Twilio doubles down on customer engagement through more personalized experiences


Cloud communications firm Twilio Inc. today announced a host of updates to its customer engagement platform that it said are aimed at helping businesses to establish more profitable, long-term and direct relationships with their customers.

Twilio is best known for its cloud services and application programming interfaces that are used by developers to embed messaging and video calling features into applications. However, in recent years Twilio has expanded into other markets, most notably the customer engagement sector.

Twilio’s expansion followed its $3.2 billion acquisition of a company called Segment Inc. in 2020. Segment had built a data analytics platform that helps businesses to deliver more relevant ads to customers. Following that acquisition, Twilio came up with Twilio Engage, a growth automation platform that enables marketers to improve their relationships with customers through more personalized experiences.

Twilio Engage launched just over a year ago but only now is it becoming generally available. The company explained that Twilio Engage provides a native customer data platform or CDP and native omnichannel experience in a single platform, allowing marketers to act on data in real-time via any digital channel. By providing a complete view of customers that’s based on rich, real-time profiles in the same place where marketers orchestrate customer journeys, Twilio Engage makes it possible to activate precise personalized experiences and drive more efficient growth at scale, the company said.

Twilio Vice President of Product Kathryn Murphy said the company’s goal with Twilio Engage is to help marketers deliver exceptional omnichannel campaigns that are fit for the digital era.

“Today, pressure to lower acquisition costs and to bolster lifetime value has intensified, and the need for personalized customer engagement at scale is greater than ever before,” Murphy said. “Twilio Engage is built ‘data up’ on a native CDP with native channels, so personalized experiences can be informed by consented, first-party data and powered by one platform.”

Personalization is also the name of the game for Twilio’s cloud contact center offering, Twilio Flex, which is built atop of the company’s cloud communications infrastructure and enables firms to create an omnichannel contact center experience. To deliver on this, Twilio said Flex will benefit from a new, native integration between Google Dialogflow CX and Twilio Voice, which powers virtual agents. The addition of Dialogflow CX will enable virtual agents to engage with customers in a more realistic way, holding “natural-feeling” conversations and responding in a more personalized way, the company said.

“With little to no code, businesses can automate self-service use cases while scrapping frustrating IVR experiences that can damage customer relationships and increase the cost per call,” Twilio said.

Finally, Twilio said, its customers can now make use of a more streamlined customer login process. As the company explained, verifying users is always a bit of a tradeoff between user experience and security. If they ask for too much information, customers might just give up and go somewhere else.

“Every time a customer can’t sign up or log in because the process is too long or frustrating, that’s lost business,” the company said. “But brands shouldn’t have to make a tradeoff between seamless, positive user experiences and added protections.”

To that end, Twilio is introducing a new, password-less authentication tool. It’s called Verify Silent Network Authentication or SNA, and it’s based on a more straightforward possession authentication method that helps new users to sign up and verify themselves faster with the help of authoritative, deterministic mobile carrier signals.

Twilio said it has partnered with more than 56 mobile network operators across 30 countries to make this happen. With SNA, it’s able to verify the user’s device and phone number with the help of the network operator, without the need for additional pin codes or visual tests from users. Twilio said PT Gojek Indonesia, one of the biggest ride-sharing and food delivery apps in Southeast Asia, has already implemented SNA and has been able to reduce customer login times from 20 seconds to just five seconds using the new service.

Twilio co-founder and Chief Executive Jeff Lawson today’s updates are all about helping customers do more with less. “There’s a real desire out there to know customers so deeply that investments become targeted, personalized and highly efficient,” he said. “This is the promise of Twilio’s customer engagement platform: a single platform that creates superior, data-driven customer experiences that increase lifetime value.”

Photo: Twilio

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