Amazon Connect adds a CRM package?

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:

CUSTOMER PROFILES

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.

CASES

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!
We are happy to set this up for you,  so please click or call! – DrVoIP

 

 

Deploy an Amazon Connect Contact Center for $195?

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.

Email DrVoiP@DrVoIP.com

 

Powerful Amazon Connect Call Back from Queue Configuration Strategies!

The Amazon Connect Call Back from Queue Dilemma!

Assume you have a call center that follows the sun from coast to coast!  You team starts in NY at 7AM EST and ends in California at 7PM PST.    You offer call back options to callers waiting to speak with an agent.   A caller enters the queue at about 6PM PST and leaves a request of a call back when an agent becomes available.   The call center closes at 7PM PST but the call was not yet handled by your contact center.  The next morning, at 7AM,  Agents start the new day and the first call presented to an Agent is from the call back queue, the call left over from last night.  The outbound call is dialed, and your Agent is now speaking to a very angry Customer in San Francisco where the time is no 4AM PST!

The Call Back Queue Problem

Once a caller is sent to the call back queue, there is nothing you can do about this!   Let’s look at some options that we might apply to better control this call back activity:

Call Back From Queue Configuration Options

First, let’s create a switch to turn off call back requests during times outside a 10AM-4PM window.    This is a simple “check hours of operation” step in your queue hold flow.  Check the current time, and if it is outside the window, your contact flow will not offer the  call back option to callers.    This will keep callers from being left in the call back queue over night at the end of the working day.

Optionally, we can still offer the call back, but use the time window to determine if we should route the caller to the call back queue.  We can still offer the call back, but if check the time and find it is outside of the window, we do NOT want to send the caller to the call back queue.  Remember once the caller is in the call back queue, we lose control of the call back!   Using Lambda and DynamoDB, we can write the callers request to a call back list for later processing,  rather than putting them in the call back queue.    We can then develop a watch dog timer, that scans the call back list and when the call back window reopens, we can stuff the caller request into the call back queue.

These options will offer a greater degree of control over the call back process, but what about that San Francisco caller?  How do we make sure we are not calling folks back in the wee hours of the morning?   We need to add additional logic to our function and additional attributes to our database items.   We can look at the area code of the caller requesting the call back, then compare the area code to a time zone map.

 

How can we improve these configuration options?

Clearly you can ask the caller what time they would like to be called back.  That would work and can be an additional attribute in your database items.  You would still use the above configuration options, but also take note of the time range the caller wants to be called back.

Check for existing call back requests!

Your call back configuration should also check to see if this caller has already made a request to be called back?  If you run a call center,  you know folks call in and request a call back, hang up, wait a few minutes and then call right back in and impatiently request another call back as if that might speed up the process.   We need to check our database of call backs and make sure this caller is not already subscribed to a call back request.

Check the caller’s phone number?

After requesting a call back, your configuration should note “I see you are calling from 1-844-4DrVoIP, is that the number you want us to call you back at”?    We can then confirm that number, or ask them to answer another number.

How to get to an Extension number?

The standard call back strategy is to dial the number and hope the target caller is reached.  Unfortunately, more times than not, a receptionist or voice mail IVR answers and wants to know how to complete your call.   Your configuration may need to not only ask for the number to call back on, but an extension number of name of an individual to ask for when the call back is dialed and answered by other than the person who requested the call back!

These are simple but powerful ways of taking the Amazon Connect call back engine and adding features and functionality to achieve a level of control over the call back function.  They distinguish a call center configured with little though to the call back strategy form a call center configured to maximize customer interaction success!

If you would like some help configuring these options, give us a call at 844-4DrVoIP or email and we would be eager to help you! – DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com

 

 

Amazon Connect Call Center Frequently Asked Questions!

We offer an illustrated Detailed Planning guide for outlining the issues you need to should consider if you are designing a new Amazon powered Call Center.   Here you will find answers to the most often asked questions about AWS services in general and Amazon Connect Call Center in particular!

