Twilio Flex is a cloud contact center
Twilio Flex is a cloud contact center that you can deploy in minutes. But then once it’s up and running you can customize it entirely. It doesn’t take very long to get going with it and I’m going to show you everything you get out of the box right now. We’ll start inside the Twilio Console and we’re going to create a new project.
So come up to your project here and hit New Project. We’re going to use the Flex template which will deploy everything for Flex for you and get it all wired up. It only takes a couple of minutes. It’s really simple, so let’s just do that. We’ll call it YouTube Flex and then we’re going to come down here and hit Continue.
Then there’s a step here where you can add some teammates to your project. Say you have some developers you wanna work on this with you could add them here. We’re not going to do that, so we’ll hit ‘Skip this step’. Everything that happens here is in real-time. It’s going to set up the account, configure routing, create some studio flows, create some channel controls, set up the voice channel,
set up the messaging channel, even set up some insights reporting and some access security and we’ll be ready to go. As I said, it happens very, very fast and the amount of stuff that it’s setting up behind the scenes is pretty incredible. We’ll take a look at what gets set up here in just a second. Alright, that’s it, it’s loading up into Flex. The first thing it’s going to have us do is pick a theme. I’m just going to pick this dark blue theme. You can change the theme at any time. And then, we’ve got this ‘Welcome to Flex’ task here.
I’m going to go up and select that and it’s going to show us the phone number it has set up. It’s all ready to go to receive calls and to receive incoming text messages, so, why don’t we just test this out? I’m going to take out my phone and give this a call. Alright, so I’ll dial (253) 785-6461 to call into our Flex account. One thing to keep in mind is the new project comes with a Trial Twilio account so the account has not been upgraded which means this is going to prompt you to press any number to run your code.
You can get rid of that by upgrading your account but for now, I’ll hit 1 to continue and the call will be placed through to Flex and I can hit the checkmark in the Agent Dashboard to connect myself up to the caller. This will use the in-browser WebRTC calling. I’ll hang this up. I just wanted to point out a few things. There is an info tab inside of this task that will give you information about the caller.
You can customize this to include details about your customers. And, if you have any Twilio add-ons, they can also show information there as well. Now, how about text messaging? I’ll pull out my phone and send an SMS to that same number. I’ll just say “Hi, Will you help me?” and send that through. It’ll pop up in the task list and when we click the checkmark this time it’ll drop us into a chat where we can respond and the responses will be sent back to the person that sent in the message, directly back to their phone as an SMS.
This is going to have the trial headers as well. Again, you can upgrade your account to get rid of those but that’s all it takes to get calling and text messaging going. You really don’t have to do anything other than creating the project. There’s one more feature that’s set up by default and that’s chat. You can get to a demo that shows you how it works by hitting the Launch button inside of the Welcome to Flex task.
This is going to launch a demo website that shows you how you might want to implement the chat on your own website. You have a button down below that says ‘Chat with Us’, it prompts them for their name and what their question is. You can program this (and we’ll show how to do it in a future video) into your own websites so you can have something like this pop-up. We’re going to just say that we are John Doe and that we have a problem with the website.
Then it’s going to pop up a chat inside of the demo window where we can ask our question Our customer’s hypothetical problem is that they can’t create an account on the website so we’re going to let the customer type that in and send it over. Once the question is asked, the task will appear in the agent’s dashboard again. As always this task includes an info tab so if you’ve customized that info tab to contain information about the customer the agent would be able to see it here.
Now what’s interesting about the chat is that it does have typing indicators and read receipts. So you’ll see the read receipt in the chat on the first message because the agent has seen it and then as the agent is typing there are typing indicators over in the chat. Once the agent sends this message a read receipt will pop up on their side. Now I’m going to have the agent switch to Welcome to Flex while the customer types the next message.
Obviously, there won’t be any typing indicators because the chat is not open on the agent side. But also, when the customer finished sending the chat message there won’t be a read receipt until the agent clicks on that new message inside of Flex. So, chat working as you’d expect it with read receipts and typing indicators as well as the time that the messages were sent.
Our future Flex videos will show you how to add more functionality to Flex but in the meantime, head over to the admin section and configure a few things. You can go to Billing to upgrade your account to get rid of the trial limitations. You can set up Single Sign-On so that your agents have a way to log in. Inside of here in the design configuration, you can change the theme.
There’s also a section here for Manage Communications which will take you over to your phone numbers and communication channels. And the assignment section deals with the skills and how to route them to agents. The last section here, Developer Setup, is one we’ll dig into a lot in the next video. It’ll help you get Flex running locally so that you can create plugins and deploy them up to your Flex instance.