Step-By-Step Guide: Creating The Ideal Spoke Phone / Twilio Development and Demonstration Environment, & Running Demos like a Pro!

Overview

This article is for Twilio developers, partners, and solutions engineers. It provides a step-by-step guide to best showcase the combined flexibility and power of Spoke Phone and Twilio.

Subjects covered in this article:

  1. Setting up the environment
  2. Deploying Spoke Phone
  3. Deploying Spoke Phone's plugins for Twilio Flex
  4. Deploying Spoke Phone's open-source functions for Twilio Studio
  5. Deploying Spoke Phone's example Twilio Studio flows
  6. Configuring Spoke Phone with good demonstration data
  7. Creating basic Twilio Studio examples to enhance/replace Spoke's default IVR
  8. A series of best-practice demonstration scripts, so you can effectively illustrate the combined power of Spoke Phone and Twilio

Prerequisites

  • A free Spoke Phone account
  • A Twilio Flex Project
  • Administrator Access to a Twilio Flex Project
  • An appropriately skilled developer who has a reasonably technical level of knowledge and competence in working with Twilio Accounts, Twilio SIDs, Flex projects and configurations, and general use of the Twilio Console

Setting up the environment

The flowchart below highlights the steps you will take. Detailed instructions and links to resources for each step are provided below.

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Deploying Spoke Phone into your Twilio account

Step #1: Create a Twilio Flex Project

Important: Do not use/create a Twilio Account using BETA Twilio Regions. 
Spoke Phone will support Twilio Regions once it is in GA, not before.

 

Steps #2 and #3: Create a new Spoke Phone Account & deploy it into your Twilio Flex Project

 

Step #4: Deploy Spoke Phone's Directory Plugin for Twilio Flex

This plugin adds another tab to the WorkerDirectory in Twilio Flex. The tab is an employee directory containing all the Spoke Phone back-office users, call groups and their availability. Flex Agents use this tab to transfer calls out of Twilio Flex over to back-office users on Spoke Phone.

 

Step #5: Deploy Spoke Phone's Open-Source functions to Twilio Serverless

These functions make it easy to build scalable and rich IVR flows in Twilio Studio, fully integrated into Spoke Phone, giving you full control over the customer experience.

 

Step #6: Deploy Spoke Phone's example Twilio Studio flows

Deploy these example Twilio Studio Flows into the same Twilio Flex project, so you have everything in one place. These example flows are quick-starts to help you quickly build customer demonstrations that include sending calls from Studio our to Spoke users and call groups, and back.

 

 

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Configuring Spoke Phone with demonstration data

These steps help you set up the minimum users, call groups, phone numbers, and other data in Spoke Phone, that:

  1. Help you understand how Spoke Phone works 
  2. Give you an ideally setup demonstration and development environment
  3. Allow you to quickly personalize the demonstration environment before each demo
  4. Showcase the integrated power of Spoke Phone and Twilio
👍 By doing these steps now and practicing a little, 
you'll be able to perform rich and personal customer demonstrations
with very little advanced warning or pre-demo setup.

 

Step #1: Add at least two more users to Spoke 

You ideally need three users to run great Spoke Phone demonstrations.

  • Login to the Spoke Account Portal
  • You will already be added as a User in Spoke
  • Add at least two more users to Spoke
    • FYI: Google Email Users can use the "name+...@"  method (sometimes known as a task-specific email address), to add demo users under a single email account.
  • Download the Spoke app to your desktop and mobile
  • Log in as one of the users on your mobile, and a different user on your desktop

 

Step #2: Create at least two more Call Groups 

Spoke Call Groups automatically route calls to Spoke Users you put into the groups.  This is sometimes known as ACD, Automatic Call Distribution, or Hunt Groups, as they hunt for an available Spoke User to take a call. Call Groups make for a great demo, especially when integrated into Twilio Studio.

