Tuesday, 28 September 2021 09:48

AWS adds new updates to Amazon Connect

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Amazon Web Services updates new capabilities for Amazon Connect to improve contact centre agent productivity and provide more effective, personal, and natural customer interactions.

AWS shares that the new features are designed to give agents the right information at the right time to answer customer questions faster, provide fast and secure caller authentication, and make communicating with customers easier and more efficient.

The three new capabilities are founded on more than 130 new Amazon Connect price reductions, features, and enhancements that AWS has offered since the launch of Amazon Connect.

Real-time agent assistance (now generally available): Amazon Connect Wisdom gives agents immediate access to products and service information to solve customer issues as they’re actively speaking with customers.

When used with Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, Amazon Connect Wisdom leverages machine learning powered speech analytics to automatically detect customer issues during calls and then recommend content in real-time to help resolve the issue. Contact Lens for Amazon Connect can detect when a customer says “arrived broken” to an agent, and Amazon Connect Wisdom automatically displays instructions in the Amazon Connect agent application for exchanging an item.

Additionally, agents can use Amazon Connect Wisdom to search to find answers and resolve customer issues during a conversation. Agents simply type a question or phrase, and Amazon Connect Wisdom is designed to return the most relevant information and best answer to handle the customer issue.

An agent could type “how do I exchange an item?” and Amazon Connect Wisdom will search the connected data store and return an answer with links to more detailed information.

Caller authentication (now generally available): Amazon Connect Voice ID provides real-time caller authentication using machine learning powered voice analysis.

With Amazon Connect Voice ID, callers are given the option to authenticate themselves by using their voice, offering them an additional layer of security and saving time spent in answering multiple questions to verify their identity.

When a caller chooses to enroll, Amazon Connect Voice ID uses machine learning to analyse the caller’s speech attributes (e.g. rhythm, pitch, and tone) during the first few seconds of a call and then creates a secure digital voiceprint for the caller. When the customer calls again, Amazon Connect Voice ID compares the caller’s voiceprint to the claimed identity and assigns a confidence score, authenticating only if the caller’s score meets the confidence score threshold set by the organisation. If the caller doesn’t meet the threshold, an agent can verify their identity through additional screening (e.g. knowledge-based authentication).
Amazon Connect Voice ID also lets companies create a custom watchlist with audio recordings of known fraudsters and automatically flags suspicious callers to lower fraudulent attacks.

High-volume outbound communications (now in preview): New capabilities in Amazon Connect give contact centres intelligent and embedded high-volume outbound communications across multiple channels (calls, texts, and emails).

Amazon Connect’s outbound communications for calls, texts, and emails now give organisations a way to contact millions of customers daily for marketing promotions, appointment reminders, and upcoming delivery notifications without having to integrate third-party tools.

Contact centre managers can schedule and launch outbound communications by simply specifying the communications channel, contact list, and content that will be sent to customers. The new communication capabilities include a predictive dialer that automatically calls customers in a list, but throttles outreach based on agent availability. The dialer also uses a machine learning model to distinguish between a live customer, voicemail greeting, or busy signal to increase agent efficiency by ensuring agents only connect to a live customer. High-volume outbound communications give companies the ability to communicate with their customers across channels at scale without having to perform difficult and expensive third-party integrations.

Companies have been using the new updates, and Amazon has received positive reception. Here are some of their testimonies:

“As we have grown our customer base and diversified our product offerings, one of our biggest challenges has been organizing relevant information for our agents in real time, so when we heard about Amazon Connect Wisdom, we were ecstatic,” says Traeger Grills head of operations Bryan Carey.

“The cloud contact centre’s integrations with other AWS-hosted applications and services will improve agent workflows and decrease training time by allowing us to provide the right information to the right agent at the right time. Amazon Connect Voice ID will deliver real-time voice authentication for our clients and agents to provide a frictionless experience,” says Labcorp chief information and technology officer Lance Berberian.

