What makes up a basic Amazon Connect Call Center?


Clearly the self service configuration of an AWS Connect instance is easy enough for a call center supervisor to setup! The drag and drop “contact flow” steps are easy to understand and simplify the configuration of a basic inbound call center.  There are however many other services in the AWS Cloud tool kit that even a basic call center will need to draw on. These basic services include Polly text to speech, S3 storage “buckets” for phone recordings and reports at a minimum. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BasicConnectConfiguration.png

Service Options

Many applications will require some kind of database to hold custom routing data. This database would be accessed by Lambda functions that will require a competent software engineer to write, test, deploy and maintain. Recently we had a request to route calls in a “round robin” manner. Out of the box, AWS Connect wants to send the caller to the next available agent in the target CSQ.

DynamoDB and Lambda the power duet!

Using Dynamodb and Lambda functions we could maintain not only a list of agents in the “round robin” but note which agent received the last phone call and which agent should get the next phone call!

How about a Holiday Schedule of closings? Or better yet a facility that would enable a supervisor to close a queue for a team meeting and also create a custom prompt to be played to callers during the closed time period on an “ad hoc” basis? Again you will need some Lambda code and a dynamoDB database!

Did you want to setup TEXT notifications for emergency after hours notifications to “on call” personnel? That would also require some software engineering and the use of AWS Pinpoint and SNS to make that requirement happen.

Real Time metrics of Agent activity and status along with Queue activity, including longest waiting caller and maybe a list of callers in queue by caller ID are opportunities to test your front end GUI web development skill set.

Lose the IVR and use LEX!

LEX is a very popular speech recognition engine that understands natural language speech and get really help eliminate that so 80’s touch tone IVR call tree we have all come to loath! It is way more entertaining and useful to use LEX than push buttons on a phone set!

The good news is that as your requirements for more sophisticated applications continue to unfold across the operational time line of your call center, AWS has all the services you could possible require! From AI to Transcription services, translation service, comprehension and advanced CRM integrations like EPIC and Saleforce, AWS has it all.

You just need to tap the talents of folks that are not only call center savvy, but full stack web developers, with database expertise!

Give us a call, we would love to help you realize your call center dream!

Lex a conversational voice interface for Amazon Connect call trees.

Historically touch tone “call trees” have over populated the IVR landscape prompting callers to “Press 1 for this and Press 2 for that”. This has been the standard since the first half of the last century! You would think that in the 21st century we would have a solution that can eliminate this kind of button pressing, sequential logic, menu after menu of options and hope the caller gets where they wanted to be!

Which would you prefer?

Think about it. What would you prefer as a caller? “Thanks for calling BoringCompany greetings, if you know the extension of the party you want to talk with, enter it now. Press 1 for Customer service, Press 2 for Technical support, Press 3 for another menu with even more options for you to select from”! Or would you prefer “Thanks for Calling, how can I direct your call”?

To achieve that simple interface takes a lot of technology, but fortunately AWS Connect makes use of an AWS service named Lex. Lex is a combination solutions that include Speech Recognition, natural language processing and artificial intelligence. Lex can prompt a caller with a friendly voice “‘how can I direct your call” and then understand the callers spoken response. NO more pushing buttons, no endless menus.

For example, Lex could even figure out what language the caller is speaking and respond according, no more “to continue in english please press 1”, which in and of itself is worth the price of admission.

What is an Utterance?

Lex is built on the concept of “utterances” which is nothing more than a spoke phrase to which you can create additional responses. For example, the caller might say “I need to check the status of an order” and Lex might respond with “is this a recent order or do you need to speak to your sales rep”?

Keep in mind that Lex has captured the Caller ID of the caller and could actually look up either the order or the sales person that took the order. Lex might even be able to greet the caller by name. “Thanks for calling Peter, how can I help you”.

What can a “ChatBot” do in a call center?

As a “ChatBot” Lex can enable callers to self navigate through solution options without ever speaking to a call center agent. Lex can book an appointment, change schedules, update status information, change passwords, update calendars, summarize the new, weather and sports and greatly enhance the speed of answer and call resolution.

If Lex replaces three call center agents, is that an increase in productivity? We think not, if it only gets the same amount of work done as before Lex was introduced to the call center. We increase productivity when we can redeploy those three agents to do other work!

As always we are happy to setup a “proof of concept” that applies Lex natural language processing and automatic speech recognition to your specific environment. Just click or call and we would be happy to help you!