Amazon has just launched a new initiative called Amazon Connect which serves customer service needs through its cloud-based call center. Built upon Amazon Web Services (AWS), it also utilizes contact center technology that is used by Amazon employees around the world--the same folks that handle your very many Amazon inquiries (if you're like me, that's a lot).
Perhaps a jab to hard-to-configure Salesforce, Amazon Connect acknowledges that it's self-service and easy and fast to set up and use within the AWS Management Console with agents taking calls right after the initial setup. Even non-techs--your average business decision maker--would be able to set up design adaptable contact flows which are similar to IVRs (interactive voice response), manage agents, and track performance metrics. The contact flows adapt to information furnished by third party services such as Amazon Redshift or other third party CRM solutions.
Payment works on a pay-as-you-go model, which ties into the time spent on the phone. That's it. The cloud-based solution also doesn't require any investment in new infrastructure, and has a free tier to get started right away to see if it's a solution that works for you.
Amazon Connect works with many AWS services, including:
- Amazon S3, where it provides unlimited encrypted audio calls and reports.
- AWS Lambda, where you can run code in a serverless fashion as part of a customer contact. The code is pulled from the CRM to provide a personalized user experience.
- Amazon Lex, using natural language contact flows to get automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding -- the same language that powers the Amazon Echo device. A preview of this is available now.
- AWS Kinesis, which streams contact trace records to be pushed to Amazon S3 or Amazon Redshift and analyzed through Amazon QuickSight or other analytics tools.
- Amazon CloudWatch, which publishes real-time operational metrics, like how many calls you're receiving per second or how many are queued, giving you insights into the necessity of hiring more agents.
Amazon is proud to acknowledge that Connect is based on the cloud, an integral part of AWS, so it's robust, highly available, and scalable. A contact center runs in multiple AWS availability zones to ensure for redundancy. It's also simple to use, so anyone can get started and not necessarily the one with the IT skillset.
With Contact Flow Editor (CFE), you can build in blocks for interaction, integration, control flow, branching, and more, allowing for a more flexible experience.
And finally, it's just economical. A pay-as-you-go with a free tier gives you a chance to give it a shot and see if it's right for your business.
Right now, it's available in US East. More's to come, we suspect.