Feel the first breath of summer? The sun looks from behind the clouds, and you think you drift on a blue lake or indulge in relaxation on a heavenly beach. Today, therefore, we will rest from our traditional themes. It will not be about coding, DevOps, automation or other topics inherent in the cloud. I will not talk about virtual machines, containers or serverless solutions.
Today I will introduce you to the step-by-step service Amazon Connect, which is... call center in the cloud. What's more, I'll prove that you need no more than 20 minutes for its complete configuration. Ready?
Amazon Connect — Cloud Customer Service Center
Amazon Connect is a service that lets you set up your own customer service center without too much money and hours of running up and setting up your infrastructure.
Anyone who has ever dealt with configuration of these types of systems knows what amount of work this task requires: a telephone beam, a control panel, a call center system that needs to be integrated into the telephony, and for this the appropriate software on computers. It's not easy.
Lucky for Amazon, we can forget all this.
Amazon Connect provides us with an “as a service” customer service, a system that allows you to run the entire environment easily:
book a phone number;
configure your own IVR;
configure the skills of agents;
quickly and easily connect employees to the system;
The entire service is available as usual in a non-binding payment model “pay as you go”.
Now that we know what Amazon Connect is for, let's go to the console. We'll see how banally it is possible to start the service. Everything will take us 20 minutes. START time!
1. Creation of Call Center Instance — 5 minutes
In the first step, I log in to my AWS account and then go to Amazon Connect, where I create my call center instance [abbreviated CC].
As a result, a simple wizard appears, in which step by step I enter the configuration:
URL for logging into the CC system;
Call options [Inboud/Outbound];
The whole takes a maximum of 5 minutes.
After the setup is complete, I can log in to my customer service center using the URL generated in step one.
2. Launch the New CC — 2 minutes
After logging in, I'm on the main page of the system. There are recommendations that will tell you what to do to start the first call center.
As suggested, I reserve the phone number for my CC. To do this, from the menu on the left, I select the second icon from the bottom (Routing) and in the Phone numbers tab I book my first number.
In the wizard I can immediately connect a test IVR to it, but for now I will leave an empty field and create my own IVR later.
Two minutes and the number is booked.
3. Creation of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) — 10 minutes
When I return to the main panel, I see suggestions about the next configuration elements:
Working hours — here I define what hours my CC agents work, and depending on this I will switch the incoming call.
Queues to which I will allocate incoming calls depending on which case the customer calls. CC employees who serve callers are pinned to the queue.
Announces that will be played during calls depending on the “flow” of the IVR.
IVR — that is, the whole logic of the course of the connection defining at what point to use the preview, what the selection menu looks like, etc.
Users for CC agents and their roles.
For my needs, I will create a simple IVR with one announcement, which will be played between 9-17, and the other with a request to choose the appropriate option.
I'll start by creating time intervals. Again, I select the menu on the left, the third icon (Routing) and Hours of operations.
The following panel appears on which we select the playback time of our announcement. When choosing, it is worth remembering about the right time zone.
What I need is, of course, the announcements to be reproduced every time I call.
To do this, I will use Amazon Polly, a service that converts text into audio recordings. Thanks to it very quickly you can create recordings in mp3 format, which after conversion to wav I will import into my call center.
Now, the most important part, which is to create an IVR, in which I will define what when it will be played.
For this, I again go to the menu on the left to the Routing section and this time I select Contact flows to create a new configuration.
The configuration interface is very simple — in a few steps by drag and drop I create a whole flow sequence through my IVR.
We have a whole bunch of options at our disposal. They are divided into several categories, in which you can find functions related to, for example, playback of previously created recordings, creating options for selecting the appropriate path through the numeric keypad and taking subsequent actions on this basis, etc.
All this can be integrated into queues, which CC agents are logged in to receive customer calls.
An additional, very interesting advantage is the possibility of integration with AWS Lambda. This allows us to integrate the system with other AWS services, such as Amazon LEX, and allows for simple writing or reading data from the database. AWS Lambda can successfully transmit various kinds of information.
By combining your IVR with other functions such as speech recognition, text conversion to sound, it is quite easy to automate some of the operations, such as preliminary verification of the case in order to assign to the appropriate group of CC agents.
I'm going to create a fairly simple IVR that will ask me for some information and take some action based on the right choice.
You only need to save, publish and connect it to your phone number.
All right, and the time it takes to set up? About 10 minutes.
4. Test time — 2 minutes
Now all we have to do is pin the contact flow created just now to the booked phone number.
Another two minutes and it's ready.
And now? We save the settings, pull out the phone and call. There's a signal, it's working!
20 minutes and after the job. You can think about vacation ? Well, almost.
Additional Options - Agent Application
Amazon Connect gives us the ability to connect CC agents who will receive the call.
To do this, we need to create individual accounts for each employee and the corresponding “routing profiles”, in which we define queues in which we set connections. Agent accounts must be associated with the corresponding profiles.
The agent does not need to install anything on his computer to get started. Simply log in to the system and start the agent application by clicking on the headphone icon in the upper right corner and setting the correct status.
4 Steps, 20 Minutes, 1 Call Center in the Cloud
This is the whole configuration of my cloud customer service center. I've given a fairly simple example, but Amazon Connect offers far more options than the ones I've shown today.
Call center in the cloud will appeal especially if you need to build a really complex contact flow structure and integrate your system with other AWS services. The service gives you the opportunity to collect statistics and reports from historical and real-time data.
I think Amazon Connect calmly allows you to build call center systems on a large scale. I like the integration with AWS Lambda most because it gives great opportunities for system expansion and integration with other applications.
And most importantly... all this without servers;) Cheers! ?
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE BLOG CHMUROWISKO.PL