AWS Contact Center

Quickly set up remote contact center agents with Amazon Connect

For several years, knowledge workers have benefited from the ease of working from anywhere (offices or home). They usually have access to the right tools and technology (often a cell phone, laptop, and an internet connection) that allows them to leverage flexible work options.

However, legacy contact center workers have not been so fortunate. They are often tethered to a physical phone, tied to a desk in an office. They are, by and large, limited by their contact center’s underlying technology, making it hard for them to work remotely. . .until now.

Amazon Connect enables businesses to have a fully operational contact center that can be accessed from virtually anywhere. Agents, supervisors, managers, and administrators can work from home and still be able to perform all of their daily contact center activities. Agents can receive inbound and make outbound calls or chat interactions. Supervisors can monitor and coach agents in real time as if they were all sitting in the same office. Managers can view dashboards, run reports, monitor service levels, listen to call recordings, and track contact center performance- all from home. All that is needed to make this a reality is an Amazon Connect instance, a laptop, and an internet connection.

This blog post covers how you can set up remote agents in minutes to support your customers and employees using Amazon Connect.

On-premises contact centers challenged to support remote agents

With on-premises contact center solutions, enabling agents to work from home can have complex requirements. These may include VPN hardware devices, SIP phones, or even requiring landline phones at agents’ homes, requiring hands-on assistance from networking, security, and telephony teams. In addition, on-boarding remote agents requires individual maintenance to keep agents online, increasing your costs and decreasing your agent’s efficiency.

Respond quickly and cost-effectively with Amazon Connect

As an omnichannel cloud contact center solution, Amazon Connect enables your agents to work from home without requiring any additional configuration. Agents can connect from any location as long as they have an internet connection. They only need a supported browser and a USB headset available from Amazon Connect Partners like Jabra.

You can set up a contact center and take your first phone call in minutes with Amazon Connect. There are no browser plugins or applications that you need to install to start taking calls or chats with Amazon Connect. Amazon Connect uses a WebRTC based softphone that is designed to provide you high-quality audio by using the OPUS codec.

With Amazon Connect, you only pay for the customer-connected minutes you use. There are no contracts to sign or per-user licensing. You can spin up a contact center in Amazon Connect, test it, and scale it up and down as needed..

Direct Interactions, a leader in work-at-home contact centers, relies on Amazon Connect to route calls to their remote workforce. Jonas Nicholson, Direct Interactions’ CEO, shared that “Amazon Connect enables us to create job opportunities for people who have a good reason to work from home. To us, that means people with disabilities, military spouses and people in economically depressed areas.” He also states that “When working from home is the only option, Amazon Connect performs even when the kids are gaming or streaming Netflix on the same home network.”

Direct Interactions has also seen a decrease in agent onboarding time. Jonas noted “Our previous providers used a licensing model which discouraged our team from letting our agents work less hours. Amazon Connects’ pay-as-you-go pricing allows us to add new agents simply by creating new users in the Amazon Connect console and it helps us save money by doing so.” Jonas has also been impressed with the time it takes his agents to onboard “With Amazon Connect the toughest part of onboarding new agents is the client content, systems training only takes less than 20 minutes. Our agents have found Amazon Connect to be extremely easy to use, and enables them to be productive within their at home environment.”

Jonas also adds that “Amazon Connect has been the best thing that could happen to our business. Our agents are happier with the flexibility of their work, we’re glad to give our agents the opportunity to be comfortable in their work environment, and we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in agent churn.”

With Amazon Connect, you no longer manage infrastructure and can easily scale your contact center up or down as needed. You can quickly onboard tens of thousands of agents in response to peak business cycles and scale down without having to worry about agent seat licensing or minimum commitments.

If you have agents currently using Amazon Connect in offices, they can seamlessly connect to the same instance from home and start taking calls immediately. You can also quickly add new agents in Amazon Connect. In scenarios where softphone audio is not an option, your agents can forward inbound calls to a PSTN number like their cell phone.

Should you have internal, non-internet accessible applications that the Amazon Connect Contact Control Panel (CCP) needs to interact with, such as a homegrown service desk system, you can use Amazon Connect in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. For other cloud based application requirements, agents should be able to connect directly without requiring remote access solution like a VPN or VDI.

Customers can also leverage Amazon Connect as an additional emergency response channel to help field and triage voice calls for employees, customers, or citizens. For example, the American Red Cross quickly set up an Amazon Connect contact center instance to scale their customer support during Hurricane Harvey. They successfully set up a new contact center within 48 hours instead of having to wait for several months in the traditional call center approach. To top it all, they could also quickly leverage the intelligent, modern contact center approach with skills-based routing, real-time and historical analytics, and AI-powered call sentiment analysis.

Set up remote agents in minutes

Setting up work from home agents using Amazon Connect is very easy. You can scale faster with Amazon Connect as you are not required to purchase, install, and configure additional telephony or network infrastructure, or office space for your agents. As part of the AWS Free Tier you can get started with Amazon Connect with free usage for twelve months.

Try these step by step tutorials to create your contact center on Amazon Connect and test it out with work from home agents today: