2023 Customer Engagement Solutions Guide
Win big in the age of trusted customer engagement with the right tools at your fingertips
Time to read: 10 minutes
The ways that customers around the world interact with brands have changed. Accelerated exponentially by the global pandemic and massive shifts in the macroeconomic environment, the world has become undeniably digital-first while, at the same time, companies are being forced to do more with less.
Brands are met with a challenge: understand customers uniquely and engage with them personally, all while decreasing acquisition costs and maximizing customer lifetime value. This is the age of trusted customer engagement, and only with the right customer engagement solutions can brands thrive in it.
The best customer engagement solutions help brands build a clear profile of each customer, one that informs every interaction across an organization, from sales and marketing to customer support and services. It also provides the tools, global reach, and adaptability to help businesses create trusted, long-term customer relationships.
Those who continue to rely on legacy or off-the-shelf customer engagement solutions are relinquishing the value and insight of their data, all while losing critical customer loyalty and market share. These offerings—some created over 20 years ago—can create costly inefficiencies across organizations, force brands to interact with customers through a transactional lens, and can’t keep up with the explosion of digital channels customers engage with.
In order to win the trust and loyalty of customers today—while delivering the unique experiences that customers want, expect, and need across any channel—brands need to precisely personalize every interaction by:
- Harnessing trusted zero- and first-party customer data
- Understanding their customers in real time
- Tailoring the best engagement experiences at scale
Throughout this guide, we’ll highlight key considerations when evaluating customer engagement solutions like Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform, helping brands win big in the age of trusted customer engagement.
Turn customer transactions into engagements that last a lifetime by knowing what customers really care about and want.
Twilio has built the world's leading Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) by combining the power of the #1 CPaaS solution with the data-driven force of the world's #1 customer data platform (CDP)*, Twilio Segment. As the #1 leader in digital communications tools** like SMS messaging and email, it’s designed to help organizations deliver seamless customer experiences that delight, empowering them to build brand advocates for life.
Twilio’s customer engagement solutions are also flexible and highly adaptable, so you can efficiently tailor them to meet your unique business needs now and well into the future. With Twilio, you can:
- Remove business silos and take ownership of your trusted customer data with the world’s #1 customer data platform (CDP),
- Reach and engage with customers through the channels that they prefer today and tomorrow
- Empower your frontline teams with the context and tools they need to orchestrate meaningful experiences at scale
- Gain and activate intelligent insights to know customers better and maximize lifetime value with every interaction
- Take action with the confidence that you have the flexibility and agility to easily tailor any component of Twilio’s CEP for the business priorities of today—and tomorrow.
When you build your customer engagement on Twilio, you’re using a proven platform you can trust to drive efficient, best-in-class experiences for both your frontline teams and customers for decades to come. Omdia, a leading research and analyst group in the technology space, ranked Twilio as a “Customer Engagement Platform” leader with the highest ranking when it comes to “Customer Experience” in its 2022 Omdia Universe Customer Engagement Platform Report.
Offering unrivaled adaptability at every layer, Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform is trusted by over 280,000 of the world’s most customer-obsessed brands. It provides the modern tools, clear understanding, and powerful flexibility needed to know each customer at scale and engage with them personally. Companies of all sizes, across every major vertical—from retail and e-commerce, to real estate, financial services, healthcare, government, and nonprofits—rely on Twilio to drive meaningful customer engagement.
“The combination of Twilio and Segment will empower us to provide customer magic moments and communication that’s highly relevant.”
—Christine Li, Director of Marketing Technology, Allergan
Explore detailed Twilio customer stories that align with your industry or use case, complete with quantitative impact that these brands have driven through their use of the Twilio Customer Engagement Platform. Discover how Twilio customers like Toyota Connected, Resy, Airbnb, Stripe, eBay, and more have found success by building durable, profitable customer relationships through precise and personalized customer engagement.
“Segment allows us to smoothly handle the disparate datasets we use. With real-time integrated data flows, we can truly understand what people are doing with our platform. It doesn’t matter where you look at the data, with Segment, it’s always consistent.”
—Nic Sauriol, Software Development Leader, IBM
The best customer engagement solutions marketecture begins with the customer at the center of the entire experience. This is crucial, and represents the “golden profile”—or understanding of each individual customer—at scale that Twilio brings to life.
This is possible because of the combination of both Twilio’s robust portfolio of Channel APIs and our Twilio Segment CDP. With these two central hemispheres, you have both the data and the reach required to clearly and authentically know every customer, and engage with them however they prefer.
Channel proliferation continues to expand as the age of trusted customer engagement places customer preferences front and center. Twilio’s undisputed legacy in communications platform as a service (CPaaS) and our vast breadth of channel APIs fully equip businesses to bridge communication gaps across every critical channel.
With Twilio, both developers and business stakeholders can assess performance across their channels with centralized insights that enable you to understand what’s working and quickly take action as necessary. Some of our most popular Channel APIs include:
- Programmable Messaging
- Programmable Voice
- Twilio SendGrid Email API
- Programmable Video
- WhatsApp Business API
It’s impossible to understate the importance of data—especially within customer engagement solutions. As the world’s #1 CDP, Twilio Segment enables organizations to unify their data on a trusted platform—whether that’s user data across website, app, and ad interactions or across different sources and systems—and engage customers intelligently in real time.
This power allows organizations to provide a seamless customer experience by unifying siloed data, building complete “golden profiles” of each customer that every frontline team can access (ensuring they’re working with the same context), and democratizing those insights for all frontline teams.
Twilio Segment also keeps your data clean and compliant. You can validate and transform all the data you’re collecting, and automatically fix data issues at the source to ensure quality. Plus, trust that the data you use to make decisions is updated in real time, complete, and accurate.
