AWS Contact Center

Amazon Connect – So Easy an Eight-Year-Old Can Use It

Contact centers can be tough to integrate with, maintain, and manage. Amazon Connect is a cloud contact center service, which simplifies the contact center process, especially for the customers. Amazon Connect starts from the point of view that time is valuable. Spend time doing the things that help your customers to have the first-rate experiences.

That point of view is reflected in this scenario: the moment you choose Get Started in your Amazon Connect console until you answer your first call can be a total of 10 minutes. That timeframe gets you a foundational working contact center. However, combine this with the AWS Service Catalog to get the tools to build powerful customer experiences. For example, Natural Language Understanding using Amazon Lex, or report streaming and analysis using Amazon Kinesis and Amazon QuickSight.

So how could this be easy enough for an eight-year-old to build something?

My son’s name is Ender. Just before his ninth birthday, I was helping him with homework that involved fractions. My son is a visual learner, so we used a whiteboard to work through the fractions. After he had the fractions down, he asked me what I used the whiteboard for at work. I explained that I used the whiteboard to diagram architectures and call flows, which we call contact flows in Amazon Connect. Because he was interested, I drew a sample call flow, and he thought it was pretty cool. As I was erasing the board, he asked me if he could draw one. I handed him the dry erase marker and let him have at it.

The following is my son’s diagram of the call flow that he designed:

Then he sat in front of my laptop and started to build it. He opened the Amazon Connect console, and I showed him how to use the Contact Flow Designer, how to record a greeting, and then I let him go. He created a contact flow and asked how to make it work. I showed him how to save and publish the contact flow. There were a few errors, so I explained how all the connections need to be completed. He hadn’t connected any error nodes, so he hooked those up and successfully published this flow:

We then claimed a phone number through the Amazon Connect interface. We pointed the new number to his contact flow and called in. You can call at +1 833-300-0527.

Note that choosing a toll-free number, as we did, results in charges to your AWS account if you exceed the AWS free-tier limits.

Summary

This experience with my son inspired me to use this demo to show people the fundamentals of using the Amazon Connect service. Of course, you would build in more dynamic capabilities for a production contact center. However, when it comes to an understanding of the value of what Amazon Connect has to offer, then yes – it is so easy, an eight-year-old can use it.