4 Evaluation Essentials for Personalizing and Innovating Customer Service Experiences in Contact Center

How small and medium-sized businesses can drive proactive customer interactions using machine learning and AI-enabled contact centers

Find out whether your contact center has what it takes to exceed customer expectations in the 4 Evaluation Essentials for Personalizing Your Customer Service eBook. In it, you’ll find that intelligent cloud-based innovation is at the center of every enhanced customer experience. You’ll also discover what you need to evaluate your own contact center so that you can deliver personalized, enhanced experiences at every touchpoint—and which solutions can help you achieve better business outcomes, such as:

  • Cloud-based convenience
  • Simplified setup and management
  • Flexible scaling
  • Out-of-the-box AI integrations

It pays to learn how your contact center could benefit from a more connected, intelligent, and efficient cloud solution. Read this article to discover how you can start delivering enhanced, personalized customer experiences with every interaction.

4 Evaluation Essentials for Personalizing and Innovating Customer Service Experiences in Contact Center

Content Summary

Why do small and medium-sized businesses need a contact center solution?
Simplifying setup and management
What is Amazon Connect?
Take advantage of easy-to-use tools
Automate and improve immediately
4 evaluation essentials
Technology evaluation
Proof of concept
Third-party integration
Artificial intelligence and machine learning optimization
What customers are saying
How to get started with Amazon Connect

Why do small and medium-sized businesses need a contact center solution?

It has long been standard practice for businesses of all sizes to operate contact centers, thereby allowing customers to ask questions with a live agent who can provide feedback and troubleshoot issues in real time. However, as we move further into the 21st century, a single channel of contact is no longer enough to satisfy today’s sophisticated, digitally minded consumer.

Customers who are used to an increased level of personalization expect to communicate with an organization through the channel of their choice, over the phone, or through chat. In addition, they expect communication to be simple, fast, and consistent. That’s where a contact center can help.

Simplifying setup and management

However, for small and medium-sized businesses, setting up and operating a contact center, even on a small scale, can be complex and costly. It is often difficult to set up, configure, and use the platform to fit the needs of the business. Once the contact center is operational, the business is typically stuck with the technology. Adding new features and optimizing workflows can take months, and this is if the company only uses a single system. Many businesses require multiple solutions to serve the needs of the business, which can add additional complexity.

Using a cloud-based contact center can help small businesses avoid many of the traditional contact center traps altogether. The future of cloud-based platforms allows for simplified setup and management, flexible scaling, and out-of-the-box AI at a lower cost of operations. As more and more businesses are moving operations to the cloud, it pays to learn how your contact center could benefit.

What is Amazon Connect?

Amazon Connect is an easy-to-use omnichannel cloud contact center that helps companies provide superior customer service at a lower cost. The service harnesses the same contact center technology that 70,000 Amazon customer service agents use across 32 countries to power millions of customer interactions.

Take advantage of easy-to-use tools

Because no technical skills are required to implement Amazon Connect, it pairs well with small and medium-sized business owners who find themselves in a growth phase and want to seamlessly take their customer interactions to the next level. A self-service, drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to manage, and it takes only minutes to set up your contact center. Managers can take advantage of easy-to-use tools for skills-based routing and real-time and historical analytics. This means Amazon Connect simplifies contact center operations and improves agent efficiency—all with pay-as-you-go pricing. There are no upfront payments or long-term commitments and no infrastructure to manage.

Automate and improve immediately

Since Amazon Connect was built on the cloud, as your small business grows, so can your contact center. All with the reliability of AWS. Machine learning and AI capabilities that were previously unavailable for SMBs now come AI-enabled by default, allowing managers and agents to immediately use AWS AI services with Amazon Connect to automate interactions and improve customer service.

4 evaluation essentials

Implementing a cloud-based contact center solution can help a business realize significant capital and operational savings. For business owners thinking about using these services, there are four essential considerations to begin the process.

Technology evaluation

Every organization’s contact center will ultimately depend on its specific customers, its existing capabilities, and its current technology environment. Amazon Connect is self-service, and companies can try it out for free (see below). That’s useful for evaluating a company’s needs and finding out how the product integrates with existing technology. Amazon Connect requires WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), an open platform technology that is supported by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

Proof of concept

An AWS Solutions Architect can help a business test the service’s features for proof of concept. It’s a good idea to involve a company’s in-house telephony team, which can take part in the process after just a few hours of training and experimentation.

