needed until you are satisfied.