Digital engagement key to post-COVID business survival, says report

Wednesday, 10 March, 2021

Digital engagement key to post-COVID business survival, says report

Cloud communications platform Twilio has released its second annual State of Customer Engagement Report, which reveals that digital communications were critical to business survival in 2020 and that the solutions that were built will shape business success in the post-pandemic economy.

The report combines insight from the Twilio platform — which powers more than one trillion human interactions annually — with results of the global research of 2500 enterprise decision-makers.

Highly regulated industries, including health care, increased their digital engagement on Twilio more than 104% year on year, with 92% of healthcare business leaders reporting that COVID-19 spurred their company to explore new strategies to serve customers.

Healthcare providers embraced multichannel tools to deliver care virtually, with 87% reporting that digital engagement will be critically or very important to their success going forward.

“For nearly every organisation dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, increased digital engagement was a core part of their solutions,” Twilio Chief Customer Officer Glenn Weinstein said. “From remote learning, to work-from-home contact centre agents, to vaccine distribution logistics, digital communications have played a critical role. We expect that to accelerate through the pandemic recovery and become the new normal.”

The 2021 State of Customer Engagement Report outlines the major trends in digital engagement that emerged in 2020, and how they are shaping digital adoption across global companies in every industry. The trends include soaring digital interaction between businesses and customers, and what this means for personalisation; the rise of the agile workforce; how highly regulated industries are leading in digital adoption; the next generation of video; and how businesses are choosing to build unique experiences. Key findings from the report include:

  • 2020 catapulted us into a hybrid economy, where nearly every in-person interaction will have a digital element. 90% of Australian business leaders report that COVID-19 accelerated their move to the cloud, equipping companies with the flexibility to serve customers from anywhere. 94% of Australian respondents plan to increase or maintain their current communications channel offerings after the pandemic and expect to add an average of three new channels this year.
  • Digital engagement will remain essential to business survival and success. 90% of Australian business leaders report that increased customer engagement during the pandemic drove new customer insights; 41% report they’ll increase the current level of investment in customer engagement; and 51% intend to maintain the current level of investment.
  • Companies that adopt a ‘builder’ mindset will survive, while those that do not will be outcompeted. 33% of Australian enterprise decision-makers report they will choose to build communications solutions to meet customer demands in the future, rather than buy a preconfigured solution. 90% of C-level executives found developers were crucial to solving business challenges brought on by COVID-19.

The report recognises Twilio Engagement Builders — innovative organisations that built cutting-edge digital solutions to stay connected to their customers and communities in 2020. Engagement Builders include Comcast, BGL Group, Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Refugee Council and LINE Japan. To explore what they built and read the full report, go to

Image credit: © Grinvalds

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