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Amazon Connect – Now Smarter and More Integrated With Third-Party Tools

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We launched Amazon Connect in 2017 and, since then, thousands of customers have created their own contact centers in the cloud. Connect makes it easy for non-technical customers to design interaction flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics.

For example, when I book a Best Western hotel room in Europe by phone, the call is managed by Connect. In the UK, the Post Office went from ideation to production rollout in just three weeks. In France, WebHelp, a global leader in Business Process Outsourcing, activated thousands of workstations and remote agents in just 72 hours.

Since I last blogged about Connect, the team has been continuously listening for your feedback and, today, I am happy to announce a new set of capabilities to make Connect smarter and more integrated with third-party tools.

We are using Machine Learning (ML) to make Connect smarter at analyzing conversations in real time, finding relevant information needed by contact center agents, and authenticating customers by the sound of their voice. The second set of capabilities makes Connect easier to integrate with third party tools or services to present unified customer profile information to contact center agents, and to make it easier to manage their tasks.

Let’s go into the details, one by one.

Contact Lens Real Time
Contact Lens for Amazon Connect is a set of machine learning (ML) capabilities allowing contact center supervisors to better understand the sentiment, trends, and compliance of customer conversations. It was first announced during re:Invent 2019 and available since July 2020. It allows to effectively train agents, replicate successful interactions, and to identify crucial company and product feedback.

Starting today, you can get real-time insights into customer experience during the live calls, such as a customer expressing dissatisfaction. Customer experience analytics and alerts for live calls are delivered in Connect’s real-time metrics dashboard. It makes it easy for supervisors to identify when to listen-in on a critical call, and to provide guidance to the agent via chat, or have the agent transfer the call to them for assistance.

You, as the contact center manager, can define rules using specific terms such as “not happy,” “poor quality product,” and “cancel my subscription.” Contact Lens uses natural language processing (NLP) to perform intelligent matching to automatically detect variations of the spoken words even when the example phrases are limited.

Create Rules for real time analytics

Contact Lens analyzes in-progress calls in real time to detect when the rule criteria for a customer experience issue is met, and immediately creates an alert next to the live call in the Connect dashboard to notify supervisors of the situation.

Real Time alert based on rules

With this launch, we are adding 13 language variants to post-call analytics, in addition to the 5 already supported :English (United States), English (Great Britain), English (Australia), English (India), and Spanish (United States).

The new language variants for post-call analytics are: English (Ireland), English (Scotland), English (Wales), Spanish (Spain), French (Canada), French (France), Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), German (Germany), German (Switzerland), Italian (Italy), Arabic (Gulf), and Hindi (India).

Contact Lens for Amazon Connect real-time is available in 4 language variants: English (United States), English (Great Britain), English (Australia), and Spanish (United States). More language variants will be added at later stage.

For more details read this blog post or visit this launch page.

Amazon Connect Wisdom (Preview)
Wisdom provides built-in agent assistance capabilities in Connect, including machine learning (ML) powered search and real-time recommendations, to quickly enable agents with relevant information for resolving customer issues.

As an agent, I can type questions or phrases in the Wisdom search box, without guessing what keyword I should use. Wisdom understands what information I am searching for. It surfaces results in the agent’s preferred Amazon Connect application, the web-based one we do provide, or the ones you built.

Amazon Connect Wisdom search results

Wisdom comes with pre-built connectors to third-party knowledge repositories to provide most relevant results to agents. Wisdom includes connectors for Salesforce and ServiceNow during the preview, with more to come at launch.

Wisdom may use Contact Lens Real Time analytics to analyse the conversation in real-time. It detects the customer issue, finds related content in the connected repositories, and provides proactive recommendations to help the agent resolve it. For example, Wisdom can detect that a customer is talking about a problem with the handbag they bought last week, recommend an article that describes similar products defect, and provide instructions with a link to the order management application needed to initiate an exchange.

Wisdom is available in preview, you can signup today or visit the launch page.

Amazon Connect Voice ID (Preview)
Amazon Connect Voice ID provides real-time caller authentication which makes voice interactions in contact centers more secure and efficient.

To effectively recognise me as “Sébastien”, Voice ID must learn how I am talking. This is the enrolment phase. Then it compares the sound of my voice with the one enrolled earlier. This is the verification phase.

To meet with personal data protection laws, contact center agents capture my consent to use Voice ID.

During the enrolment phase, Voice ID listens to the call until it has captured 30 seconds of my voice. Then it creates my voiceprint, which uniquely authenticates me. A voiceprint is a mathematical representation that captures unique aspects of an individual’s voice such as speech rhythm, pitch, intonation, and loudness. I do not need to say or repeat any specific phrases to let Voice ID create my voiceprint. Voice ID provides an API that can be used to opt-out a customer.