  1. DrVoIP Amazon Connect for the Business Manager

    1. What makes up a Basic Amazon Connect Call Center?
    2. Amazon Connect Discover Questions for Call Center Planning
    3. Amazon Connect Planning Questions
    4. Amazon Connect Historical Reporting Options
    5. The ROI and TCO when using the Dextr Dashboard
    6. Amazon Connect Check List
    7. Amazon Reporting Elements
    8. Understanding Amazon Connect Billing
    9. Amazon Connect & Dextr.Cloud Agent Dashboard
    10. Dextr Dashboard offers Historical Reporting 
    11. Three Minute Video Overview of the Dextr Dashboard for Amazon Connect 
    12. What are “soft limitations” on new accounts?
    13. Advanced Post Call Survey strategies 
    14. Speech Analytics now a standard part of Amazon Connect and Dextr!
    15. Enable Agent to leave pre-recorded messages when reaching Voice Mail on outbound dial

    DrVoIP Amazon Connect for the Technical Manager

    1. Amazon Connect Basic Configuration Tutorial
    2. Amazon Connect Custom integration Tools
    3. Amazon Connect Configuration “tips and tricks”
    4. Tech Tip – Understanding LEX BOT Versioning and Alias 
    5. Deep Call Back from Queue without losing your place in Queue 
    6. Simple, Cheap and useful Voice Mail Solution 
    7. Is Today a Holiday Check?
    8. Amazon Connect “Forced Release” Options 
    9. Amazon Connect building prompts with Polly
    10. Building Conversational LEX Solutions
    11. Amazon Connect Call Back from Queue Options
    12. Email Routing in Amazon Connect
    13. What are “Soft Limits”
    14. Building Custom CCP for CRM Integrations
    15. Custom CCP example using start/stop/resume voice recording
    16. Custom CCP to enable Agents to change their outbound Caller ID 
    17. SMS Inbound request for call back 

    DrVoIP YouTube Channel – Complete Amazon Connect Configuration training!

Summary

We have yet to find a Call Center requirement we could not implement with Amazon Connect and the every growing library of Amazon Web Service solutions!  If you can imagine it, we can implement it.   Let’s put our heads together and construct a call center that meets and exceeds your call center requirements!   We deliver on time, on budge with the highest customer satisfaction scores!

Contact DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com or call and ask LEX for the Doctor and we will send you a copy of our design and planning guide.

Amazon Connect & Dextr now support Chat

Dextr Website Chat Integration

The ability to integrate your Company Website with your call center is a powerful customer experience management tool.  Being able to integrate your website with a ChatBot is even more powerful, but imagine the power of being able to escalate a chat session to a voice call!  Now that is a truly powerful customer engagement strategy and now a standard Amazon Connect Call Center feature.

Features of Amazon Connect Chat

The Chat functionality enables you to reuse the very same contact flows that you established for a voice call or you can create new contact flows that are chat specific.  This significantly reduces the deployment time.  A “Play prompt” step, for example, that would normally be spoken to a caller, is now pushed out as a chat message.   Chats are persistent and given the asynchronous nature of these interactions, responses can be anytime over a 25 hour period.    Let us assume you have a chat session with a client who asks a question about your product or service and the agent asks a follow  up question to clarify the customers enquiry.  Maybe the customer has to go find the answer form another team member and does not reply for an hour.   The Agent might disconnect, but if the customer continues the chat session later, a new session will be created with the entire chat history  and transfered to a new agent.  It is possible also to send the chat back to the same agent, but assuming that agent is no longer available, the entire chat history is made available to a new agent.

 

The Dextr Dashboard implementation

Dextr now includes the Chat engagement option as part of its standard desktop agent offering and the Engage tab now shows Phone, SMS, Email and Chat!   Dextr also adds Chat to its activity screen adding a new icon and a READ button.  The Activity page now notes the chat details including the appropriate metrics.  A supervisor or agent with the proper permissions can also bring back the entire chat history, by hitting the READ button, in a manner similar to how Dextr brings back a recorded phone call!

Dextr is a subscription based portal in which, if you have an existing Amazon Connect call center, you can be driving a Dextr dashboard in less than 15 minutes!   If you don’t have a Dextr dashboard, we will be happy to create one for you!  Ask DrVoIP about our Dextr Contact Center Managed Service Solution in which we provide an  Amazon Connect Call Center for your enterprise, with no money down, no contracts and pay only for what you use!   We take care of everything from deign, through setup, training, “go live”, on going technical support and a Dextr Dashboard for every agent at a nominal per connected minute, exclusive of telephone carrier charges!   DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com

 

 

 

 

Amazon Connect – A Voice Mail Solution!