  • By default, Spoke comes with a single pre-configured Call Group "Reception Desk"
  • You, as the Spoke account admin, will already be added into this Call Group.
  • Add these three new Call Groups:
    • Sales, Parts, and Customer Support
    • Set the  Spoke Extension Key as #1, #2, and #3 to each group respectively. This will set up the default IVR on Spoke.
  • As you create each Call Group, ensure you add one or two of your Users into each group, so you can answer calls to Call Groups during your demos
  • Learn more about  Spoke Call Groups here

 

Step #3: Add two new numbers to your Twilio Account

These phone numbers will be used as DIDs (Direct In Dial numbers) so you can demonstrate directly calling a Spoke User or a Call Group (thereby bypassing the IVR or receptionist.)

  • Buy two new numbers from your Twilio Console.
    • If you've already got two spare numbers in your Twilio Account, go to the next step.

 

Step #4: Assign two numbers as DIDs

  • Go to the Manage Phone Numbers management page in the Spoke Account Portal 
  • Look for your new numbers. They will show with the Twilio logo under the Active On column
  • Pick one of the numbers, Edit it, and Assign it to yourself. This will now be your DID. You can have customers call this DID during Demos to directly ring your Spoke app.
  • Edit the other number and Assign it to the call group, Sales.  You can use this number to demonstrate customers bypassing the IVR/receptionist, and calling a Sales team directly.

 

Step #5: Add a hard phone device

A lot of your customers will ask about hard-phones. Spoke supports a number of (~90) physical desk-phone options for conference rooms, common area phones, and executives. For the purposes of demonstrating, it's often good enough to simply show a hard-phone in the Spoke directory and talk to it.  We've found you don't actually need to set up a hard-phone in demos.

  • Go to Phones & Devices in the Spoke Account Portal
  • Add a new device with the name Kitchen Area
  • Select the Type as Physical Phone

 

Final Step: Add some example customer data 🎉

By adding example customer data, your demonstrations will be much richer and easier for people to follow along.  Using a simple CSV upload, Spoke will show customer names as they call (Replicating a CRM data dip), and, customer records will show in Spoke's external directory.  You can even go so far as to integrate your actual CRM using Spoke's one-click CRM integrations.  This will also showcase searching external CRM data and automatically logging calls to the CRM records. As a minimum, we suggest adding one example customer record via CSV upload.  To go further, check out these CRM integration articles.

  • Create a CSV with the columns: FirstName, LastName, Phone, Email
  • Make up a fictitious customer that you will use in your demonstrations and enter their details into the CSV file
  • For this customer's phone number, use a phone number that you can easily place and answer calls from when pretending to be the customer in your demo
  • Upload the CSV File in the Spoke Phone Account portal, using the CSV Upload integration

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Learn and Play 

It's a good idea to play around, use Spoke, run through the demo scenarios (below), and generally get a good feel for how Spoke works, and how you can customize Spoke using Twilio Studio, Task Router, etc.

Download the Spoke Phone User Manual

The Spoke app is designed as a mobile-first application with a goal of "zero-user-training".  However, there are a lot of features to the Spoke Phone app you may not realize.

Working with Twilio Studio to enhance/replace Spoke Phone's default IVR

By default, Spoke Phone comes with an automated single-level IVR that supports up to 10 IVR keys (key press 0-9), and unlimited dial by extensions.  IVR key press options 0-9 can be configured to  route to Spoke users, call groups, or devices.  This basic IVR uses text-to-speech to read out a welcome greeting and the IVR options. Customers can replace this text-to-speech automation with pre-recorded audio.  Read more about Spoke's pre-built IVR and audio library.

However, 95% of your Twilio customers will want a much richer custom IVR solution, which you can build on Twilio Studio.  Spoke Phone is fully integrated to Twilio Studio and provides a set of example Studio flows and several open-source functions to assist you connecting Twilio Studio to Spoke.

