Twilio is a cloud communication services provider based in San Francisco.
They originally allowed developers to use code to make and receive phone calls, and to make and receive SMS text messages.
Since their launch in 2008, the number of services that Twilio offers has grown substantially.
Today, they also offer
- WhatsApp messaging
- Progammable phone systems
- Voice recognition and voice sythesis
All of this is programatically accessed, meaning that computer code can drive these channels to do things, like send an SMS, or make a telephone call to a random competition winner, or send a fax to a hundred recipients, or… whatever your business or imagination demands.
Twilio has a flexible and powerful system for creating chat bots based on SMS communications. As well as recognizing subjects that users are talking about, the system can run small chunks of code.
Here are some examples of area where a chat-bot could add value to your company’s offering :
- Appointment scheduling
- Customer Surveys
- Lead Qualification
- Frequently Asked Questions/Answers
- Estate Agent / Realtor Searches
- Hospitality / Hotels
In addition to SMS, voice can be used to provide an input via phone. Responses are given in natural voice.
Off the peg, Twilio offers a number of sophisticated ways to authenticate your users.
2nd Factor authentication with a one time password is already widely used – Twilio’s ‘Authy’ service streamlines this so your developer can implement it easily into your web app.
Run of the mill phone systems say ‘Press 1 for Sales’ etc. Posh phone systems recognize your voice.
Twilio’s programmable phone systems let you develop both type of systems.
Again, just as with the chatbots we mentioned earlier, the options in your phone system can trigger chunks of code, hosted on Twilio, or elsewhere, that you developer can write to do useful things like query your database and feed back information to the caller.
Why Should Your Business Care?
The communications that Twilio offers can make your business seem incredibly professional.
SMS numbers, phone systems, chat-bots – this is stuff that was only really available to large corporations a few years ago, but Twilio have really opened up the market.
The automation that Twilio helps provide can help your business streamline its systems and processes, removing delays for customers, and cutting down staff interaction. That of course means savings on the bottom line, and potentially a better quality of service for customers.
Like everything, bad implementation can lead to the opposite of all of this, so when creating systems and processes with Twilio, please use a developer with experience both of the customer experience, and of Twilio itself.