What no Voice Mail?

One of the surprises you get when working with Amazon Connect is the fact that, out of the box, there is no voice messaging capability.   However, given the rich library of services available in the AWS ecosystem, you can most certainly configure a solution that will get the job done!    Amazon Connect has built in recording capabilities and both logs and recordings are saved in an S3 bucket, so it would seem that the basic ingredients are there for configuring a voice messaging function.   Lets take a look at several different ways of implementing this functionality without breaking the bank in professional software development services!

Option 1 – High Voice Message Feature Content with Transcription, Email and SMS delivery options

This Voice Mail service is built on several AWS services but is rich in features and functionality:

  • Each Agent will have their own Extension number
    • This enables folks to leave a voice message for a particular Agent;
  • Voice Messages can be Transcribed and Encrypted;
  • Voice messages can be emailed or sent as an SMS (Text) message;
  • We create a Web Interface to administer voice mail options (i.e. set agent extension number, delivery options

There is an additional AWS cost as the solution will make use of Lambda Functions, DynamoDB, SES, SNS, Cognito and CloudFormation AWS Service options.   Amazon estimates that this will have a cost of approximately .03 cents per voice message.

We offer several configuration Options:

  1. A separate phone number that is used for this function exclusively.   Caller dials the VM number and is asked to enter the extension number of the Agent (we could also create a spell by name option).  The system will then attempt to send the call to the Agent and failing to connect with the Agent, the system will take a voice message for that agent and deliver it based on the options set by the administrator.  Delivery options are email or SMS.  The message can be sent as a WAV file or it can be transcribed to text.
  2. Continue to use your normal call flow and set one agent (or create a fake agent) to accept messages for the Queue they are a part of.  During the period in which the caller is holding in queue for the next available agent, as they might now do, they are offered the usual options, expect we replace the option to leave a voice message that you currently now transfer out of the system, to the agent nominated for queue mail.  Clearly the email address could also be an email address of a distribution group so the message goes to many others.
  3. LEX speech recognition “dial by name”.  The problem with extension numbers, is that callers will need to know them or you will  have to create a directory system.   Enabling “thanks for calling I can route your call in you speak the name of a team member or a function like sales” is way more impressive and provides a much better customer experience.

We offer a flat fee deployment option of $395  ($595 with dial by name option) to existing clients.    We will need AWS Management User Access with a User that has System Administration permissions as we have to access all of the AWS service above to configure the solution.

Option 2 Cheap and Quick: The Basic Recipe

We configure a Voice Messaging solution for call center queues very easily using the following formula:

1 – First Create a Queue with a creative name like Voice Messages!

2 – Second Create a Customer Whisper Function to act as the front end greeting for your voice mail box.

The Whisper function is going to provide your mailbox greeting and even the Beep!  This Whisper, set to play to the customer (rather than the agent) is played to the caller as they are connected to the Agent user.

3 – Third Create a User with an appropriate name like VoiceMail-Sales.

We want the user to be assigned a routing profile that contains only the VoiceMail Queue!  Also note that the User MUST be set to Auto-answer as this is the key to making this work the way we want it to work!

4 – Lastly, create a contact flow to integrate the above into a simple, but workable voice messaging system.

 

The contact flow can be very simple or you can make it a more complex by adding options like return to main menu!  The goal  however is to offer the option to leave a voice message or route a caller to voice mail if the caller arrives after hours.  Nothing to sophisticated here.   We set the Recording behavior to record both the caller and the agent.  We then set the Whisper flow, the Queue and then transfer the caller to the queue.  The queue will contain only one User in this example, but if you anticipate a lot of traffic, you could actually create multiple users with the same basic configuration essentially creating multiple voice mail boxes.   You can also create different users and voice message queues to accommodate various different queues.

The caller will be transferred to the VoiceMessage Queue which will then select the only User in that Queue, who is logged on and available.  This user was setup was setup with “auto-answer” so the behavior is to answer the call, play the Whisper to the caller as they connect to the Agent.  The Whisper contains the prompt “Sorry we are not here to answer your call but at the Beep please leave your voice message and we will follow up first thing next business day.  BEEP”.