The AWS Free Tier allows a business to try Amazon Connect without charge for 30 minutes a month. After call flow capabilities are replicated, the trial period can be used to experiment with features like the Amazon Lex chatbot, which allows callers to perform tasks like changing a password, requesting an account balance, or scheduling an appointment without talking to an agent.

Third-party integration

Amazon Connect is an open platform, which means integrating AWS services or third-party systems such as CRM or anti-fraud software is an option. For example, Amazon S3 can store call recordings, which Amazon Transcribe can convert to text based on channels. Amazon Comprehend can then run a sentiment analysis of the transcripts. AWS analytics services such as Amazon Athena can analyze contact data in seconds using standard queries. And AWS Lambda serverless technology can trigger workflows and provide task-based prompts to help customer service representatives adapt to customer needs. Businesses can also work with AWS consulting and technology partners to integrate other services with Amazon Connect. This includes sales and service (CRM), messaging, unified communications, mapping, location, workforce management, fraud detection and speech analytics, and sentiment analysis services.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning optimization

Artificial Amazon Connect is AI-enabled by default, allowing agents to immediately use AWS AI services with Amazon Connect to automate interactions and improve customer service. This allows small and mediumsized businesses to do more with fewer resources. Amazon Connect has natural text-to-speech built in so you can create personalized messages in real time and Amazon Lex is an Amazon service that builds conversational interfaces into any application with speech-to-text and natural language understanding (NLU). So you can use the same powerful technology that powers Alexa across voice and chat, helping to ease the handoff between agents with the context of the conversation. Amazon Connect also leverages AI to transcribe calls and show caller sentiment in real time and then mine your customer engagement data to surface insights and spot trends.

Contact Lens for Amazon Connect is a set of machine learning (ML) capabilities integrated into Amazon Connect. With Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, contact center supervisors can better understand the sentiment, trends, and compliance risks of customer conversations to effectively train agents, replicate successful interactions, and identify crucial company and product feedback.

What customers are saying

Save up to 80 percent over traditional contact center solutions

“We evaluated Amazon Connect and moved our entire contact center in just under six weeks. Since then, we’ve been impressed with the results. Our clinical contact center staff utilization has increased by 12%, and we have decreased our costs by 80.5% due to the consumption-based pricing of Amazon Connect. It also takes less human capital to maintain Amazon Connect, and that has resulted in a 67% reduction in management and engineering spend. Moving to Amazon Connect has dramatically impacted our business. We’ve eliminated costs, improved productivity, and improved our margins.” – Patrick Carter, Chief Medical Integration Officer, ChartSpan

Inspire customer loyalty and reduce handling time by 19 percent

“By using Amazon Connect with AWS Lambda, we are able to provide our agents with a customer’s booking and account information before they answer the call. This lets us reduce our handling time 19%, which is our biggest callcenter cost. We’ve also reduced our total spend by 18% and we are looking to continuously add new features to help further maximize the positive customer experience of vacation planning.” – Adam Zerlin, COO, DH Enterprise & Associates

How to get started with Amazon Connect

Create your first contact center to start your proof of concept

With just a few clicks, it’s easy to create your first Amazon Connect contact center and start testing your proof of concept. With the AWS Free Tier, you can experiment with your first contact flows before paying anything. Watch the “getting started” video to learn how to create your first Amazon Connect contact center.

Experiment with our simple-to-use contact flows

Traditional contact centers often require your administrator to work with a third party and can take weeks to months to update routing or add new features. Using Amazon Connect contact flows, you can define your contact center’s customer experience in a simple-to-use, drag-and-drop interface. In Amazon Connect, you can easily integrate AI/ML features, such as speech recognition, with just a few clicks. Read our contact center blog to learn how to unlock the most out of your contact flows.

Refine your Amazon Connect experience with partners

To refine the Amazon Connect experience, AWS has developed a robust list of technology and consulting partners that can help a business maximize and customize how they use the service. The consulting partners work with businesses to take advantage of machine learning, artificial intelligence, personalized interactions, and self-service in the contact center through technical training. The technology partners can integrate their solutions into Amazon Connect to, for example, gather data on every call, which allows marketing teams and sales agents to personalize each customer’s journey with a brand and fine-tune the sales funnel for the future. Visit our partner page to discover all of our partner integrations.

Learn more about Amazon Connect