AI drives next-generation customer relationships and competitive advantage

Predictive AI and voice intelligence drive deeper, actionable customer insights, while generative AI tools activate adaptive engagement.

If you’re looking for AI-ready customer data platform (CDP) innovations to extend your brands’ line of sight, enhance customer profiles and power real-time personalization – look no more!

Twilio, which has been offering a customer engagement platform that drives real-time, personalized experiences for today’s leading brands, has launched CustomerAI solutions at its recent SIGNAL 2023 event.

CustomerAI is set to unlock the power of AI for hundreds of thousands of businesses. New predictive and generative AI tools, along with CDP innovations that underpin powerful AI use cases, are among the launches announced.

“The tectonic shift in technology that we’ve seen this past year rivals the scale and magnitude of the invention of the Internet. AI has truly captured the hearts and minds of builders across the globe,” said Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio.

“I believe the real value unlock for AI will be pairing large language models with first party data sets – which is where Twilio is most differentiated. With CustomerAI, artificial intelligence becomes customer-aware, empowering businesses to drive data-driven personal interactions at every touchpoint.”

Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio

“Getting smarter and more tailored all the time, every interaction creates new data and signals, and every new signal then cycles back around to inform the next AI-powered communication,”

“This flywheel creates precise 1:1 personalization that ensures each unique customer is taken care of, in turn accelerating competitive advantage and business results for brands by boosting customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.”

Kathryn Murphy, SVP of Product at Twilio

With CustomerAI, brands can expand their perception of customer data, activate it more extensively, and be better informed by a deeper understanding.

Predictive AI and voice intelligence

In today’s competitive environment, marketers need new ways to attract, convert, and retain high-value customers. AI and machine learning (ML) models can help anticipate and act on future customer behavior, but effective, complex models require real-time data and data science expertise.

CustomerAI Predictions puts the power of predictive AI at marketers’ fingertips. Without having to tap technical teams, marketers can now create hyper-targeted audiences out-of-the-box, trigger customer journeys, and personalize multichannel experiences based on a customer’s lifetime value (LTV), likelihood to purchase or churn, or any other event tracked in Twilio Segment. This is powered by unified, real-time data in Segment, critical to training high-quality AI models.

Box is using Predictions to save time, optimize campaign performance, and unlock revenue opportunities.

“As marketers, the holy grail is to reach your customers and prospects in a way that is meaningful, relevant and additive to them. CustomerAI Predictions has equipped Box’s marketing team with the ability to forecast customer behavior to a degree that was simply unavailable to us before. We’ve been able to explore segmenting our audience based on predictive traits like who is most likely to join us at in-person events or who is more likely to purchase, and this allows us to meet those people where they are in their customer journey. Tools like Predictions put marketers at the center of this new era of AI which is transforming how companies engage and retain their customers.”

Chris Koehler, Chief Marketing Officer, Box

Voice continues to be a critical customer service channel, with call volumes rising. Historically, companies have struggled to learn from call content because voice data is unstructured. Voice Intelligence changes this, using a transcription and language operator tool that deploys conversational speech recognition to intelligently extract insights.

Using Natural Language Understanding (NLU), it reports on trends like common feedback, competitive insights, and compliance risks. Twilio Flex and Voice customers can also manage regulatory requirements with automated personal information (PII) redaction. One organization in the beta reported lead attribution management margins improved by 21% due to streamlined processes and human error reduction.

Brands like Spoke Phone are already putting Voice Intelligence to work.

Generative AI tools to help activate adaptive customer engagement

Marketers today both want and need to spend their time strategizing for growth, but can be held back by manual tasks. With generative AI soon available inside Twilio Engage and Segment, they can save precious time, boost productivity, and optimize for stronger results.

For example, with the new CustomerAI Generative Emaildesign coming to Twilio Engage, marketers will be able to enter simple text prompts that turn ideas to HTML in seconds. This builds on the AI capabilities available in Twilio Engage today, such as Smart Headlines, the Smart Image Generator, and Smart Buttons that each suggest the most conversion-worthy content to include.

Meanwhile, marketers will be able to skip the manual process of architecting customer journeys thanks to new CustomerAI Generative Journeys. Soon, marketers will be able to describe campaign type (promotional, win-back, etc.), audience definition, and which channels they want to use, and Twilio Engage will then automatically build the journey using generative AI.

Generative AI capabilities are also launching for Twilio Flex, as recently announced with Google Cloud. For example, Flex customers will be able to deploy CustomerAI Agent Assist that will generate recommendations to contact center agents with tailored “next best actions” they should take when interacting with a specific customer as well as AI-generated rapid summarizations for efficient call wrap-up.

Additionally, the forthcoming GA launch of Flex Unify will natively surface Segment’s rich customer profile data to agents in real-time. With agents empowered to interact in a more personalized way, contact centers can increase customer lifetime value and boost sales conversions.

AI-ready CDP

As AI continues to rise in prominence, marketing and product innovators are moving beyond generic personalization based on demographics or location. But to achieve excellent personalization, companies need a clean and consistent data foundation.

Now, using Linked Profiles, companies can build a graph of relationships linking customer events, experiences, and profiles with these additional data sets. With a better line of sight across data, graphed to each customer, companies can train AI models, build advanced segmentation, and power state-of-the-art personalized recommendations and activations across channels.

Twilio is also introducing Zero Copy Architecture to help businesses ensure their data infrastructure is AI-ready. In partnership with Databricks and Snowflake, the new capabilities will allow customers to push down query processing to the data warehouse or data platform directly, eliminating the need for data copying and additional ETL (“Extract-Transform-Load”) jobs, avoiding redundancy, and resulting in more timely, secure, and accurate insights. It also reduces the need to build and maintain data pipelines.

Extending Twilio’s CDP, Zero Copy offers a new pathway for data ingestion and access. For AI models built in the data warehouse, Zero Copy “Data Sharing” technology will enable easier activation in downstream applications. Lastly, Twilio Engage and Twilio Flex customers will be able to onboard customer data into these applications more quickly and easily.

Craig Lisowski, Head of Data, Information Systems & Trust, Nextdoor, commented:

“Nextdoor is excited to see the Databricks and Twilio Segment partnership. Together, they are paving the way for smarter insights and a deeper understanding of data. Real-time data and historic data are key to helping Nextdoor create effective marketing programs for both neighbors and businesses with a high level of personalization.”

“Twilio’s CustomerAI helps customers easily understand how and where they can leverage AI to drive better outcomes and business value across every interaction. These latest advancements across predictive and generative AI provide new ways for customers to deliver hyper-personalized touchpoints at scale. In addition, the new customer data platform capabilities and strategic partnerships will enable organizations to deliver improved customer experiences using the power of AI insights from unified customer data.”

David Wallace, Research Director, Customer Data and Analytics, IDC