“With Amazon Connect, we will have a robust feature set to offer customers so they can improve their outreach to patients. We will scale up and down based on customer demand, offer chatbot technology to our customers so patients can quickly get answers to simple questions, and provide automated communications. The automated communications will make it easier for our customers to notify patients about upcoming appointments or gaps in care, which will improve efficiency and patient satisfaction,” notes Relatient chief innovation officer Kevin Montgomery.

“Early on, call volumes spiked by more than 300%. But with Amazon Connect, we responded faster than ever before—moving more than 1,000 agents to work from home overnight and introducing queued callbacks. After just 20 minutes of work, we pivoted our operations to prioritise the most urgent cases—customers traveling within the next 72 hours—and provided less-urgent callers with a fully automated path to resolve their issues,” says Priceline director of contact centre technology Jennifer Featherling.

“Since then, more than 40 agencies, such as the Department of Health and Child Support Services, have moved to Amazon Connect because it’s fast to implement, easy to use, and more cost effective than legacy solutions. It is better for the public and easier for our employees,” claims Washington DC government unified communications engineer office of the chief technology officer Cynthia Romero.

“Deploying the new contact center has had a major impact on overall student satisfaction. In an end-of-semester student survey conducted by the College of Liberal Arts for summer and fall 2020, 84% of students said their technical issues were easy to resolve through online tech support. With Amazon Connect, student wait time also dropped to less than 30 seconds to talk to an agent at similar staffing levels, compared to average wait times of greater than 15 minutes before the implementation,” says University of Texas at Austin principal project manager liberal arts instructional technology services Antonino Cummings.

“We leveraged Amazon Connect and Salesforce Service Cloud Voice to build a contact centre that can assist each customer with tailored support, in their preferred language and time zone. The real-time transcription and the integration with Salesforce Service Cloud allow our client advisors to always provide support, while the call analytics help us measure and improve our customer service,” says Brunello Cucinelli CEO Francesco Bottigliero.

“When we assessed our standard ‘Customer Excitement’ metrics, Amazon Connect Chat performed 20% better than our legacy customer service channels, and our first contact resolution rate rose to more than 90% satisfaction. With such great results, we will continue to innovate with Amazon Connect,” says Sixt executive vice president network and customer management Peter Beermann.

“With Amazon Connect, we can now pivot our contact centre operations in an instant. We’ve been able to simplify and speed up our processes and continuously improve customer experiences,” says Morrisons technology director Jordan McLean.

“Amazon Connect has helped us simplify our contact center operations by drawing on artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to automate our most common requests. We’ve also built voice and chat channels to offer customers a personalized experience, reduce wait times, and help solve customer issues faster,” says Vodafone NZ head of digital tools Mark Fitzgerald.

“We have worked with our AWS Partner, Consegna, to consolidate our contact centre in the cloud in just twelve weeks. One of the things we are most excited about is leveraging Contact Lens for Amazon Connect to give agents access to caller data in real time, improving their ability to serve callers,” says University of Auckland cloud transformation program manager Bharat Kochar.

“In a matter of months, we completely transformed the experience for our customers that call us. We’ve been able to speed up our queue time by 30%, shorten interactive voice response call duration by 33%, and cut IVR change management from 2.5 weeks to five minutes—a difference of 99.98%,” says CI Financial vice president of client services Lisa Running.

“With native Amazon Connect dashboards, IMB has a better view of customer data—this helps us devise more effective communication strategies and customer-centric workflows. We are now able to update IVR workflows within minutes, a process that would have taken weeks using the previous system,” says IMB Bank chief executive Robert Ryan.

“We integrated our internal systems, such as our customer relationship management and device performance monitoring with Amazon Connect to provide a single experience for our agents. Across the board, Amazon Connect gives us more agility to serve our customers. We can proactively provide messages based on what’s happening in a region, scale to meet demand, and anticipate customer needs, so we can direct them to the right agent, faster,” says Ring chief neighbour experience officer Jon Irwin.


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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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