 

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How to demo like a pro with these demonstration use-cases 

Core demonstration scenarios

🦫 🛠️  - WORK-IN-PROGRESS!  Please bear with us as we bake these out for you.
Also, feel free to suggest new demo scenarios.
  1. Use Spoke's simple IVR to route calls to available Spoke users in a Call Group. E.g. Sales
  2. Use Twilio Studio to replace Spoke's simple IVR, and send calls to Spoke Users or Call Groups
  3. Use Spoke's dial-by-extension to bypass any IVR and reach a Spoke user directly
  4. Use Spoke's dial-by-extension to bypass any IVR and reach a Spoke Call Group directly. E.g. Sales
  5. Use Spoke DIDs to call a user or Call Group directly from the PSTN, without calling the company line or using extensions
  6. Transfer a call from Twilio Flex to an individual back-office Spoke user
  7. Transfer a call from Twilio Flex to any available back-office Spoke user in a Call Group. E.g. Sales
  8. Transfer a call from the back-office (Spoke User) into a Flex Queue

 

Best-Practice Pre Demonstration Activities

Before any demonstration, it's a good idea to do these set up and testing tasks to ensure you have a good demo.

Set Up

  1. Log out of the Spoke app on your mobile and desktop. Log back in as one demo user on the desktop app and log in as the other demo user on the mobile app
  2. Go to Other -> Advanced ->Other, and edit the Company Name to personalize the demo
  3. Go to Call Groups in the Spoke Account Portal
    1. Ensure you've got at least one user in the Call Group/s you plan on using in your demo
    2. Ensure that the user is available (in the Spoke app), so you can answer calls
  4. Note down the main company phone number as shown under the Spoke logo & company name at the top left of the account portal. You will need this to call in as the customer if you want to demonstrate the Spoke IVR and dial by extensions features.
  5. Note down any DID numbers you plan on using to call Spoke Users or Call Groups during your demo
  6. Ensure your Twilio Account has enough credit on it to make calls
  7. Using your customer demo phone, call into the Spoke's main company number, and ensure that:
    1. Their name comes up on the Spoke screen (if you've uploaded contacts to Spoke)
    2. That your Flex instance loads the customer record in the CRM (if you configured a CRM)
  8. To ensure your Twilio account is working, place these calls: Spoke-to-Spoke User;  Customer to Spoke via a DID; Spoke to a PSTN number.

Open Web pages to make demonstrating easy:

  1. Open the Spoke Phone Account Portal in one tab
  2. Open your Twilio Console in another tab
  3. Open Twilio Flex in Another tab
  4. Use multi-desktops to switch focus and context between the Twilio console, Flex, and the Spoke Account Portal for administrators, and the Spoke app for users making calls.

Testing:

It's a good idea to run through your actual demo to ensure phone numbers, Twilio Studio Flows, etc., are still active and working as you expect.

 

Using multi-desktops on a Mac and switch between the Spoke app and Console/Flex/ etc.

 

Demonstration scenario #1

Scenario: Use Spoke's simple IVR to route calls to available Spoke users in a Call Group. E.g. Sales

 

Showcases: Automatic call distribution to one or more available users in a call group.

 

Running the demonstration:

  1. Using your pretend customer phone, dial the Spoke main company line
  2. Enter the Spoke IVR key for Sales
  3. The Spoke app ring with the pretend customer calling the Sales line

 

If you need to dive deeper to Call Groups:

  1. Start in the Spoke Account Portal, on the Manage Call Groups page
  2. They can create unlimited Call Groups
  3. Edit a call group
  4. Mention the Extension - a way customers can call this group directly (bypassing the receptionist, Spoke IVR, or Twilio Studio IVR)
  5. Show adding/removing members - mention this can be done.managed automatically via upload or LDAP sync
    1. Explain Call First
  6. Show the call offer pattern rules - explain round robin vs: ring everyone
  7. Drop down the What happens if no one answers  field - explain the various "on-no answer rules"
    1. Mention that this (on no answer) can include rolling calls over to a Twilio Flex Queue, or back into a Twilio Studio IVR flow
  8. Finally, scroll down to the Numbers section at the bottom, explaining that Call Groups can also have DID numbers. A good example is giving a secret number to preferred customers so they can call the group directly. 

 

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Your excellent demo wins the sale!

 

 

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