Recently I had the opportunity to attend the AWS Partner bootcamp program for Amazon Connect. To my surprise, having never worked closely with the product previously, it didn’t take long to find my way around and, with its UI simplicities and clear guidance from AWS, to be able to start implementing a semi-advanced solution.
One thing that became clear to me is that Amazon Connect is not just an ordinary call centre solution. There are already lots of similar software/products out there that provide the same set of functionalities; however, what makes Amazon Connect stand out is the power that comes with integration with other AWS services such as Amazon Lex, Amazon Comprehend, Lambda, Amazon Translate and so on.
But what is the point of having all these services in your call centre solution?
The first thing every single company is trying to solve by having call centre is to provide a better customer experience, ultimately leading to better sales and performance in the business. But just getting the call and directing it to the correct department is not going to cut it.
In 2020, systems are much smarter, demands are higher, and the level of information already available to customers in the online world is massive. When a customer reaches out to a business via a call, it is usually the case of wanting to seek more information and/or trying to solve a problem they may have already spent hours trying to figure out. For this reason, when they contact your business you must be able to provide timely, relevant and customised information for that customer.
It might sound dramatic and surreal, but how, using a call centre solution, can we solve your customer’s problem and customise their information before the call even reaches your agents?
The good news is that by having a clear understanding of your business structure, customer requirements and a bit of code, you can easily enable a highly intelligent and productive customer focused call centre in matter of hours not weeks.
In this blog I will walk you through some of the high-level architecture that you could implement using Amazon Connect and how it can solve your problem and increase your business productivity.
What is Amazon Connect?
Amazon Connect is an easy to use omnichannel cloud contact centre that helps companies provide superior customer service at a lower cost. Customer’s personal, dynamic, and natural experiences have been the focus of Amazon’s internal business from the beginning and finding an existing software solution that can meet all these requirements was near impossible – so they built one. This is now available to other businesses through AWS.
The main goal of Amazon Connect is to provide a great customer experience platform that is scalable, simple and reliable. Having a 100% cloud-based platform that uses your customer data with systems like a CRM to predict questions and find answers before they even ask, can achieve all these goals in one simple solution.
Amazon Connect provides dynamic contact flow, for a personalised customer experience that comes naturally using technologies like Amazon Alexa.
Your business can create flow using Drag and Drop UI to build and customise your call centre without coding. And it can be integrated with your existing systems and other Amazon Services to provide a customised customer experience based on your business needs.
Create Customer Experience with Contact Flow
Here is an example of how AWS Connect uses the backend system to pull out the customer data while the call is getting connected to the agent. This example was used in AWS re-invent where the customer is calling an airline to talk about the flight cancellation that just occurred. By the time the agent picks up the call, the customer’s information that has been pulled from Customer Database and CRM using AWS Lambda function appears on the agent dashboard. By looking at the dashboard, the agent would right away know that the customer is not going to be happy because of her flight cancellation. He or she would then look into the Business Intelligence for some insight and assistance to check how she can quickly book another flight based on the customer’s activities and preferences in the past – all of this happening in real time.
To my understanding this is a great achievement in preventing the customer going through time-consuming explanations and providing information – this has already been done by Amazon Connect. All that customer needs to do is to confirm the flight.
Let’s look at another AWS service that can add more natural experience to your solution.
Amazon Lex uses the same technology as Alexa which can provide a natural language experience for your customers. In this example, the customer would go through the same process but instead of connecting to any agent, Lex would take care of the customer interaction level with its built in intelligence that can understand a great range of context. Lex would try to figure out what the customer needs and, by using the same set of underlying services, provide the best possible answer to try to solve the customer’s problem.
No matter how smart these services can be, there are always cases where your customer still needs to talk to an agent, or there is a decision that you don’t want a machine to make for your business. You want to make sure that when an event like that occurs the call flow gets directed to your agents instead. A very good feature in Amazon Connect is that it can transfer the call to an agent at any given time, providing full context of that call and ensuring any transition that occurs during the call happens as smoothly as possible so your customer doesn’t have to repeat the questions and information previously provided.
Amazon Connect provides an Open Platform to your business. This means, unlike any other Call Centre software, it lets you access any logs or information produced by your calls.
Amazon Connect stores all your Call Recordings in your selected S3 storage which can be of great benefit as you then have the power of managing the lifecycle of your data based on your business requirements using S3 Object Lifecycle Management. You can also use your already established metrics and dashboards to analyse your WorkForce Management and any other type of data that is valuable to your business
Covering everything that Amazon Connect can do isn’t possible to fit into one blog. There are many more great examples of how businesses are already using this service in an innovative approach that can add significant value and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, the simplicity of Amazon Connect has already helped both large enterprises and small businesses to be able to setup a call centre solution in a matter of minutes and continuously improve and build their solution as they see fit.