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Imagine your customers smiling… after every interaction with your company. Giant companies with massive “Customer Experience” budgets enjoy this luxury. You should too. Now you can.

Introducing Amazon Connect, a tool that enables you to create ideal customer experiences, no matter when or how your customer reaches out to you. And thanks to a new era of revolutionary tools, all benefits of these latest advanced technologies are available to companies of ALL sizes, especially yours!

This is revolutionary for the call center industry. Now, small and mid-sized companies can match their huge competitors in the following ways:

  • Your customers can communicate with your company through ANY channel – voice, chat, text, email, and other apps. 
  • Your customers get sophisticated support, instantly, thanks to voice recognition 
  • Artificial intelligence tools support live agents to give customers the right solution, the first time they reach out
  • Sweet new AI tools also provide your company early insights into customer needs, market trends, brand strategy, marketing effectiveness, and many other insights. 

And thanks to Amazon Connect, this customer experience capability starts at only a few hundred dollars, and requires NO long-term contract!  Get ready to send your competitors into oblivion!

I hate technical jargon! There’s a tendency in the technology space to get wrapped up in technical and marketing jargon, making it next to impossible to understand exactly what a tool or solution actually does. Words and phrases like “omnichannel,” “AI-enabled,” “advanced technology,” and “built from the ground up” are all examples of brands failing to clearly communicate the value they offer.

Unfortunately, Amazon Connect falls into this category, which is a shame, because it’s a powerful platform. We should know, we use it to power our whole system, and it allows us to do some borderline miraculous things in the call center provider space. 

So, we’d like to help you cut through the crap, to better understand how Amazon Connect can form the foundation of a solution that doesn’t just meet your call center needs, it exceeds every expectation.

A Brief Explanation of Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect calls itself an “omnichannel cloud contact center,” a term we hate, because it uses the fewest number of words possible to confuse the reader. Let’s break it down piece by piece.

“Contact center” (a term used more or less interchangeably with “call center”) should already be familiar to you. It’s the kind of solution you’re in the market for. In fact, odds are, you’re in the exact position we sympathize with most: you’re too big to hire a handful of agents and call it a day, but not big enough to need an entire contact center full of agents. 

Amazon connect is perfect for your use case, largely because of the next term we’ll look at: “cloud contact center.” Unlike a traditional call center, with a physical location that all of the agents have to travel to in order to do their jobs, a cloud contact center allows for a decentralizing of the workforce.

Just like the cloud allows you to access your email from anywhere, the cloud enables your agents to access the contact center software from anywhere, so they can do the work from anywhere. This removes the need for:

  • A physical location
  • A company-purchased device for every agent
  • An onsite IT team to manage all of the hardware and software
  • A laundry list of costs, including leases or property taxes, utility bills, janitorial services, and more

And that list isn’t even comprehensive (by a long shot). 

Finally, we have the first word in Amazon’s piss-poor copy: “omnichannel” (you can’t see it, but we’re shuddering every time we have to see the word). 

“Omnichannel” is an overly reductive, needlessly obtuse word that simply means the system can receive (and centralize) communications from customers on every platform you’re using to connect with them. That includes phone calls (obviously, since it’s a call center), email or website form fills, and chats on your site.

But it also includes social channels—from major social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, to Google reviews, to dedicated review sites.

To take all of that lengthy elaborations of bad copy and sum them up: Amazon Connect allows your agents to work from anywhere they have an internet connection, and allows your customers to contact your brand from anywhere on the internet.

Where It Gets Interesting

It’s important to note that there are a number of “omnichannel,” “cloud-based,” “all-in-one” contact center solutions on the market, and they share a lot of the same features and functionalities. We’re talking Amazon, though, and Amazon has something that none of the others have: smart assistants.

Why does that matter? Are agents using smart assistants to access the system? Does Alexa answer calls and route them to the right agent? No, it’s a lot simpler than that.

Because Amazon has smart assistant-enabled devices on the market, and because a lot of those are in circulation and current use, Amazon has a breathtakingly large database of speech-to-text analytics. It’s a wealth of information that can be used to train and refine a Natural Language Processing (NLP) artificial intelligence.

Now, that database doesn’t mean anything on its own. It just sits there on Amazon’s servers, and any self-serve contact center you run on the system won’t be able to benefit from it. But, with the right AI integrations…well, things get a little…interesting

The Contact Center AI Problem

AI has some crazy call center applications. Routing calls more effectively, obviously, but that’s just the start. 

AI can anticipate and warn agents of the mood of the caller (or person on chat, as the case may be). It can also flag problems in advance for the agent, can give them step-by-step guides to assist callers in troubleshooting and problem solving. The right system can even run real-time translation, allowing a customer and an agent that lack a common language to communicate.

There’s a near-endless list of benefits we could put here, but then we’d both be here all day.

