Overnight, the way every business operates changed.
From video-based meetings to virtual waiting lists and contactless deliveries, our world has transitioned to being virtual-first interactions. At the front lines of every interaction are deskless workers – from drivers to store workers to relationship managers – employees who spend the majority of their day away from a computer and serving customers.
That’s why we built Twilio Frontline, a mobile app for customer-to-employee engagement. The application is now available in a limited Private Beta. Twilio Frontline can be used by a team of store employees to serve customers looking to make a sale or ask a question, or by relationship managers via a dedicated phone number.
Take a look at Twilio Frontline in action:
A mobile-first experience for a mobile workforce
Industry experts report as many as 2.7B people (that’s around 80% of the global working population) are deskless; this includes everyone from store workers to service technicians, wealth advisors and insurance agents. Whether they spend the majority or just a portion of their day away from a computer, they’re still expected to stay in contact with colleagues and customers. Many of these employees traditionally use their personal mobile devices to communicate with customers. It means employees and customers can stay in contact throughout a transaction and offer a personal touchpoint throughout the customer journey, but also can lead to privacy or compliance concerns. Some businesses opt to provide a company-issued device, but that ultimately leads to increased costs for the business.
When we set out to build Twilio Frontline, there were two key considerations:
1) Not all employees sit at their computer from 9 to 5, and not all customer interactions happen in a contact center.
Distributed teams, shelter-in-place orders, and the rise of deskless workers underscore this reality every business is facing. Whereas most enterprise applications are built for desktops first, this solution needed to be different. Lifting and shifting a desktop application, or relying on a mobile web browser were also not ideal for supporting these employees or their customers.
That’s why Twilio Frontline is a mobile application for iOS and Android, built for an employee’s mobile device. And since it’s designed for employees...
2) Employees need to enjoy using Twilio Frontline.
We know that employees won’t use a solution if it’s hard to operate, lacks functionality they would expect, or makes their work more inefficient. To improve efficiency, Frontline supports automatic inbound routing based on employee availability, contact profiles integrated via webhook with a CRM, push notifications to allow them to multitask, and deep linking from other applications to reduce clicks. To mirror the experiences most of us have come to expect in modern messaging applications, Frontline also supports features like typing indicators, read/delivery receipts, message templates, and more.
Businesses are rapidly responding to changing ways of doing business and Frontline is designed to help their employees build relationships with consumers over a rich mobile experience.
Multichannel support in one UI
Built on the backbone of Conversations API, Twilio Frontline supports multichannel messaging experiences, out of the box. Regardless of whether a consumer is writing in on WhatsApp or SMS, your employees can respond from one UI. Text, emojis, media and attachments flow freely between channels for a unified end-user and employee experience.
As you’ve probably learned while expanding your own multichannel strategy, every channel comes with its own nuances; that’s why Frontline includes support for features like WhatsApp Template Messages to allow employees to start a conversation outside of a 24-hour Session.
While we’re starting with support for messaging based experiences, we’re partnering with our Beta partners to build out the next set of functionality in Frontline to support the rest of the Twilio Customer Engagement Platform.
Secure relationship building
Among the greatest challenges to maintaining privacy and compliance is ensuring that contacts and conversations can be logged and maintained by your business, even when an employee leaves your organization. When employees use a personal phone number or messaging app, none of that can be guaranteed. Twilio Frontline is Single sign-on (SSO) ready for authentication and conversations are proxied via Twilio phone numbers. This allows consumers an easy way to communicate with employees and allows your business the ability to retain archives of conversations and moderate conversations. You designate who is able to communicate with customers and control access to Frontline just as you would any enterprise application.
We’re just getting started
We’re thrilled to get Twilio Frontline into the hands of businesses and their employees. Across every vertical and industry, employees (including those 2.7B deskless employees) drive customer engagement across every touchpoint in the customer journey. That consumer experience is now mobile with Twilio Frontline and we’re just getting started.
We’re offering limited access during the Private Beta period. If your organization is interested in taking part in this, please request access at twilio.com/frontline and we’ll keep you informed as we’re able to expand access.