How Retailers Can Create an Intelligent Contact Center With Infosys Cortex and Amazon Connect
Digital commerce has grown exponentially, and that growth has subsequently increased the digital touchpoints where brands and customers interact. Because contact centers help retailers respond to customer questions and issues, they play a significant role in a retailer’s ability to earn and keep customers’ trust, especially when the contact center can help solve postpurchase challenges for shoppers. Therefore, contact centers are pivotal to a brand’s success. For customer-obsessed retailers, a robust intelligent contact center (ICC) should be of paramount importance and part of a long-term digital transformation strategy.
However, delivering above-the-bar retail contact center services is no easy task. This blog, Retail in 2021: Customer Service Trends You Can’t Ignore, highlights some of the most pressing challenges retailers are struggling with, such as increasing call volumes, more product delivery options, and reverse fulfillment issues, as well as consumer expectations for faster and smarter digital customer support.
In this blog, we will explain how to deliver an ICC—as an autonomous, artificial intelligence (AI)–driven solution—that will help you delight customers at scale at virtually every touchpoint.
The AWS Retail Competency is a vast community of partners offering purpose-built, AWS-vetted technologies to retailers across the globe. These partners provide innovative technology offerings that accelerate retailers’ modernization and innovation journeys across all areas in the enterprise. Among them is Infosys, a long-standing AWS Partner with deep specialization in retail on AWS. Infosys offers Infosys Cortex, a retail solution for building ICCs.
Infosys Cortex is an AI-based contact center solution that helps retailers gain actionable insights about customer preferences and perceptions of products, services, marketing campaigns, and the retail brand itself. Several of the AI services in Infosys Cortex are powered by AWS.
Considerations for a robust ICC
According to Aragon research, an ICC uses modern AI technologies, like an enhanced human-computer interface (HCI), to provide more personalized or natural language communications with customers. An ICC also uses techniques to continuously improve internal processes, such as resource identification and routing based on success metrics from historical data rather than reprogramming.
With that information, you should keep these three points top of mind as your company considers a customer-centric contact center:
- Use cloud infrastructure
- Build in AI and machine learning (ML) services
- Use real-time and predictive analytics
In addition, a modern ICC should also include these six key features:
- Customer identification—it should recognize customers by phone number, authenticate callers with voice recognition, and predict the purpose and context of the call based on recent transactions.
- Smart contact routing that proactively sends pertinent customer data to the agent—by routing calls, chats, texts, and other customer communications to the most appropriate agent, the call center rep can anticipate why the consumer might be calling and proactively assist with issues.
- Near-real-time sentiment analysis—the system should proactively sense the caller’s sentiment in near real time and provide options for the agent to intervene, de-escalate, and mitigate negative situations.
- Scalable infrastructure—on-demand scalability helps retailers keep pace with fluctuating call volumes, especially during the busy holiday season as well as busy events, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Omnichannel functionality—with multiple retail channels, like voice, chat, and SMS, customers can easily interact with a retailer’s contact center when and where they want to engage.
- Readily available integrations—retailers should be able to easily integrate their contact center solutions with existing applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and legacy applications.
With a modern ICC that offers these characteristics and features, retailers can improve customer experiences, provide core actionable insights to call center agents, and improve performance ratios for contact centers.
Infosys Cortex overview
Now that you have a general idea of the capabilities that should be part of an ICC, we will introduce you to Infosys Cortex. It’s a microservices-based contact center solution that has five key modules with Infosys Cortex Core at the center (shown in Figure 1 below).
- Infosys Cortex Core—it’s the Infosys Digital Brain component that senses data; builds new customer contexts; and analyzes, discovers, and generates actionable insights using applied AI techniques.
- Infosys Cortex Learn Suite—it uses simulated learning features for agent training based on historical call pipelines, training bank creations, learn-and-practice models, and follow-up a
- Infosys Cortex Empower Suite—it provides proactive assistance to customers and agents by providing intelligent nudges for next best actions based on transaction details, compliance, and real-time sentiment analysis.
- Infosys Cortex Experience Suite—it uses APIs with additional AI and ML intelligence to integrate with Amazon Connect—an easy-to-use omnichannel cloud contact center—helping you to create contact flows for self-service, virtual assistance, and intelligent routing to further enhance the customer experience.
- Infosys Cortex Optimize Suite—it generates insights based on customer sentiment and interactions as well as agent behaviors and performance.
Infosys Cortex on AWS
Infosys Cortex offers a contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) model that can help retailers drastically improve customer service capabilities with always-on, natural language–based omnichannel support that is cost effective and device agnostic. Because Amazon Connect is a cloud-based omnichannel contact center, it should be the core of a modern retail ICC. With an API-based architecture, the different modules of Infosys Cortex can easily integrate with Amazon Connect. You can also use other AWS services to provide a complete, feature-rich contact center solution.
The contact center solution architecture, depicted in Figure 2 below, consists of these three crucial elements:
- Amazon Connect omnichannel cloud contact center
- Existing CRM system
- Infosys Cortex AI-based intelligence and analytics solution
This solution represents a future-proof, cloud-first contact center solution that integrates Amazon Connect with a retailer’s existing off-the-shelf or custom CRM application and is powered by Infosys Cortex. Because Amazon Connect can be deployed in just a few days, compared to traditional contact centers that may take several months to stand up, retailers can have their ICC running quickly. In addition, with no up-front capital expenditures, Amazon Connect offers a pay-as-you-go model, so you pay for only what you use, and you can easily scale up or down based on call volumes.
AWS services for enhancing call center capabilities
Retailers can easily and seamlessly integrate the Infosys Cortex solution with other AWS services to enhance support offerings, including:
- Contact Lens for Amazon Connect—this service provides ML-based real-time analytics to measure customer sentiment in conversations, so agents can provide appropriate interventions.
- Amazon Lex—it allows you to build chatbots with conversational AI, so retailers can provide an omnichannel experience and better manage peak call volumes.
- Amazon Transcribe and Amazon Polly—these services provide speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities so you can analyze and store conversations in real time.
- Amazon Connect Voice ID—it uses ML to provide near-real-time caller authentication, so voice interactions are faster and secure.
- Amazon SageMaker—it allows retailers to build, train, and deploy sophisticated ML solutions for specific call center use cases and analyses.
With so many digital touchpoints where retailers and customers can interact, like social media, ecommerce websites, and mobile apps, retailers need a modern, integrated contact center to analyze data and gain actionable insights to enhance the customer experience—especially when issues arise and customers need assistance.