As an API provider today, you are facing a new challenge. Not only do you need to provide an extensive and powerful set of methods, with fast performance and secure access, but your offerings need to pass the “One Hour Test”. If you are serving your customer properly, in one hour your customer should be able to:
- Find you on the internet,
- Look for the proper features she needs,
- Determine what kind of results she can obtain from the system, and
- Write a simple program in the language of her choice to check ease of access – authorization, parameters handling, performance, integrability, etc.
Why in less than an hour? Because, if you don’t, your competitors will. Time of Evaluation is a key parameter in the choice of a software service supplier.
MailUp (http://www.mailup.com) sends more than 25 billion messages each year for nearly 10,000 clients and links to their clients via many APIs. MailUp was facing a tough challenge in making its many APIs more usable and accessible than its competitors. Operating in the email, SMS, and digital marketing solutions space, MailUp is in a very competitive sector. MailUp has a terrific set of APIs with an excellent feature set and customization services. But, with this power comes complexity. Indeed, MailUp sales analysts found that potential customers spent quite a lot of time on the web site, but the conversion rate to becoming paying customers was quite low. The reason? Customers had a hard time trying the actual solution, hands-on with the code. And, in frustration, many were bailing out and going to competitive sites. Development of several wrappers in different languages (C#, Java, PHP, etc.) helped to improve usability by removing the barrier of the authorization/authentication mechanisms, but it was not enough. That is where Snip2Code comes in.
As do all high quality software companies, MailUp engineering team had developed an extensive set of automatic tests for their APIs. In less than one week, these tests were tokenized into snippets and made available via the Snip2Code platform. MailUp populated the Snip2Code platform with general-purpose snippets on how to manage each wrapper. MailUp also captured as snippets many single methods describing the behavior of specific features. Each of the snippets was organized by topic and decorated with properties for fast and simple retrieval. The snippets were also linked to one another in a sort of step-by-step tutorial to walk the newbie through even the most difficult and complex methods.
With this infrastructure and usability improvement, MailUp sales analysts recorded an astonishing increase in direct sales, as well as a decrease in requests and support tickets to the MailUp customer service team.
Additionally, the ability of Snip2Code to provide much improved visibility to each snippet enabled the customer service team to be much more efficient in addressing the specific needs of a customer. They simply point the customer to the specific public snippet, and in most cases the issue is solved! Customer feedback and customer-generated solutions all become part of the knowledge base of MailUp and remain accessible on the Snip2Code platform. In the case that MailUp is providing a custom solution as a professional service, the solution is given in the form of a protected snippet, available only to that specific customer. MailUp has taken the additional step of evangelizing “micro-blogging” a feature of the Snip2Code platform. As a result, the MailUp user base is enabled to answer one other without going through a needless bottleneck and consuming MailUp resources.
So, to pull it together, a powerful API is useful only if the user base is able to consume it efficiently; recall the One Hour Test. This means quickly finding the right method, effectively managing input parameters and results, and enabling accurate communication with the customer service team. MailUp’s creative application of Snip2Code capabilities improved each of these factors impacting the efficiency of API consumption. And, their customer satisfaction and customer acquisition metrics rose accordingly.
Want to see yourself on the Mount Olympus of API providers? Contact us, and let us show you how we can help. https://www.snip2code.com/Static/ContactUs
Cristiano Ghersi, PhD is CEO at Snip2Code, Inc.