The caller will then speak to the “agent” and the conversation will be recorded and saved to your designated S3 bucket!

Retrieving Voice Messages

The basic tools available to you  for retrieving your voice messages require a minimum permission of Call CenterQuality Analyst or Manager, as you may not want to make users Administrators!  Just log into the Amazon Connect dashboard and head over to Metrics and Quality and then select Contact Search.  Here you can set up a number of filters. For example we can search for the VoiceMail Agent configured above and also set the date range of interest, typically Yesterday!   This will bring up all the contacts handled by that agent and you can then hit the playback button under the Recording column.

Variations on a Theme

One of the user interfaces that makes this strategy a bit more useable is to use the Dextr.Cloud Dashboard.  The Dextr dashboard has an Activity screen that enables a Supervisor or Agent with the proper permission, to sort by Agent.  Then the playback button is right in the Dextr dashboard and there is no need to sign into the Amazon Connect dashboard to play back recordings.

Summary

We are struggling to find things we can’t do in an Amazon Connect contact center instance!   The rich library of AWS services makes it possible to solve any call center goal you might development you might define as a requirement. If you can imagine it you can make it happen!  Then again, you can always call on us and we can do it for you! – DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com

 

 

 

Enhance your ShoreTel ECC with Speech Recognition & Chat Bots!

Press 1 for English!

Two characteristics of telecom technology in the 21st century continue to not make sense to us.  Why are we still using fax?  How come we still “Press 1 for this and Press 2 for that”?   I mean really, it is the 21st century after all.   Let’s put fax aside for the moment and focus on the continued use of DTMF key presses in interactive voice response solutions like automated attendants and embedded applications, like bank account balance enquiries.   You would think in this age of AI and Chatbots, you would no longer need to “Press 1 for English”.   The application should be “smart” enough to to know what language you speaking!

 

ShoreTel ECC

The Shoretel ECC was originally designed and built by a team of engineers led by Avi Silber, former VP of Engineering for Tadiran, who left to form Easy Run a new brand of call center.   Easy Run would ultimately enter into OEM deals with 3COM (remember the NBX?) and later ShoreTel.  We had been working with the ShoreTel ECC since the Easy Run days and considered it one of the best small to medium call center solutions in the market.  We still love it, but it has not had a major feature enhancement in years!  In a call center world dominated by omni-channel solutions, this lack of new functionality, in our humble opinion, seems to be the end of the road for this product.  (As an aside, Avi is now back at Tadiran and the company has acquired the Easy Run code).

Click2WebChat

For most of the last decade a primary revenue source for DrVoIP was the ongoing support of ShoreTel ECC contact centers.   We think we have installed and maintain more ECC call centers than any other vendor on the planet.  Clients would regularly make requests to enhance ECC.  A common request for example, was to enable SMS or TEXT messages to be routed to the next available agent.  We would code the solution and satisfy that client only to repeat that exercise the next time someone asked for that solution.   For this reason, we determined to productize the solution and created Click2WebChat which brought Text, Video, Chat and Web sharing into the ShoreTel ECC arena.

ShoreTel Speech Recognition IVR?

There is no reason for ShoreTel ECC to be without speech recognition, natural language processing or chat bot technology.  We now regularly front end ShoreTel ECC with AI bots that eliminate the need to “Press 1 for anything”.    You can place a call into a ShoreTel ECC and have a much richer customer experience by offering a natural language interface.   Imagine calling an ECC and having it answer “welcome to the customer support line, how can I route our call”.   Speech Recognition is clearly a more effective solution that rattling off a long list of possible options that the caller can self navigate with a good memory for lists and a touch tone dial pad.  We have been designing and building AI bots that work with ShoreTel ECC and make life a lot easier for both ends of the call center phone conversation.  It is good for the customer and good for the Agent, shaving valuable minutes off each phone call to your ECC.

ShoreTel Chat Bots?

