Can you “roll your own” Amazon Connect Call Center?

AWS DeveloperAWS SolutionsAWS SYSOPSAWS Cloud Pratictioner
Voiced by Amazon Polly

A Call Center just for us?

Clearly we think Amazon Connect is a major disruption to the call center market and a veritable “game changer”. Most call center vendors, especially of the cloud variety, have a “one size fits all” mentality.  This is not hard to understand nor is it arbitrary or capricious.    If you have a cloud platform with thousands of customers making use of it,  you cant just change something to meet one customers expectations.  Anything you do will impact all the other customers.  So changes to the platform have to be carefully researched, orchestrated and scheduled.    So your desire to have “dial 6 turn on the coffee pot” are going to have to wait until it is acceptable to the other platform customers.

Why wait?   With Amazon Connect and the entire library of Amazon services, all cloud based, you can “roll your own” call center and do whatever you want, whenever you want!    Out of the box, Amazon Connect makes it possible for a non-technical  call center supervisor to spin up a cloud instance, create an inbound call flow, obtain a phone number, add some agents, log in and start taking phone calls in literally an hour or two!  OK maybe three or four if you want to revise your first attempt!   Who could ask for more?

Meeting and exceeding expectations!

Every call center however, has what we playfully call the “minimum daily adult requirements” for call center functionality!  Though all the above is very true and accurate, you will find that some of your most basic requirements are not immediately available out of the box.   Let’s look at a short list of expectations that might surprise you as being missing when you turn on your Amazon Connect instance!

  • Holiday Schedules – There is no facility for setting a list of holiday closures.  You will need to setup a database that contains a list of holidays that your call center will be closed.   They you will need to modify your contact flows to invoke a lambda function and check that database to determine if today is a holiday or not.  Your contact flow will need to branch based on the boolean value returned by your lambda function.
  • Ad-Hoc Closings and Custom Greeting – Similar to the solution you used to create your holiday solution, you might want to enable supervisors to close a specific CSQ for a short team meeting.  Additionally, you might want that supervisor to be able to create a custom audio prompt to be played to a caller during this team meeting.
  • Disposition Codes – Most call centers present a drop down list of disposition codes that are presented to the agent at the end of each phone call.  These codes are little logical sticky notes that you add to a call to help determine what the call was about.  You will most likely want the codes to be searchable and reportable.
  • Agent Team Status – Agents often want to know what the rest of the team is doing.  Are they in “forced release”?  Talking, idle or not even logged in?
  • Agent to Agent Chat – Sometimes you need to check with another team member regarding a call resolution strategy.   Being able to setup a chat of a phone call to another team member would be a reasonable expectation.  Out of the box, Amazon Connect does not enable Agent to Agent calling unless that Agent has an active phone call.
  • Supervisor Agent Coaching – Amazon Connect does enable a Supervisor to monitor an Agent with an active call but barge in and coaching are not currently supported out of the box.  Again you will need the assistance of a knowledgable software engineer!
  • Retrieve and Playback Voice Recordings – Amazon Connect does enable voice recording!  At the time you establish your instance you can elect to enable an S3 bucket for storing voice recordings.  Now accessing those recordings and playing them back on demand is another story.
  • SMS/MMS Messaging – Amazon does not currently support text message routing to the “next available agent”.  You can access SNS and Pinpoint for outbound message notification, but again you will need some software engineering assistance.  As of this date, Amazon does not support MMS (pictures) at all.  Most help desks and insurance agents really find a “picture” is better than 1000 words!
  • Speech Recognition – The good news is that AWS has both speech recognition and text to speech solutions readily available as additional services that you can add to your Amazon Connect Call Center.   That assumes that you have the technical resources to make use of LEX and Polly!
  • PBX Integration – Do you need to pass calls seamlessly to your company’s main phone number?  Access the phone systems directory system?
  • Malicious Call Tags?

Solutions?

Can you add these feature requirements to your Amazon Connect deployment?  Sure you can!  You just need a team of software engineers or outside consultants that are not only great software engineers, but experts in the many AWS supporting services available to provide these features.

Why not just subscribe to Dextr.Cloud?

Better yet, you can sign up for a Dextr.cloud subscription and get all of these, along with technical support, customized “quick start” contact flow scripts  and the ability to request custom feature if you cant wait for Dextr next feature rich software update!  The features above are just a few of the current features available when you add Dextr to your Amazon Connect instance.