Amazon leverages AI to help call centres answer questions faster

Lets face it, making a support call to a company is an experience most of us avoid like the plague. When it does happen, you want to be connected to...

Lets face it, making a support call to a company is an experience most of us avoid like the plague. When it does happen, you want to be connected to the right person. That person is the person with the information required to answer and resolve your issue. The traditional call center experience leaves customers on hold for lengthy periods of time, or worse, in never ending game of transfers between departments as you search for answers.

Amazon Connect is set to bring some technology to the problem and leverages the systems Amazon use in their own business. The system works by analysing the caller’s voice through speech recognition, converting the request to text, running that query through an algorithm to determine the appropriate division / personnel to ford the call to.

The great thing about this is you can speak to computers like you’re talking to a computer, using natural language. This is much more approachable than waiting for the typical Rolodex of numbers to be read to you, before entering multiple sub menus.

Amazon Connect works with existing AWS services, as well as third-party CRMs and analytics services. One of the most inviting prospects is the ability to setup new workflows using drag and drop interfaces, which makes setting up complex workflows possible without requiring coding expertise to setup and importantly change as your business does.

As all good cloud services do, you get to pay for what you use, mean Amazon’s pay-as-you go pricing model calculates your costs depending usage, rather than a static fee up-front.

Amazon provides a sample experience to demonstrate the affordability of the service.

Pricing Example

An end-customer calls using an Amazon Connect US toll-free number, answered by an agent on the Amazon Connect softphone. The call lasts 7 minutes.

There are 3 separate charges that apply for this call:

  1. There is an Amazon Connect service usage charge, based on end-customer call duration, applies. At $0.018 per minute * 7 minutes = $0.126
  2. There is the day charge for use of the US toll-free number. At $0.06 per day * 1 day = $0.06
  3. And there is an inbound call per minute charge for US toll-free numbers. At $0.012 per minute * 7 minutes = $0.084

So the total for this call is $0.27 (plus applicable taxes, fees and surcharges).

Amazon’s VP of worldwide customer service, Tom Weiland said,

“Ten years ago, we made the decision to build our own customer contact center technology from scratch because legacy solutions did not provide the scale, cost structure, and features we needed to deliver excellent customer service for our customers around the world.”

This choice has been a differentiator for us, as it is used today by our agents around the world in the millions of interactions they have with our customers. We’re excited to offer this technology to customers as an AWS service – with all of the simplicity, flexibility, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the cloud.”

More information at https://aws.amazon.com/connect/ via GeekWire.

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