Route by DNIS?
A common call center request is to provide a custom greetings or route a call to a Customer Service Queue (aka CSQ) based on the number the caller dialed. DNIS or “dialed number information service” is usually the solution to this request. Typically you create a database table in which the index is the DNIS. In this way we can pull back all the information we need to greet and route the caller. The solution consists of mapping a DNIS number to a contact flow that has a lambda function that looks up the greeting and routing details in the database referenced the function.
Assign the incoming DNIS number, actually all incoming numbers should hit this contact flow, and we do the usual setup. Turn on logging which is very useful during testing and you can turn it off later to save a few pennies. Set up recording, preferred voice and then invoke the lambda function that will retrieve the desired greeting and routing information. It is a good practice to set the contact attributes so that you can easily reference the returned variables in subsequent contact flows and to make them available for the CTR records and potential screen pops.
Clicking on the “Set Contact Attributes” call flow step in this example we get the following:
You can see that the lambda function is pulling back two variables from the associated database tables: queueId and flowId. in the above contact flow, after we set the contact values, obtained from an “External” database we”transfer to flow”. The external flowId points to the flow we want this DNIS to be used for follow on call handling.
The flow will eventually transfer to a queue, which we obtained from the same “External” database. Like the flowId, the queueId is now a “user defined” value. No reason you could skip the “set contact attributes” step and just use the $,External.flowId but by the assignment and the use of $.Attributes.flowId we associate the value with the CTR and make it more easily available for screen pops etc.
(see the blog on should I route to a queue or route to a flow?)
Additionally we could also pull back any other information we might want that would change based on the number the caller dialed. For example a customer greeting. Did the call the Kin-sue Knife help line or the Hotel reservation line? Maybe this is an Executive suite application in which the operator has to answer “thank you for calling <yourcompanyname>.
Advanced DNIS Routing
It may be that we want to route the caller to an IVR Menu of options based on the DNIS. You can easily handle this by the flow you route the caller to, but do you really want to do the newbie “copy and save as” to repeat the same contact flow for each DNIS? There is now reason why the database can point to a generic IVR flow. The generic IVR menu would have menu options that are variables that might be named “optionOne”, “optionTwo” etc. These options would be defined in the database and in this way, each DNIS could point to the same IVR based contact flow but the menu prompt and all the options would be obtained via the lambda function from the referenced database.
This solution along with the Lambda function and Video tutorial is also available in our online store!
As always we would be glad to assist with this solution just click or call! – DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com
Is Amazon building a CRM Competitor?
Amazon Connect continues to innovate and is adding new features at an accelerated rate. They do not seem to be leaving any flesh on the bones for other third party providers and seem to be taking aim at the CRM market. There are two new features that address the most common request of call center supervisors: can we pop a screen with info about the caller on call presentation to an agent? Historically, this was done by integrating the CRM or Practice Management system with the call center though a complex web of connectors, API’s, Internet Gateways and the other RESTFUL tools that populate the wonderful world of inter-networking. (See the DrVoIP article: What do you mean Integrate?)
Here is a summary of these new features:
This feature enables you to assign a profile to a caller. A profile is a form that you create that contains the usual contact data. When that caller enters the system again, we can greet them by name and also “pop” the profile to the agent on call presentation. The profile is filled with data extracted from two locations: First, your caller history which is basically the CTR database of all the callers that have contacted you through the call center. Secondly, it can draw data from your CRM or Practice Management database. AWS supports a growing list of these databases which today include Salesforce, ServiceNow, Zendesk and S3. You can also output data from a CRM or Practice management database into an S3 bucket in the call center and this can be tapped by the customer profile feature as well.
This feature enables you to open a “case ticket” during an active phone call that is associated with an above “customer profile”. You can see existing open tickets, create new tickets and you have the ability to “assign” the ticket as a task to another team member along with due dates and follow up actions.
These features are “permission” based and assigned to your agents through their security profile. The use case for these features should be obvious. AWS is basically developing its own CRM and Practice Management solution and this is just the first release of what will undoubtedly become a very powerful solution in the management of you practice. We can’t wait for the WFM option!
Pay Only for what you use
We have been working with Amazon Connect since the product was introduced back in 2017. “Pay only for what you use” is a very attractive economic principle! We note that a lot of folks login into AWS and spin up a contact center and then though they get it working, it is featureless and they need help. We have built “proof of concepts” contact centers over the years many of which have matured into full blown, fully feature contact centers complete with CRM integrations and custom agent dashboards. Sometimes, in the sale process, it is just easier for everyone to just take a seat in the call center and learn by experience. The technical team and the business teams all get to use the product and gain useful insight into how Amazon Connect can be a winning customer engagement platform for your business.
Historically, we had offered access to a demo system with your own incoming phone number and call routing solution. Just give us a few basics and we setup your incoming greeting and add your agents. Your agents log in and you are off to the races. This helped the business folks, but not the technical folks. We needed another solution.
The Amazon Connect Deployment kit!
Enter our complete Amazon Connect inbound voice call center! For about the cost of an hour of technical support you can build out a fully usable call center. We provide the contact flows to support inbound call routing direct to a target customer service queue (CSQ). Optionally, you can route incoming calls to an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system that provides menu options for caller selection. The options available to callers waiting for the “next available representative” include receiving a call back when an agent becomes available, leave a voice message or continue to hold. There is an “after hours” call handling solution along with an error handler. All the basics.
Video Tutorial for the non-technical Business Manager
The kit includes all the contact flows ready for download and importing into your AWS account and instance. Along with this kit, we include a video tutorial that will not only coach you along, but provide the background you need to understand the configuration options. A non-technical business professional should be able to have this solution fully operational and working in about an hour.
So, invest $195 and stop wasting time. Visit the Store! You will learn what works and what you need to achieve your Contact Center Vision.