AWS for Industries

Multichannel customer engagement for financial services on AWS

Financial services organizations are facing challenges around loyalty, persistent churn, fragmented attention, and driving organic growth. There are external factors contributing to these challenges, such as the widespread adoption of mobile services, new digital native market entrants, adapting to generational shifts, and critical industry requirements around compliance and regulations that makes cumbersome to provide innovation and seamless experience from different channels.

On the other hand, consumers are demanding personalized, real-time engagement, and are becoming more conscious about the time spent interacting with companies and the ease to solve issues through different channels, such as:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Web apps
  • Mobile apps
  • Chat widgets
  • Messenger apps (such as Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • Voice assistants (such as Alexa)
  • Contact centers

 “84% of customers say that tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business” – Salesforce State of Marketing Report

Managing a multichannel approach requires investment and harmonization of both management technology (databases, analytics, Customer Data Platform (CDP), Customer Relation Management (CRM) platforms, among others) and operational technology (campaigns, messaging, decision management, orchestration). Companies require to provide business and marketing teams data and metrics to segment the market, and create targeted campaigns with personalized content to be delivered to the customer’s preferred channel. AWS offers Digital User Engagement, AI/ML services, and a serverless portfolio that enable financial services organizations to implement cost-efficient solutions to have a real-time engagement through various channels.

Overview of solution

This post shows a solution that combines multiple technologies such as voice-assistant/chatbot, AI-powered contact center analytics, and a multichannel digital engagement platform to enable financial services customers to interact via chat widgets, messenger apps, voice assistants, and contact centers. At the same time, it provides agents and supervisors insights about what, how, where, and when the consumers have interacted with the digital services.

By following this walkthrough and deploying the AWS CloudFormation template, you will automatically set up all the necessary AWS solutions to implement a baseline for your multichannel solution.

All of the resources used on this solution are serverless. That means you don’t have to provision and manage servers, and pay exactly for what you use and avoid having idle resources.

Which services are we leveraging?

  1. Amazon Connect is an easy-to-use omnichannel cloud contact center that provides a seamless experience across voice and chat for your customers and agents.
  2. Amazon Pinpoint is a flexible and scalable outbound and inbound marketing communications service. It offers channels to send email, text messages (SMS), push notifications, and encoded voice messages. Companies can run campaigns and deliver personalized messages with the right content through the right channel and gives metrics to measure the success of the communications.
  3. Amazon Lex and Amazon Alexa enables you to quickly and easily build conversational interfaces using voice and text. These services provide the advanced deep learning functionalities of automatic speech recognition (ASR) for converting speech to text, and natural language understanding (NLU) to recognize the intent of the text.
  4. Amazon Transcribe uses a deep learning process called automatic speech recognition (ASR) to convert speech to text quickly and accurately.
  5. Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to find insights and relationships in text. The service identifies the language of the text; extracts key phrases, places, people, brands, or events; understands how positive or negative the text is; analyses text using tokenization and parts of speech; and automatically organizes a collection of text files by topic.
  6. AWS Step Functions is a serverless function orchestrator that makes it easy to sequence multiple AWS solutions into business-critical applications.

Architecture and components

What will you get after deploying the solution?

  1. Banking Portal: A website where customers interact with their banking portfolio. This portal contains click-event capturing and a chat widget able to answer FAQs with a bot. Conversations can be transferred to a live agent anytime, keeping the context and history.

Please note that you can continue using your current frontend and add the integration with Amazon Kinesis to support click-streaming and Amazon Lex for the chatbot widget.

  1. Customer 360 portal: This website provides a single-pane of glass that shows all customer interactions and experience using different channels. It offers a 360-degree customer view and provides insights about channels, interactions, requests, and sentiment associated with each interaction. This is a representation on how you can integrate this information into your current CRM or own platform to get insights about customer behavior and interaction history.
  1. Cloud Contact Center: In the multichannel strategy, Amazon Connect plays an important role since it provides a seamless experience across voice and chat for your customers and agents.

After call or chat ends, a workflow is triggered to run analytics and machine learning to get voice-to-text transcription and sentiment analysis. The workflow is based on this related blog post.

  1. Conversational Chatbots: This solution deploys an Amazon Lex bot that supports integrations made with Amazon Connect, Facebook Messenger, and a webpage chat widget. This bot implements the same interaction model used by the Alexa Skill, providing the same experience regardless which bot the customer consumes.

In case you want to extend the functionality to WhatsApp, please check this related post that describes the steps for enhancing the customer experience by linking WhatsApp with Amazon Lex.

  1. Multichannel marketing communication service: Amazon Pinpoint collects metrics about channel usage per customer and allows to segment audience to create outbound campaigns over channels like email, SMS, push, or voice. On this post, you can find the guide to add WhatsApp as an Amazon Pinpoint Channel.

Deployment

Deployment walkthrough guide and assets like CloudFormation stack, source code, and user guide are available on this Github repo.

Cleaning up

When you’re done experimenting and want to delete all the resources created to avoid incurring future charges, remove the Amazon Connect instance and delete the CloudFormation stack.

Conclusion

The Multichannel Customer Engagement for Financial Services post delivers a guide to deploy a baseline solution for a multichannel strategy leveraging AWS products. The solution can be integrated with existing systems, and customized to meet specific business needs.

Andrés Lindo

Andrés Lindo

Andrés is a Solutions Architect helping customers build digital experiences with AWS. He has been in the field of software development and architecture for more than 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and DJing.

Javier Cristancho

Javier Cristancho

Javier is a Solutions Architect at AWS based in Colombia. He has worked in AWS for South America and Central America. In his current role, he worked on help the main financial service companies in their cloud adoption. He is one of the pioneers of the AWS Serverless Advocate internal community.

Laura Caicedo

Laura Caicedo

Laura is part of the AWS Solutions Architect team since June 2017. She started in the Colombia office, being the second hired in the AWS office. In 2019, Laura joined the AWS Solutions Architect for middle size enterprise team in the UK. Before Amazon, Laura worked in companies like Cisco and IBM. Laura is also known for her passion about Women in IT and I&D topics.