If you look at the content of phone calls to your contact center, you will notice that some large percentage of your customer requests are for the same reasons.   Most call centers have already learned to create a Frequently Asked Questions (i.e. FAQ) database for use by the agents.   The agents do not have to be subject matter experts to answer questions, they just need access to the FAQ database.   Now, what would happen if that database was at the end of a Natural Language processing speech recognition bot that could handle that entire customer interaction without requiring a agent at all?   It is not going to eliminate agents, but it will shift the work load such that agents are used to handle the percentage of your customer requests that are outside the FAQ database.   This is where Chat Bots come in and do an excellent job 24X7, without vacations, holidays, sick days or breaks!

Long ago, we had a company Cobotyx that made “robot receptionists” or COBOTS.  We learned that saying you were replacing low pay receptionists with a low cost machine, was not very smart.   We borrowed an expression from the cybernetics thinker Dr. Norbert Wiener in his 1950 publication “The Human Use of Human Beings” and learned that we are not here to replace humans; we are here to free humans to do the things that only humans can do.

So, if you are considering updating your ShoreTel ECC to add any of this functionality, give us a call and learn just how easy and cost effective this technology can actually be.  – DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon Connect Forced Release Behavior Option

Sometimes it is better to give folks what they want, rather than what they need! Over the years of working with call centers you develop a sense of what is a best practice and what is something that will be nothing but a problem! You do your best to educate folks on the issues and make recommendations that you know are in their best interest. However, “if you have the peso, you have the say so” and ultimately we do what the client wants to do, right or wrong.

Such is the issue of the “forced release” status that results from an unanswered call presented to an “available” login agent. Most if not all call centers, will attempt to present a call to the next available agent based on the routing plan, generally “longest idle”, “round robin” or “top down”. The issue is what do you do if the agent does not answer the presented call?

Most all call centers will set the agent to “forced release” which does two things. First, it assures that we do not waste the callers time presenting another call to an agent that may not be present. Secondly, an agent in “forced release” alerts a supervisor to a potential staff management problem.

Recently we had a client who did not want agents put into “forced release”. Well if we do not put them in forced release what is the desired behavior? Take an CSQ with one agent for discussion purposes. If we present the call to that agent and the caller is not answered within the system Ring No Answer time, we would normally queue the caller for the next “available”agent and put this agent in “forced release”. if we do not put the agent into forced release, the call will be ping ponging back and forth between the queue and the same agent!

Ultimately it was decided that we would create a global option that would allow the administrator to set the default behavior for the call center. The default behavior is either “forced release” or, thanks to Dextr, “follow Wrap Time behavior”. In this way a call presented to an agent and not answered, would optionally be put in “wrap time” or “after work”.   The Dextr application also enables the global setting of a “name” for the wrap behavior to distinguish that mode from a normal wrap period.  This seemed like the best solution.  This would enable the agent to return to “available” status when the wrap time or after work time expires.

Comments are welcome!  DrVoIP@DrVoIP.com

Amazon Connect Custom Integration tools!

If you have taken the time to experiment with AWS Connect and the creation of a cloud call center instance, you know that the basic setup is achievable by a business analyst and no implementation engineer is required. This is good news for very simple, inbound call centers but if you are planning to connect with the rest of the enterprise, you will need some folks skilled in full stake web service development.

No Call Center is an Island!

Call Center as a business process and customer experience management, require that the call center be able to communicate with other information resources throughout the enterprise. The interface between the AWS Connect call center instance and the rest of your organization will must certainly require both middleware and API’s that make use of advanced software development tools within AWS!

Common integration requests that dominate the call center technology space include:

  • Customer Routing Database Integration;
  • Work Force Management
  • Voice and Screen Recording and Playback
  • Voice Analytics
  • Salesforce.com
  • Electronic Health Record
  • Website Integration (think MyChart or CoBrowsing)
  • Microsoft CRM
  • Microsoft Skype for Business
  • Custom Agent dashboards
  • Real Time Metric display boards

These are just a few of the common requests we see on a daily basis. There are also unusual requests for custom solutions that are unique to the business enterprise the call center is deployed in!are also unusual requests for custom solutions that are unique to the business enterprise the call center is deployed in!

Common AWS Connect Integration Tools!