The problem is, AI is only as good as the data you feed it. AI’s learn the same way humans do—through repeated exposure to a concept. The more exposure, the more accurate the judgement calls. In this regard, more data is always better, and the wider the sample set, the smarter the resulting AI. 

Here’s a simplistic example. Say you were taught what a dog was as a child, but the only breed you ever saw, in person or on screen, was a chihuahua. If, when you were in your 20s, you finally saw a poodle, or a pitbull or, heaven-forbid, a mastiff, you might be forgiven for thinking the latter three creatures were completely different species of animals. 

In this case, the narrow data set prevented you from recognizing them all as a single species, one that can interbreed across all of these different varieties without any problem. 

This is what happens to most call center AI applications; their reach is always beyond their grasp. Due to a limited data set, the NLP functionality struggles to correctly analyze spoken language and return reliable results. Spoken language is complicated, and it contains a lot of tonality, nuance, and variability that a machine can struggle to comprehend.

Well, Amazon’s been aggregating data and refining NLP algorithms for years. Every day, millions of voice-based searches are done via Alexa devices, so the AI is only getting smarter with time. 

But how, exactly, does this rich database translate into call center capabilities? We’re glad you asked.

How Pentwater LeveragesAmazon Connect’s AI Technology

Making use of Amazon’s brain tank is a matter of building the right integrations and interfacing them with front-end functionalities. It’s a tall order for most mid-sized companies, most of whom don’t have a whole department of deep learning experts on staff.

That’s where Pentwater comes in. We’ve built the necessary technology to “hook up the pipes,” so to speak. But we also provide the staff, so you don’t have to find, hire, train, or manage the workforce yourself. The work required on your end is the business equivalent of “turning on the faucet.” Here’s what that looks like in practice:

Cloud-Based Programming

Amazon Connect is in the cloud, so it’s easy to create a scalable program to fit and flex with a company of any size, not only huge corporations with deep pockets. Our fully trained staff will handle all your incoming connections for you, instead of you needing to provide an in-house team of specialists.

Omnichannel Support

All channels and touchpoints customers use to make contact are seamlessly integrated and managed through Amazon Connect. Voice, chat, email, and social media mentions are all tapped to give customer servant agents a holistic-yet-individualized view of the customer experience. It also means the burden is made lighter on your social media team who often ends up fielding customer service concerns rather than focusing on building brand visibility.

Voice Recognition

Amazon Connect Voice Recognition identifies, verifies, and authenticates users simply by recognizing their voice.No longer do contact center agents have to dive into a customer’s personal information before answering questions and solving problems. A unique digital voiceprint is created using the rhythm, pitch, and tone of a customer’s voice and matches it to their account. Each interaction is now faster and sensitive personal information is more secure. 

Agent Assist

Amazon Connect helps reduce the time contact center agents spend determining customer issues and searching for answers to them. As a customer talks, texts, chats, or emails, we’re able to identify every question, concern, or conflict. We use Amazon’s Agent Assist to access relevant information, give immediate answers, and provide appropriate solutions to agents. 

Natural Language Processing 

Amazon Connect’s control panel and admin console are supported in many languages, including:

  • English
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish  

But that’s not all—our AI’s natural language processing technology has evolved rapidly and now understands natural speech patterns, accents, and incomplete sentences. 

NLP allows us to provide support for customers and clients not only in different languages, but also with different ways of speaking and on any device or channel. This opens the door to much better communication and to more data that can be used for making better decisions. 

Unified and Accessible Customer Profiles

After being gathered and unified from multiple contact points, customer profiles are generated automatically and made immediately accessible at the start of every customer interaction. We use this complete view of each customer’s situation to empower our agents with the most relevant information possible, and give them the ability to personalize every interaction for much-improved customer satisfaction rates.

Analytics, Insights, and Business Strategy

Finally, AI powered analytics parses all of the incoming communications from customers, identifying commonalities between each interaction. This allows brands to identify things such as:

  • What problems are customers facing most frequently?
  • How many calls/contacts does it take to resolve a given issue?
  • Which agents are most effective at solving problems?

These insights then fuel proactive business decisions, like product development, training initiatives, content marketing, promotions and employee recognition, and more.

How Pentwater Connect Is Different

Pentwater Connect isn’t the only contact center who uses the Amazon Connect platform—we are just the only one who caters to medium-sized businesses looking for a solution that has all three of the below capabilities:

  1. Designing, developing, and building a custom contact center
  2. Utilizing Amazon’s AI tools to maximize agent effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and business intelligence
  3. Fully staffing the contact center with live, professional agents who are skilled at using Amazon Connect

We do all this without requiring a big budget or long-term commitments of our clients. 

To learn more about what Pentwater Connect can do for you and how, contact us now!   

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