• March 25, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Twilio Flexes Its Customization Muscles: The 2019 CRM Service Rising Stars Awards

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About a year ago, Twilio first introduced Flex, a fully programmable, cloud-based, omnichannel contact center platform that lets companies customize almost everything, but it didn’t officially roll it out until October. The market was quick to hail the solution as groundbreaking.

“When Twilio first announced Flex in March, it took the contact center market by storm,” says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics.

Twilio Flex’s signature characteristic is its ability for users to customize their entire contact center experience, from the user interface to communication channels, agent routing, and reporting.

Companies using Flex can deploy agent, administration, and supervisor desktops and immediately begin engaging with customers via voice, SMS, email, chat, video, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and many other channels. They can build their own unique click-to-call, click-to-chat, interactive voice response (IVR), and chatbot components; add new channels; and integrate reporting dashboards. The application also lets them leverage machine learning to improve agent, supervisor, and operator productivity and use Twilio’s TaskRouter to bring attribute-based routing logic to all channels.

Other elements of the Flex platform include a real-time event stream; payment processing; native workforce optimization; and Autopilot, Twilio’s conversational bot for information gathering, responding to frequently asked questions, and transitioning the conversation to human agents if needed.

Users can integrate data from custom channels and CRM systems and add additional capabilities—such as phrase detection, call scoring, and intelligent redaction of recordings—using pre-integrated partner technologies through the Twilio Marketplace. Some of the companies in that ecosystem already include Google Cloud, IBM, Voicebase, Perficient, Presidio, and Avtex.

Flex also leverages technologies that Twilio, a San Francisco-based cloud communications platform provider, gained in its acquisition of Ytica, in September.

“The exciting thing about Flex is it allows us to build customer experiences the way we want, without having to change our business,” said Chris Wilson, director of support operations at Shopify, one of the first companies to deploy the Flex platform, in a statement. “We can wrap Flex around our business instead of having to wrap the business around Flex.”

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