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Blog 2018-06-01T20:14:38+00:00

Enterprise Connect, For Real

Recently, I attended Enterprise Connect, the most focused show for Contact Center and Unified Communication.

I’ve been participating in the evolution of the Contact Center, Unified Communication and IT worlds for 15 years. Years of overexposure to hype cycles, marketectures1, premature technology, and “lipstick on a pig” repackaging have left me numb.

This year, Enterprise Connect felt different. Much of what has been hyped forever has, as they say, “crossed the chasm”.  And, there are serious winds of change in the way IT is bought and sold. Here’s a few snapshots to show what I mean.

Unified Communication Is Replacing the Phone System, […]

By | April 11th, 2018|Categories: Business, Call Center, Customer Care|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Enterprise Connect, For Real

Amazon Connect – Introducing Lightning

The video in this post shows a demo contact center system that I built.  Okay.  So what?  It’s a contact center system.  Seen it, done it, got the T-Shirt to prove it.

What if I said that it’s built using Amazon Connect, and demonstrates real world midsize enterprise functionality?  A little more interesting, maybe.

What if I told you that, after figuring out what we wanted the demo to be, that the implementation of EVERYTHING IN THE DEMO took about one day.  EVERYTHING, including all call flows, multilingual support AND translations, the survey, the queue behaviors, […]

By | January 19th, 2018|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Introducing Lightning

Amazon Connect – Sample Center Checkpoint

Checkpoint Time

This blog and the Amazon Connect series has been quiet over a few weeks. It’s not because I’ve abandoned my investigation. Quite the opposite, and in fact, I’ve completed the work. My investigation was based on attempting to build a call center that was a modeled after a moderately complex real world customer of mine. Mission accomplished, and much more. There are issues, though.

In the first investigation phase, I wanted to understand what it could do using only the facilities available in the Amazon Connect dashboard.  Application integration excluded (i.e. let’s leave out CRM integration), could it […]

By | December 16th, 2017|Categories: Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Sample Center Checkpoint

Cloud Telephony Scam – The Dark Side of Easy Tech

The telephony and call center “Platform as a Service” offerings (I’m talking Twillo, Amazon Connect, Plivo, etc), have made it much easier for people to create their own custom call center applications. I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve made it too easy.  I’ve just encountered my first scam built on this tech.

About two weeks ago, I started receiving automated calls every few days from an entity representing themselves as a major Canadian bank. Now, we’ve all experienced scam robocalls before. These were different. And far more dangerous, for they implemented a sophisticated IVR […]

By | November 6th, 2017|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Cloud Telephony Scam – The Dark Side of Easy Tech

Amazon Connect – Customer Queue Treatment

In this installment, we’ll take a look at Amazon Connect customer queue treatment.  Put another way, we’ll look at what we can do for/to the customer when they are first placed into the queue, and while they’re waiting in queue.

While in queue, the customer experience is governed by the Customer Queue Flow you chose prior to transferring the call to the queue. 

Audio While In Queue

While they’re in the Customer Queue Flow, they will be listening to the audio you’ve hopefully defined in a “Loop Prompt” block.  Note […]

By | November 2nd, 2017|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Tags: |Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Customer Queue Treatment

Amazon Connect – Queue Basics

We’ve covered the important aspects of call treatment in the IVR, and know everything we need to queue the call so it gets to the right agent.

Well, sort of.  Back when we laid out Our Sample Call Center, there was an item “Routing to queues based on a combination of DID, IVR selection and customer data dip”.  We’ve covered DID handling, IVR selection and customer data dip, but I think it could be pulled together better.  And we will, shortly.

Queue set up and customer treatment have a PROFOUND effect on the customer wait time and staffing needs. […]

By | October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Queue Basics

Amazon Connect – Customer Input

Customers don’t really like entering information into an IVR, but you’ll probably need them to do it. Reasons to ask for customer input include:

  • To identify a customer, account, case/ticket number, etc.
  • To verify a customer (enter your PIN, date of birth, etc.)
  • To authorize a credit card for payment card without a human listening in
  • To enter a payment amount

Store Customer Input

The Store Customer Input block performs this function. The customer input is stored in a system variable, so you’ll need to copy it to a user or external variable to do anything useful with it.

I have two quibbles. […]

By | September 19th, 2017|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Customer Input

Amazon Connect – IVR Menus

In this post, I’ll cover building the core IVR menus. 

Before I go too far, I’d like to point you to my series on call center queues.  In the first two posts, I cover some of the thinking that I use when designing IVR menus (which, of course go hand in hand with the queues).  This stuff is critical, because your IVR will affect your wait times and/or your staffing levels.  

IVR Menus and Applications

Our menus will be used to:

  • Classify the calls
  • Send the […]
By | September 12th, 2017|Categories: Call Center, Customer Care|Tags: |Comments Off on Amazon Connect – IVR Menus

Where Business Meets Technology

Biz Meets Tech is the Management Consulting practice of Jerry Sokol.

The focus is on strategy, best practices, processes and technology in the areas of customer care, contact center, unified communications, mobile and web.

Expert in business and technology, and skilled at bringing both together to arrive at an optimal solution.


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