There are a few tools that are essential for developing integrations in AWS Connect. Generally, you will always require Lambda a “function as a service” to unite the call center to any other service. Lambda is “serverless” so you do not need to worry about setting up a server and you can write your function in any of the popular programming languages including Node.js our particular favorite!  Unless you are interfacing with a CRM, you will need a database and we would choose a noSQL solution like AWS DynamoDB, another server less solution.  Lets assume you want to route calls based on the callers area code, so that east coast calls go to the Agent group in your hierarchy that is optimized for east coast callers.  Maybe you want to greet your callers by name. This would require you to pass the Caller ID on an incoming phone call to a function in Lambda that would look up the customer and find the name, then pass the name back to the call center and activate Poly, the AWS text to speech service, so that you can prompt the caller with “Hi <customerName> before continuing to route the call to an agent!  Maybe you want to display the callers name to the Agent when they answer the call, which would again require both Lambda and DynamoDB in addition to some custom code!

Custom Agent Display?

Sometimes it is necessary to create an entire Agent dashboard to handle information displays, team collaboration, key metric broadcast, recording retrieval and playback.   We created the Dextr.Cloud dashboard to provide such an interface.  This is an example of the type of integration that is possible with AWS Connect and the many services that exist in the AWS Cloud.    We are interested in learning more about your own call center integration requirement and invite you to give Dextr.Cloud a try and also to contact us with your integration “’wish list’.   We have seen a lot of requests and nothing suprises us anymore!  So please feel free to play ‘STUMP THE VENDOR” and we will see if we can help you or at least direct you in the right direction!

 

 

 

Amazon Connect Arrange a Call Back from Queue?

Setting up options for Callers waiting in Queue for “the next available representative” often include offering a call back option. Generally, it is a best practice to not offer this option immediately but queue the caller for some time before offering this option. They have already called in and you have answered the call, so let them wait a few minutes before offering bail out options.

Common Call Flow Errors!

One of the most common errors in call center call flow planning is allowing a customer caller to queue for an Agent when no agents are logged in! The second biggest error, is leaving folks in the call back queue, at 5PM when all the agents log out and go home! So how do you do make sure this situation does not happen?

As it relates to the first issue, we always check to make sure that Agents are logged in BEFORE we queue a caller! This is a very simple step to do and it saves a lot of aggravation for callers who will never forget how long you left them rotting away in an empty queue!

Now as it relates to ‘call back’ without losing your place in queue, we have the same issue. Let’s assume that you offer callers this option. It is now 15 minutes before closing, what happens if all the agents log out before the call back is next in queue?

Call Back without losing your place?

In AWS Connect, Call Backs will follow the On-hours schedule. So if someone left a request for call back at closing time, that option will not trigger until the next day when the queue is open per On-hours. Lets see if we can improve this, but NOT offering that option late in the day!

We can setup a new schedule that only offers the call back between certain hours, so that if it is near closing, we do not offer the caller this option. This can be easily scripted in AWS Connect Contact Flows by adding a “check on-hours” step that eliminates this option when callers enter the queue and hour before closing time. This assures that Agents can log out at the appointed time and not leave anybody in queue!

AWS Connect is written around “contact flows” of different types. A “contact flow” handles inbound calls and routes them to Agents in queue. A “customer queue” contact flow deals with how to treat a caller while they are awaiting for the “next available representative”. You will learn this the hard way the first time you try to add a block to a contact flow and find that, though the block was there earlier, it is not there now! Why, the contact flow you are working on, does not support this type of block.

Free Call Back Script just for Asking

In this example we use a “Main Greeting” that is triggered by a call to the DNIS number associated with this path. We start the contact flow off by setting up all the variables like what voice to use, are we logging, what queue hold to use, which queue we are using etc. The flow goes on to check operating hours – routing ON- hours to the Queue and Off-hours to the Voice Message center.

If it is “On-hours” we send the call to the Queue flow. If an Agent is available, we connect them to the caller. If all agents are engaged with other callers, we queue the call. We play our “poor mans” Estimated wait time and then queue them with a “care message” followed by Music. 60 seconds later, we offer the option to continue to hold for an agent, or press 1 to receive a call back without losing your place in queue’.

Before we offer this option, we check another schedule that determines if we should offer the call back option. If the caller hits the center during the call back hours, the call proceeds as described above. If it is an hour before closing time, we do not offer the option.

So hit us up with a request and we will send you three “Quick Start” scripts that enable you to get this working as quickly as you can import the scripts into your AWS Connect call center instance.

Better yet – Give us a call and we will set this up for you!