Twilio on Twilio: How Twilio Used Flex to Engage Prospects

How Twilio Used Flex to Engage Prospects
August 17, 2022
Written by
Reviewed by

Business and customer expectations are constantly evolving, and Twilio is no exception. That’s why we needed a customer engagement tool that could be built for the unique way Twilio sells to customers.

“There’s a joke we say internally in the business applications team when new people start,” Twilio Platform Manager Lisa Wheeler said. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen before, it does not apply to Twilio. The skillsets transfer, but the experience never does. It is so unique at Twilio—the way we sell and how we sell.”

Our Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) needed a tool that could help them make inbound and outbound calls and record data in a consolidated way, through Salesforce. That’s why our specific use case required a customized solution.

Flex, Twilio’s customizable contact center platform, empowers businesses to choose how they use it based on their specific needs. The platform offers the following benefits:

  • Digital-first engagement: deliver customer engagement with the widest breadth of communication channels
  • Quick implementation: deploy a 100% cloud-based contact center in days—not months
  • Flexibility: continually inspect, adapt, and adjust any part of your Flex setup as your business needs
  • Precise personalization: lower handle times by up to 38% by putting relevant, contextual information front and center for your team

Twilio’s needs included the ability to adapt and make changes as our business grows, as well as the consolidation of tools. That’s why when we needed a solution for our SDRs to communicate with customers, we turned to Flex.

How Twilio implemented and tested Flex using two-week cycles

Twilio created a small but mighty team for its Flex implementation. That team included:

  • Lisa Wheeler as the architect;
  • Charles Oppenheimer as the Flex expert who took on the role of Professional Services;
  • Venkata Phani Raju Meda as the developer and engineer; and
  • Bridget Kelly as change manager.

The team built out Flex to address the SDRs’ primary set of needs. Then, they developed a quick, two-week deployment cycle turnaround where they’d build, test, gather feedback, and build again based on what they heard from the SDRs. That enabled them to get all the customization correct and adapt that initial plan based on the SDRs’ feedback.

Flexibility and Customization

The customization in Flex enabled inbound and outbound calling for the SDRs and ensured all communication met compliance regulations. Twilio’s implementation team also ensured that Flex recognized when an SDR’s number had been dialed rather than the Inbound Sales Line, so it could route calls directly to the SDR instead of the general line.

During the trial process, the team also learned that the SDRs wanted the ability to forward calls to their cell phones, so the team made sure this was also accomplished.

Consolidation of Tools and Data

One of the biggest goals for Twilio’s implementation of Flex was the consolidation of tools, according to Wheeler.

“Being at Twilio, we can align it on a single platform and create a single user experience—a consolidated user experience,” Wheeler said. “So we’re not having to jump from tool to tool to tool.”

Working across multiple platforms created siloed operations and communication. Also, fewer tools meant less time and money spent onboarding and training SDRs.

“It’s very simple, but there are so many different ways that we can direct that customer to them,” Wheeler said. “And if we keep adding on new tools, which is what we were doing—let’s get a chat tool, let’s get an SMS tool, let’s add a call tool—that experience is miserable.”

The implementation team also wanted aligned cross-platform reporting, including the ability to compare the calls made through Outreach with calls made through Flex in the same report. Lastly, they needed to know how many calls failed to be routed to an agent because of a systems issue.

Flex’s customization enabled Twilio’s implementation team to build out functions they didn’t even know they needed at the beginning of the process. And once it addressed the SDRs’ list of needs, Flex’s customization enabled them to think outside the box and expand the ways in which they could service customers. With Twilio Flex, there is no limit to your customer engagement needs.

How Flex has helped Twilio’s SDRs better engage customers

Flex has helped Twilio better serve its SDRs—and, in turn, their customers—in several ways since implementation.

“One of the big advantages that we’ve seen immediately is reduction in tool fatigue,” Wheeler said. “So the SDRs are in Salesforce, Flex pops up in Salesforce, they’re not having to log in anywhere else, everything is credentialed through there. They have all the features and bells and whistles they need.”

The consolidation and simplification Flex offers Twilio means training and onboarding time has decreased from days to hours. Also, Flex has created a better, more accessible experience for the entire team. It has also enabled managers to virtually listen in on calls in real time to help with training—improving the overall quality of interactions with customers.

We believe the journey to improve our customer experience will never end, especially as Twilio grows. With that growth, we plan to continue looking toward Flex and Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform implementations to adapt to our evolving business needs.

One of the key advantages to building and controlling your customer experience roadmap is the ability to integrate with multiple departments and customer workflows.

How Flex’s customization has helped other businesses scale

Twilio Flex can be used for any of your specific use cases, too. Its versatility and flexibility make your most granular business needs possible, across departments. In fact, a wide array of businesses have implemented Cloud solutions for customer engagement to help with their customer experiences—improving contact centers, customer communication, and overall customer engagement.

For example, Flex empowered rideshare company Lyft to build a completely custom call center to serve its associates, drivers, and customers. The call center now services 30 million customers per week, with more than 2,000 associates using Flex.

Flex also enabled kitchen appliance leader Electrolux to build a customizable contact center solution that empowered agents to send information via SMS to customers while on the phone with them. Implementing Flex resulted in a 20-30% increase in supported calls to the contact center for a company with 60 million household and professional products.

If you’re thinking of implementing Flex for your business, you have a few options. You can outsource installation to a third party, use professional services with Twilio, or set up the development with your own team. Talk to our sales team to get started.

And learn more by watching our upcoming webinar on September 14, 2022. Our implementation team will share their story, advice, and how Flex’s customization and flexibility can help customer experience leaders like you with your unique business needs.

Jessica Nath is a Content Marketing Specialist at Twilio, Inc. She currently lives in Salt Lake City (before you ask, no, she doesn't ski) but will always be a Yinzer at heart (certified Pittsburgher). She can be reached at jnath [at]