AWS Connect voice prompts with POLLY text to speech.

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One of the most challenging implementation tasks for an implementation engineer or application developer is getting the client stake holders to agree on customer audio prompts! Having implemented hundreds of call center solutions, having to wait for the client to get their IVR scripts together is the “black hole” of project management. So many other parts of the enterprise have their finger prints on the content of a customer voice prompt. From the call center managers to the legal department, everyone wants to comment on this implementation detail.

Voice Prompts can be a “speed bump” in your deployment timeline!

For the implementation engineer, it is without doubt the speed bump that slows down project readiness! Often the prompt is a source of data collection for “self navigation” through the “call tree” or IVR front end. “Thanks for calling, Press 1 for this and 2 for that” has some hard coding detail that can be easily effected by a simple prompt change!

Thankfully AWS has an embedded service that provides text to speech functionality. This means an implementation engineer can move ahead by popping prompts with text that can easily be changed as the rest of the enterprise catches up on prompt content, format and voicing. This service named POLLY, is a more than useful service and has been a life saver in more than one “instance”, excuse the pun!

Polly Programmatically?

Polly is not only useful for creating test prompts until the content and format can be reduced to a script that a professional voice artist can record, it can be used “programmatically”. For example, Dextr has an embedded application for automating closings, regardless if they are scheduled holidays or “ad hoc” closings for a team meeting called by a CSQ supervisor. Dextr will allow you to not only setup the calendar and time of a closing, but will enable you to enter the text content of a prompt to be played to the caller during the closing.  This might be a custom greeting for a holiday (i.e. we are closed for Christmas, or Veterans Day) or an on the fly prompt for an ad hoc meeting.

Polly Prompts on demand!

Many times, it is necessary to create a prompt on the fly!  Maybe you want to personalize a prompt by adding the callers name, or some customer specific attribute like an appointment time, or order number.  Common applications like reading back a bank balance are also made more flexible by using Polly.  Not just speaking back account balances, but making the call flow and content in an AWS Connect instance programmatically customized on the fly, and unique for each caller.

This strategy is a win/win for all stakeholders!  It enables a more rapid deployment of a call center context while enabling greater flexibility in the design, deployment and management of prompts.   Enabling Polly as a service inside your AWS Connect call center instance is an essential part of your implementation tool box and a software application development engineers best friend!