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smith uses Shortcut’s API to save time for both their receptionists and engineers

Members of the Smith team celebrating over dinner

Small plant
Company Size
Location pinpoint bubble
Palo Alto, CA; Worldwide

How used Shortcut’s API to make a bad experience better bills themselves as a superior receptionist service, and we have no reason to doubt they’re anything other than exactly that. They provide virtual receptionists and live chat, allowing small businesses that might not otherwise have the time or staff to qualify leads to do so through chat and phone calls thanks to Smith’s team.

“The front line of our team are hundreds of receptionists. They’re ‘receptionists’ as far as our customers are concerned, but they are also customer support and tier one engineering.” says Justin Maxwell, Smith’s co-founder. “Receptionists do a lot of things behind the scenes for these businesses that they don’t know about.”’s Receptionists have a lot of work to do, so keeping them in the flow with easy software interactions is key. In helping prospective and existing clients, they spend a lot of time in help desk software triaging communication and taking action on requests

Making it easy with Shortcut

This help desk software is crucial because it’s one of the main ways they interact with their own customers. On a regular enough basis for it to matter, some of those interactions require the assistance of Product or Engineering, and Smith doesn’t want a remote Receptionist team member to have to worry about jumping around across numerous pieces of software when their days are already busy enough. Or for someone on the engineering team to have to go digging for the information they need to complete a task.

"A friend was using GitHub Issues and I said, ‘You're an idiot. I have to show you Shortcut right now.'"
Justin Maxwell, Co-Founder and CDO

Which is why Justin took the time to improve’s experience with this unnamed software and get more from using both our API and Zapier plugin.

“We have feature requests every day, occasional bug reports, and then we have tasks involving telephony.” Justin says. “Telephony can involve port requests, Caller ID changes, and provisioning, stuff like that.”

Automatically generating stories via API 

When a support representative, say, tags an issue with a port request, uses a rule their email support suite to fire a webhook to Zapier. This webhook generates a new Shortcut Story for a specific team or engineer, puts that Story in a ready to go state, and automatically fills it out with all the relevant info. It basically just creates a prototype Story for the engineer, attaches things to it, and tells them, “Here’s what you got. Head off and do this work.” (It then also adds a comment back to the support software, letting the representative know what to do next for the customer.)

When the engineer does the work in Shortcut, it automatically notifies the requesting Receptionist that the issue has been dealt with — so they can let the customer know. If they wanted to (and they plan to) it would even be possible to remove this task from the Receptionist entirely, so that completing a task in Shortcut automatically generates an email to the customer via their help desk software.

"Engineers hate being pulled into other software when they don’t need to be. They don’t want to be pulled into customer issues in Slack. They don’t want to be brought into our help desk software. They just want to focus on what’s in Shortcut."
Justin Maxwell, Co-Founder and CDO

And thanks to Shortcut’s API they can. Even though we have direct integrations with lots of tools, the ease of our API ensures you can integrate virtually anything software you want with Shortcut, regardless of whether or not we’ve built an integration for it. If the software you’re using has webhooks, then we can take action with them.

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