Amazon Connect Introduces Web & Mobile Chat for a True Omnichannel Contact Center Experience
When we started Amazon in 1995, it was with the mission to be the earth’s most customer-centric company. It obviously requires many talented individuals and technologies to deliver on that vision, including contact centers. As Amazon’s retail business scaled, we first shopped for third-party contact center solutions, but we could not find one that fit our needs, so we decided to build our own. After we built an initial version, we listened to our contact center team feedback and iterated for several years to meet our strict requirements of security, elasticity, flexibility, reliability, and high customer experience standards. Many AWS customers told us they have the same challenges to procure, install, configure, and operate their contact centers. They asked us to make our solution available to all businesses.
Since we launched Amazon Connect, thousands of customers have created their own contact centers in the cloud. Connect makes it easy for non-technical customers to design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics. It is easy to integrate Amazon Connect to other systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) or to integrate Amazon Lex intelligent conversational bots into contact flows. For example, Intuit integrates Amazon Connect with Salesforce to build contact flow experiences that adapt to their customer needs in real-time. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) is using Amazon Connect and Amazon Lex to automatically answer most frequently asked questions about European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). During the first four weeks of operation, 42 percent of EHIC calls were resolved via the integrated Amazon Connect and Amazon Lex solution, and did not have to be passed back to a human agent. There was a 26 percent reduction in EHIC contact center calls handled by human agents.
But voice-based contact centers are only one part of the story. Today, we communicate more and more with messaging, and customers use multiple channels to communicate with businesses. Often, simple questions can be answered by a short chat message and do not involve a voice conversation with an agent. This is why we are announcing web and mobile chat for Amazon Connect. Your customers can now choose between using chat or making a phone call to get their questions or concerns addressed. When they choose to chat with a contact center agent, they can do it at their own pace, making it as familiar as messaging a friend. Conversation context is maintained across both chat and voice, giving customers freedom to move between channels without forcing them to start all over again or to wait for an agent.
Amazon Connect chat gives businesses a single unified contact center service for voice and chat. Amazon Connect provides a single routing engine which increases efficient distribution amongst agents and reduces end-customer wait times. Agents have a single user interface to help end-customers using both voice and chat, reducing the number of tools they have to learn and the number of screens they have to interact with. Chat activities nicely integrate into your existing contact center flows and the automation you built for voice. You build your flows once and you reuse them across multiple channels. Likewise, for metrics collection and the dashboards you built, they automatically benefit from the unified metrics across multiple channels.
Your customers can start chatting with contact center agents from any of your business applications, web or mobile. Let’s see what it looks like. In the below example, the chat is integrated in your company web site.
Contact center agents receive chat requests in the same web-based Contact Control Panel (CCP) they use for voice engagements. Since it is web-based, agents can work from virtually anywhere. Customers can integrate the CCP directly into the applications their contact center agents use, such as their customer relationship management (CRM) system, using the CCP SDK.
To add chat capabilities to your Amazon Connect contact center, open the console and enable your agents to take chats by enabling Chat in their Routing Profile, no code is required. Once this is done, they can begin accepting chats through the updated agent experience.
Should you need help adding Amazon Connect chat capabilities to your website or applications, please reach out to one of the dozens of Amazon Connect partners available worldwide.
Amazon Connect chat is charged on a per use basis. There are no required up-front payments, long-term commitments or minimum monthly fees. You pay per chat message, independently of the number of agents or customers using it. Regional pricing may vary, read the pricing page for the details.
Amazon Connect chat will be generally available this week in all AWS regions where Amazon Connect is offered: US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo).
As usual, we’re willing to hear your feedback, do not hesitate to share your thoughts with us.-- seb