When I call back in, Voice ID just needs 10 seconds of my voice to authenticate me. My voice can be captured as part of a typical interaction with the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) happening at the start of the call, or when I first start to talk with the agent. For example when I am answering questions, such as “what’s your first and last name?” and “what are you calling about?”, Voice ID uses this audio to generate my voiceprint again. It compares it with the one enrolled earlier. Voice ID then generates an authentication score depending on the confidence of the match. Contact center managers can use this score to create policies in Connect to let agents see a real-time result (“authenticated” or “not authenticated”) in their web-based application. Agents can then decide to proceed with the call or ask for additional authentication credentials.

Amazon Connect Voice ID is available in preview. You can signup today or visit this launch page. There is also a dedicated blog post for more information. 

Amazon Connect Customer Profiles
Customer Profiles is a unified profile for Amazon Connect that brings together customer information from disparate sources without having to build integrations or wrangle data.

Providing agents (or automatic IVR systems) with accurate and unified customer profile information at the right moment helps them to deliver better service to customers, and to resolve calls faster. Using Customer Profiles, agents must not navigate out of Connect, or switch between different applications to get the customer insights they need.

With just a few clicks, System Administrators can integrate customer profile data from applications like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Zendesk, and Marketo, and a Software Development Kit (SDK) to build your own homegrown integration. Setting up connectors for Customer Profiles requires no programming or data integration expertise.

Once enabled, Customer Profiles automatically detects customer records from the applications. It matches and deduplicates them. This results in accurate and up-to-date profiles displayed to agents within their Connect web-based experience.

Amazon Connect Customer Profile

Learn more about Amazon Connect Customer Profile in this blog post or by visiting the launch page.

Amazon Connect Tasks
Amazon Connect Tasks makes it easy to automate, track, and manage contact center agent tasks. It provides a single place for contact center managers to prioritize, assign, and track customer service tasks across the disparate applications used by agents, so that they are focused on the highest priority work of any type.

Tasks can be sourced from third-party applications, such as a CRM solution, or to update a business-specific system. For example, you can programmatically create tasks for agents to follow-up on a customer case in a third party application like Salesforce, or complete an action item in a business-specific application, such as processing a claim in an insurance system. You can also automate tasks that dont require agent interaction, to ensure your agents spend more time focused on customers.

Using Amazon Connect tasks, agents no longer need to switch between applications to know what work should be completed, and with what priority. Agents can see all their assigned tasks right from the Connect contact control panel, the same web-based application they use to interact with customers over calls and chat. When a task is assigned, the agent receives a notification with the description of the task, and when required, links to any external applications needed to complete the action. Agents can also create tasks so that follow-up work is not forgotten, for example calling a customer back to provide a status update.

Amazon Connect Accept Tasks Amazon Connect View Task Create a task uisng Amazon Connect Tasks
Incoming Tasks Task Details Create a new Task

Amazon Connect Tasks provides pre-built connectors fo Salesforce and Zendesk. With just a few clicks, you can easily set up rules to automatically create tasks based on pre-defined conditions, as sown on the screenshot hereunder. It also provides an API to create tasks from any other application.

Amazon Connect Task Rules

Learn more about how to configure and to get started with Tasks by visiting the launch page or reading this blog post.

Available Today
Three of these new capabilities are available today: Contact Lens Real Time, Customer Profiles, and Tasks. You must register to the preview program to test Wisdom and Voice ID.

Customer Profile and Tasks are available in all AWS Regions where Amazon Connect is available : US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), and Europe (London). Contact Lens Real Time is available in US West (Oregon), US East (N. Virginia), and Asia Pacific (Sydney) at the moment. Wisdom is available in US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) during the preview, while Voice ID is available only in US West (Oregon) during the preview.

With Connect, you only pay for what you use. There are no required up-front payments, long-term commitments, or minimum monthly fees. The price metrics for these new capabilities are detailed on the Amazon Connect pricing page.

Should you need help adding Amazon Connect any of these capabilities to contact flows, please reach out to one of the dozens of Amazon Connect partners available worldwide.

-- seb
Sébastien Stormacq

Sébastien Stormacq

Seb has been writing code since he first touched a Commodore 64 in the mid-eighties. He inspires builders to unlock the value of the AWS cloud, using his secret blend of passion, enthusiasm, customer advocacy, curiosity and creativity. His interests are software architecture, developer tools and mobile computing. If you want to sell him something, be sure it has an API. Follow him on Twitter @sebsto.