So, our first experience with Amazon Connect went smoother than I ever imagined. Everything is perfect?
Umm, no. Discovered some of the warts when I was doing the screen recording that appeared in the last post. Nothing major, mind you, just the kind of things that belie its newness.
Like, don’t close the agent panel. It will let you.
I had the call arrival notification message disappear on me. Not sure what I did to make that happen. I had to clear my browser cache to get it back.
When the notification message wasn’t working, and the app window was closed, a call came in. I could hear it ringing, but had no way of picking it up. So, I was still logged in. When I got the app window back, it showed that I was dinged with a missed call.
None of these things are a big deal, and are the kinds of things that I’m sure will get addressed in short order. Ever onward.
Goin’ Fishin’ in the Mist
The documentation is, to be charitable, slim. I’ll have to do experiments to figure out how the features truly behave.
I’m going to approach this by attempting to build a sample call center that is similar to one a client of mine has (well, at least a subset of it). It’s when you have to solve the real world problems that you see what you’re in for.
This won’t be a tutorial. This isn’t the place to teach you how to fish. Rather, I’m going to let you know whether there’s any fish to catch.
Our Sample Call Center
Our sample call center will have 2 DIDs1, 3 departments, 5 teams and 7 queues. Here’s what I will attempt to implement:
- 3 level deep IVR, with appropriate error handling
- Customer account entry in IVR
- Routing to queues based on a combination of DID, IVR selection and customer data dip2
- Blended inbound/outbound
- Independent hours of operation for each department
- After hour treatments (voicemail, message, transfer to another queue)
- Holiday call treatment
- Estimated wait time in queue messaging
- Humane call treatment while in queue3
- Special call treatment for high call volumes (see my series on Queues to see what I’m going for)
- Ability to set call variables for display on the agent desktop and within reports
- Screen pop and application pop4
- Temporary shutdown for team meeting
- Ability to create the standard reports that call centers rely on
I reserve the right to add or delete elements as necessary…
1DID – Direct Inward Dial. For our purposes, the numbers that customers can call to access our center.
2Customer Data Dip – Based on some information that the customer enters in the IVR, we do a query to the customer database (“data dip”), and retrieve some information about the customer. This information can be displayed to the agent, or used to affect the call treatment.
3Humane call treatment – The opposite would be stranding a customer in queue, with no knowledge of wait times, repeating an obnoxious ad for your company interspersed with the Benny Hill theme music, and the only escape is to hang up. There are many options for humane treatment, and I’ll explore what’s available.
4Screen pop and application pop – Screen pop is a rather abused term. I use screen pop to refer to a display of call information to the agent when the call is presented. I use application pop to refer to the automatic opening of a customer record on the agent desktop (in a CRM or other business system) at the time of call connect.