Finally, turn customer data into intelligent engagement by leveraging insights from up-to-date “golden profiles” to understand customer preferences, and tailor communications accordingly: at the right time, on the right channels, and at the right frequency. Delight customers by anticipating their needs and building on context from earlier interactions.
Building on top of this core you’ll find our orchestration layer for customer engagement solutions. These include offerings like Twilio’s Conversations API, allowing you to build engaging conversational messaging experiences seamlessly across various channels.
Then there’s Twilio Task Router, our skills-based routing system for distributing tasks such as phone calls, leads, support tickets and more. And finally, Twilio Studio, our low/no-code, visual workflow builder making it possible to build powerful, custom journeys with just a few clicks.
Today’s digital leaders are invested in customer engagement solutions that place an intimate understanding of every customer in the hands of their frontline teams to:
- Create one cohesive conversation with every individual
- Expand that conversation across touchpoints and channels
- Constantly iterate and improve a customer’s experience over time
With the following fully-programmable engagement applications from Twilio, companies can unify their data, update it in real time, plus ensure it’s accessible and actionable. That way, frontline teams across marketing, sales, support, and security have the tools necessary to enjoy the full power and data-driven understanding of Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform.
Twilio Engage is an omnichannel growth platform that empowers marketing and growth teams to build and scale personalized campaigns across channels, based on real-time customer interactions. Engage is the first growth platform built on top of a CDP, and it leverages Twilio Segment to bring in all customer interaction data into a clean, easy-to-use UI. This empowers teams to quickly build and iterate on hyper-personalized campaigns without support from data teams, helping them execute more quickly and efficiently.
Within Twilio Engage, members of your team are equipped with the tools, data integrations, analytics, and channels they need to build and optimize marketing campaigns faster than ever before. Twilio Engage helps marketers:
- Deliver consistent, personalized customer experiences at scale
- Engage in real time across the channels your customers use, so you always meet them where they are
- Orchestrate context-driven journeys based on real-time customer insights
- Drive efficient growth across the entire customer journey, from acquisition to retention
Twilio Flex is a digital engagement center for sales and customer support teams that gives companies the power and control to orchestrate customer dialogue across all channels, and at every stage of the journey. Twilio Flex works to drive revenue in three ways.
- As a customer service contact center with specific channels and integrations orchestrated to remove friction and drive repeat sales
- As digital channels that can augment existing solutions with threaded conversations across SMS, MMS, Chat, and WhatsApp
- As a sales and relationship management tool enabling high touch, contextual sales interactions via in-app digital concierge services
Twilio SendGrid offers a streamlined email marketing solution for marketers. It provides easy-to-use, easy-to-scale email marketing—complete with a visual drag-and-drop editor, a code-based editor, contact list management and segmentation, analytics, reporting and more.
Twilio Verify API provides effortless authentication, security, and trust. It can validate users over SMS and other popular channels with a fully-managed API that does the heavy lifting for you.
Plus, with our new Silent Network Authentication, you can confirm phone number possession without interrupting the user flow. Protect end users, accounts, and transactions with secure authentication that doesn’t require users to wait or leave your app.
Finally, in the outermost layer of our customer engagement solutions, we address the complexity of customer engagement with services that builders and leaders across your organization will love. Serverless functions, native trust and compliance tools, complete extensibility across the platform, and white glove service to support your success all surround Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform.
Build, deploy, and operate powerful apps at scale without having to manage servers or constantly monitor scale. Twilio Runtime is a suite of serverless tools—built by developers, for developers—supporting every step of the development process.
Runtime includes tools like Twilio CLI, helper libraries, API keys, and debugging tools. Plus, with Twilio Functions, developers can enjoy a serverless environment that empowers them to quickly create production-grade, event-driven Twilio applications that scale with their businesses.
Building completely secure customer engagement solutions for your business requires services such as identity management, authentication, secure and compliant payments, privacy controls like number-masking, and more. Accelerate your time to market and implement years of best practices in just minutes with powerful services provided by Twilio, which have been expertly designed to handle the most common use cases.
Depending on the size of your organization or the industries in which you operate, you may require some advanced features in order to meet specific regulatory and compliance requirements, or simply ensure that your organization is safe and secure.
To help meet these needs, we offer Twilio Editions: three different packages of advanced features, addressing specific security, administration, and enterprise needs. Editions packages are specifically tailored to deliver the powerful features you need to run customer engagement your way.
Twilio works intimately with a robust partner ecosystem that includes consulting, platform, and technology Partners to serve our customer outcomes while scaling Twilio’s go-to-market reach and offering capabilities. These include global and regional resellers and system integrators (SIs), platform partnerships, independent software vendors (ISVs), and business process outsourcing (BPOs), delivering joint value creation and co-innovation for Twilio customers.
Twilio partner solutions that have been approved by the Twilio product team are easily discovered in the Twilio Showcase, where customers can use a variety of filters to identify the best partner for their use case. These partners have completed rigorous certification, technical validation, and receive consistent, high-touch support from Twilio. They serve as extensions of Twilio—and we trust them to serve as extensions of your team as well.
Whether you’re looking to explore more yourself, or speak with a Twilio expert, we’ve provided a number of next steps that you can take from here to move closer to best-in-class customer engagement and durable, trusted relationships with each and every one of your customers.
- Speak with our team if you’re interested in diving a bit deeper
- Explore our Docs to see what building on Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform really looks like
- Browse our blog to learn more about our latest product releases and initiatives
*IDC “Worldwide Customer Data Platform Market Shares, 2020: The Flight to First-Party Data Is On, and CDPs Win Big,” published July 2021 - ID #US48052920e
**Synergy Research Group “Twilio, Vonage and Sinch driving the CPaaS Market with Record High Growth,” published August 2021.