Twilio is a cloud communications platform, which means they allow developers inside companies to take communication pieces like email, sms, phone calls etc and make them smart. Inside medium to large enterprises, you’ll have established rules for escalation and approval and using Twilio APIs, its possible to programatically reflect those business rules in workflows. Until now, that’s been a relatively difficult task, requiring expert developer knowledge to first construct, then adapt as business needs and people change.
Now there’s a new, simpler tool available, called Twilio Studio which delivers a drag and drop experience. What this does is make the task of designing these workflows, much simpler, opening them up to new job roles inside the organisation. Imagine if you could free your developers of the busy work of creating basic flows, you’d free up your expensive developer time for more intensive, one off problems. When you consider business operations like helpdesks that can receive communication by the phone, email, ticket system or even SMS, then you need to prioritise those support requests quickly. Everyone that makes it to the top-level developers is taking them away from other projects and costing the business money.
What if the ICT Operations Manager could log into a service like it was IFTTT and design these business workflows. That’s exactly what Twilio Studio offers. Every time the phone rings, you can provide a voice menu to allow the caller to identify the first tier of support required – ‘Press 1 for hardware, press 2 for software’ etc. Studio then allows you to take that input and have different branches based on that selection, ensuring your caller gets the answers they need from the right person, not the first person.
Like Visio diagram, this visual interface allows companies to accelerate the development of customer engagement applications. Twilio expects business will use Studio to build a variety of engagement solutions, such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, conversational messaging bots, or notification workflows in minutes instead of weeks.
You can design and deploy a new appointment reminder service for your business, add SMS chat customer service to your contact center, or even upgrade your IVR phone menu to support speech recognition. It’s all made easy using an intuitive drag-and-drop visual editor with a library of omnichannel widgets that handle the underlying communication logic for you.
Using Twilio Studio, you’ll discover all kinds of untapped potential throughout your organization, particularly:
- A faster way to build engaging customer experiences: A library of widgets represent different communication channels and functions for creating workflows. Building a world-class experience for customers is as easy as dragging and dropping those widgets into the best flow for any situation.
- Improved agility to iterate on those experiences as customer needs change:Changing content and routing logic for an application can now be done visually rather than in code, making Twilio accessible to every department within a business including product, marketing, support, and engineering. Adding a new channel or changing the customer experience can happen quickly without having to write new code.
- Rapid development and deployment of new communications use cases: As end-users around the world demand access to business through a growing range of channels, companies risk losing business if they cannot adapt quickly. Twilio Studio can unlock the creativity of the business to connect with customers in endless new ways much faster than before.
- Unmatched scalability and reliability to grow with the business: Workflows built with Twilio Studio are hosted and run on Twilio Runtime, the same elastic cloud infrastructure that runs the entirety of Twilio’s platform. This allows businesses to focus on building great experiences rather than unnecessary infrastructure.
Ott Kaukver is the VP of engineering at Twilio and was recently in Australia where I had the chance to chat to him about the launch of Studio. Ott was an early employee at Skype, where he built the engineering team essentially from scratch, to over 300 in 3 years. Under Ott, Skype launched SkypeOut, and grew the business into a $1 billion product line. He’s an interesting guy with a bold vision for the future of the service that will ultimately make driving business outcomes easier by automating business processes that rely on pretty much any communication.
Within just a few minutes I’d worked my way through Studio to create the workflow in the screenshot above. This really was easy and getting hands-on certainly enabled me to understand the full potential of what’s on offer here. The sheer number of configuration options is mind blowing, only really limited by your imagination. This page on Twilio docs has a great run down of the Triggers, Transitions, Widgets and Variables you can leverage to create your workflows in Studio. Essentially any piece of data collected during a client interaction (including voice analysis, contents of a message etc), can be captured and leveraged to triage and respond to the communication, ensuring internal and external customers receive the best service possible.
Usage is measured in customer engagements, which means its based on the value you’re delivering to your customers. An engagement is counted as each time a flow you’ve created is triggered.
- Free — Limited to 1,000 engagements/mo. Great for prototyping new ideas quickly and easily.
- Plus — Removes the engagements limitation and adds draft/publish modes. Costs $99/mo plus $0.005/engagement. First 20,000 engagements/mo are free.
- Enterprise — Includes unlimited engagements, and adds advanced features such as revision history, audit history, a publishing API, role-based access control, single sign-on, and enhanced security controls. Starts at $10,000/mo.
For more information or to sign up for the beta, head to https://www.twilio.com/studio