Intuit Improves Customer Experience with Amazon Connect, AI-Powered Omnichannel Contact Center
Each year, more than 16.5 million people contact Intuit via phone or the web for technical support, tax document reviews, or assistance purchasing accounting and tax preparation software. Intuit is a leading financial software company that develops and sells QuickBooks accounting software, TurboTax tax preparation software, and other financial service products.
During peak times such as income tax season, which runs from January to April, Intuit needs to scale from 6,000 contact center agents to 11,000. However, scaling with the company’s legacy on-premises contact center technology was time-consuming and costly. “To scale our solution, we had to physically install multiple call center servers,” says Jerry Lekhter, director of contact center engineering at Intuit. “That was a six-month process involving setting up the hardware, assigning agents, and making sure connectivity was good.” To meet its projected capacity each year, Intuit needed to maintain three distinct contact center servers. “Even though that gave us additional capacity, we were paying for hardware we didn’t use for most of the year and artificially fragmented our businesses,” Lekhter says.
In addition, Intuit customers were also frustrated by long hold times because customer data did not persist across business lines. “Our contact center agents were organized by business units, each tied to a specific contact center server and without the ability to move customers between them,” says Lekhter. “Callers often had to repeat their information to the next agent as they were transferred across business lines.” Intuit struggled to integrate voice and chat functionality, which was a lengthy, resource-intensive process. To solve its problems, Intuit wanted to move to a scalable omnichannel solution with integrated voice, chat, and web capabilities.
It took two weeks to deploy an integrated contact center using Amazon Connect, from installation to getting agents up and running on the solution. That process previously took us at least six months."
Director, Contact Center Engineering, Intuit
Using Amazon Connect to Build an Omnichannel Cloud Contact Center
Intuit had already been using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to support internal applications, and it chose AWS again to meet its contact center needs. “We’ve worked with AWS since 2013, and our strategy in general is to move our offerings to the public cloud to take advantage of the elasticity it provides,” says Lekhter.
Intuit decided to implement Amazon Connect, an easy-to-use, omnichannel cloud contact center that companies can use to simplify contact center operations and add agents from anywhere. “Using Amazon Connect, we realized we could enable a unified contact center spanning multiple business units and integrating voice, chat, messaging, and web,” says Lekhter. Amazon Connect also enables Intuit to integrate its web experiences where users can self-service frequently asked questions prior to engaging, reducing strain on contact center agents and giving them more time to interact with customers.
With more than 275 million minutes of customer interactions each year, Intuit uses Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, which provides contact center analytics powered by machine learning (ML), to provide accurate call transcriptions, redaction of sensitive data, and automated call metrics to determine the effectiveness of its contact center. Contact Lens builds on AWS ML services, using Amazon Transcribe, a service that automatically converts speech to text, to generate call transcripts and Amazon Comprehend, a natural language processing (NLP) service, to extract sentiment.
To further improve its customer service, Intuit takes advantage of Amazon Polly, an AWS service that converts text into lifelike speech. Intuit agents set their voicemail greetings and interactive voice response prompts and messages using Amazon Polly. Additionally, Intuit uses the Amazon DynamoDB database service to automatically manage its universal queue functionality and to open or close contact centers instantly.
Thousands of Intuit contact center agents in 11 countries now use Amazon Connect for voice, chat, and messaging services for the company’s QuickBooks and TurboTax businesses.
Creating an Integrated Contact Center in 2 Weeks Instead of 6 Months
Relying on Amazon Connect, Intuit deployed its new cloud contact center much faster than before. “It took two weeks to deploy an integrated contact center using Amazon Connect, from installation to getting agents up and running on the solution,” says Lekhter. “That process previously took us at least six months.”
During tax season, Intuit can scale from 6,000 agents to 11,000 agents on demand and pay only for the services used. “Scaling our solution for tax season only takes a few minutes now, and it doesn’t require us to manage and maintain contact centers for 11,000 agents all year. That reduces our operational costs,” Lekhter says. “We've gone from a model where we pay for the hardware and licenses to just paying by the minute for each call.” Additionally, Intuit has been able to load test its production environment to 20,000 agents, ensuring it has enough capacity to support peak periods.
Giving Customers a Seamless Support Experience
Intuit is improving customer experience by delivering a cloud-based, unified contact center solution. “Using Amazon Connect, we can support our business with a single contact center that offers a single pane of glass for visibility across all our agents,” says Lekhter. As a result, Intuit customers now have a seamless experience, with their data moving across each business unit and their questions resolved promptly. “Because the data is in one location and is automatically transferred, customers no longer have to repeat information from agent to agent.”
The company also relies on Amazon Connect to support callback functionality, so customers can set up an appointment online and receive a call back from a contact center agent at a scheduled time. “If customers don’t want to wait to communicate with an agent, we can keep them in the queue and call them back, so they don’t have to sit on hold listening to music,” says Lekhter.
Another benefit of using Amazon Connect is improved voice clarity. “We have HD voice quality on Amazon Connect, and it is so much better that our agents and customers are impressed,” Lekhter says. “This is reflected in our customer surveys and what we’re hearing from our agents. Better voice quality ultimately makes our customers happier with Intuit and happier with the products.”
Intuit is taking advantage of the integration of Amazon Connect with other AWS services to enable new capabilities. “We can go from ideation to production in a few weeks, compared to months previously,” says Lekhter. The company plans to add new security functionality, such as secure interactive voice response (IVR) built on top of Amazon Connect to ensure that customer data is highly secure. “AWS helps us innovate more quickly and easily to improve our customers’ experience, while also lowering our operational costs.”
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/connect.
Based in Mountain View, California, Intuit develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software used by small businesses, accountants, and individuals worldwide. Intuit’s primary products are TurboTax, a consumer tax preparation application; QuickBooks, a small business accounting program; and Mint, a web-based personal financial management service.
Benefits of AWS
- Deploys integrated customer contact center in 2 weeks instead of 6 months
- Scales to support 11,000 agents in minutes
- Delivers seamless customer support experience
AWS Services Used
Amazon Connect is an easy to use omnichannel cloud contact center that helps companies provide superior customer service at a lower cost.
Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing you to create applications that talk, and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products.
Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. It's a fully managed, multiregion, multimaster, durable database with built-in security, backup and restore, and in-memory caching for internet-scale applications.
Contact Lens for Amazon Connect
Contact Lens for Amazon Connect is a set of machine learning (ML) capabilities integrated into Amazon Connect. With Contact Lens, contact center supervisors can better understand the sentiment, trends, and compliance of customer conversations to effectively train agents, replicate successful interactions, and identify crucial company and product feedback.
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