The world’s most flexible contact center platform is about to get a whole lot more flexible — for developers and for customers.
Twilio® Flex® Conversations, a single API for SMS, chat, and WhatsApp on the Flex platform, will be rolling out to public beta at the end of this month. This enables Flex users to easily orchestrate digital channel experiences that support their vision for differentiation while driving deeper personalization and happier customers. Flex Conversations makes Twilio Flex the first truly unified, multi-channel contact center platform.
Why does this matter? Because with a single API, you’ll be able to easily build seamless experiences that bridge any of the digital channels you use to communicate with your customers, including Chat, SMS, email, or even WhatsApp.
This is crucial, because customer expectations continue to rise. Customers have come to expect personalization at every stage of their journey with a brand. They are ready to switch to other brands if their experiences fall short, and rightfully so. Recognizing this, brands in all industries around the world have been busy improving their digital customer engagement in order to build customer loyalty and grow their business – last year 62% of US companies noted they planned to increase their investment in customer engagement.
Because if you don’t provide a unified, personalized experience for your customers, someone else will.
The reality is, many contact centers don’t provide a unified experience. They still have patchwork point solutions for different channels, resulting in inconsistent experiences for customers. The relevant customer data may exist, but it’s often locked away in fragmented, siloed applications – one for the call center and another for web-based support conversations, for instance. That’s why you have to repeat yourself to every contact center agent that you speak with. But with Flex Conversations, it is easier and quicker than ever to add and manage digital engagements – all on a single platform – delivering consistency, personalization, and higher customer satisfaction.
A truly unified contact center API for digital channels
Twilio Flex allows companies to build the most comprehensive customer journeys they’ve ever created. It already offers deployment of all communication channels and integrations in a single user interface. Companies including Yelp, Stripe, Electrolux, and Align Technology are using Twilio Flex to build and customize unique customer experiences. And in the past year, the number of active agents using Flex-based contact centers grew by more than 90%.
Now, with the upcoming launch of Flex Conversations, you only need one API for Twilio Flex, which brings multiple digital channels all on one platform.
This can shorten your time to market, simplify experimentation with new channels, and make it easier for you to build contact applications that draw on the same customer profiles when communicating with customers regardless of channel.
For example, if someone starts a conversation in Chat, you can send a followup message by SMS to continue the interaction. Your app will enable your employees to see everything in one place, in context, across all of those channels. And as Twilio expands support to other digital channels in the future like Facebook Messenger and Google Business Messages, customers leveraging Flex Conversations automatically gain access through that same API.
Because Twilio Flex, like all Twilio products, is based on deep programmability and integration it goes far beyond basic CRM integrations. Using both Flex and Twilio® Segment® together, customers have already been able to capture, synthesize, and activate real-time customer data from any number of back-end applications. This can result in more deeply personalized interactions with customers, greater customer loyalty, and ultimately more growth and customer retention due to a superlative customer experience.
Improved user interface for accessibility and consistency
A new, unified API is not all that we’re offering. We are also rolling out an updated Flex UI that’s optimized for accessibility. For support agents who are visually impaired, we’ve improved screen reader compatibility, button labeling, and keyboard navigation. We’ve adjusted colors, fonts and margins to meet accessibility standards.
We’ve also incorporated PASTE support into the Flex UI toolkit. PASTE is the design system that Twilio created to support its own efforts to create consistent, inclusive, and delightful experiences. Now, Flex customers and partners can use the same component library as Twilio’s developers. This means that partners can more easily ensure consistent styling and branding for their customers, without having to bring in extensive UI development expertise.
Customers using Flex to achieve seamless customer engagement
Many contact center providers claim to be omnichannel, but actually creating a true omnichannel customer experience is substantially more difficult, with only 24.5% claiming good or complete consistency across contact channels.
That makes the success stories really stand out. For example, Vacasa is an international vacation rental management company that provides property management services for over 30,000 vacation rentals in North America and South America. Vacasa, like many companies, was using an array of siloed communications channels: 8x8, Five9, Aircall, and RingCentral. It had three different teams, all working with customers to support different needs. And the company’s staff needed to access customer data to automate complex tasks. For example, they wanted the capability to send an automated email to a customer with smart lock entry codes the morning that customer was checking in, or deliver an alert for guests to download a special app for one-touch access to Wi-Fi.
Vacasa found that it couldn’t achieve this vision of seamless digital customer engagement using existing contact center software. Vacasa chose Flex to power an omnichannel experience with custom tailored UIs for their guest experience, homeowner experience, and sales teams. After implementation, Vacasa saw a 3-10x increase in guest bookings. This platform is now used by all the company’s representatives globally, enabling these reps to deliver consistent, unified experiences regardless of communications channel.
Flex Conversations beta to launch Q2 2022
As for what’s next for Twilio Flex, we will soon offer usage-based pricing. This approach to pricing is less rigid and gives our customers more flexibility in using Flex the way they want. Because pricing is based on the amount of time spent actually interacting with customers, this can mean lower bills for most customers.
Coming soon, we will also offer HIPAA eligibility offerings, for companies that are compliant with this important U.S. law governing the secure exchange of health information.
Flex Conversations will be available in public beta starting in Q2 2022. If you are interested in learning more, Twilio will be at Enterprise Connect March 21-22, 2022 — stop by our booth for a demo!
Simonetta Turek is the General Manager of Twilio Flex. Simonetta joins us from AWS and a long career in enterprise software and communications, with a passion for and extensive knowledge of the customer engagement space.