Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced five new capabilities for AWS's rapidly-growing contact center service, Amazon Connect, that significantly improve contact center agent productivity and end-user customer experiences. Amazon Connect is easy to use, quick to deploy, and highly scalable (up to tens of thousands of agents) to help companies of any size deliver superior customer service at a lower cost. Thousands of companies like John Hancock, Capital One (News - Alert), Intuit, Best Western, Fujitsu, Origin Energy, GE Appliances, Square, Mutual of Omaha, National Australia Bank, New York Times, and Dow Jones use Amazon Connect to dramatically improve service and support experiences for their customers. The capabilities announced today give agents the right information at the right time, provide more personalized service, help managers impact customer interactions during calls, make it faster to authenticate customers more securely, and make customer follow-up tasks easier to manage. These capabilities are powered by AWS's machine learning technology, require no technical expertise to use, and are available as features within Amazon Connect. To get started with Amazon Connect, visit https://aws.amazon.com/connect/
Contact center agents are on the frontline of customer service, but legacy contact center solutions fail to help them deliver truly excellent customer experiences. Today's solutions are expensive, hard to set up, and don't scale well. Companies often have to invest in complex, proprietary hardware and software systems that take months or years to deploy, require specialized skills to configure, and can't scale up and down as call volumes fluctuate. Even when organizations manage to set up legacy on-premises or homegrown systems, they often require complex coding to make basic changes, so they quickly become outdated and are hard to maintain. These are challenges and opportunities that Amazon understands well in its own business. Amazon built the world's most scalable, functional, and cost-effective call center service to manage the dramatic growth and scale of Amazon's retail business. Over the years, customers have asked AWS if it would build an external call center service using the DNA of Amazon's own service. Amazon Connect does this by generalizing Amazon's call center software into a service that reinvents the contact center customer experience from the ground up on the cloud and with embedded machine learning. With Amazon Connect, organizations get a contact center that can be configured and set up in minutes, requires no infrastructure to deploy or manage, is easy to use, scales up and down as call volumes change, and is much more cost effective because companies only pay for the time agents are actually interacting with customers.
The five new Amazon Connect capabilities launching today deliver on AWS customers' key asks - improving their agents' productivity and providing even better customer experiences.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts has over 4,500 hotels worldwide. "At Best Western® Hotels & Resorts we strive to lead the hospitality industry in superior customer care, and that extends to the experience our customers have when they call our contact center," said Troy Tracy, Best Western Hotels & Resorts' Sr. Manager of Network and Contact Center Engineering. "Amazon Connect equips our agents with more information about the caller, allowing them to deliver personalized experiences for our guests. With Amazon Connect's new machine learning-powered capabilities we are able to help callers more efficiently and effectively, providing the high standard of customer service that we are known for around the globe. We are excited to use Amazon Connect Profiles, Wisdom, Tasks, Voice ID, and Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, and believe they will deliver added-value for our guests."
John Hancock is dedicated to providing innovative life insurance, investment, retirement, and advice to help customers reach their goals. "At John Hancock, we care a lot about our customers' retirement goals. We handle tens of thousands of calls per week and our agents spend a ton of time searching through our wikis, repositories, and homegrown knowledge management systems for answers to critical financial questions," said Michael McCrillis, Director of Enterprise IT at John Hancock. "Amazon Connect Wisdom will let our agents use ML-powered search across all of our existing knowledge repositories to find the right answers for customers. We are also excited that Wisdom automatically provides real-time answers to customer questions, quotes, and product specifications right within Amazon Connect during the call. Wisdom will help our agents solve customer inquiries faster, and could help significantly reduce Average Handle Time, thus creating a more seamless and positive customer experience."
Traeger Grills has been the outdoor cooking choice of food enthusiasts. "At Traeger, our mission is to help create a more flavorful world. Our customers are passionate about their grills. We handle tens of thousands of contact center contacts every month where people have questions on everything from grill care to WiFi (News - Alert) connectivity. Our Traeger Techs used to spend a ton of time navigating multiple systems to find customer data," said Lizzy Mitchell, Head of Customer Experience Analytics at Traeger Grills. "Amazon Connect Customer Profiles seamlessly aggregates information from our e-commerce/marketing systems, Salesforce Service Cloud, Google/Adobe (News - Alert) Analytics, and Qualtrics. Now, when agents are connected to our customers, Amazon Connect automatically surfaces a unified customer profile that shows who is calling, their contact history, purchase history, and grill type. Our agents no longer have to toggle between applications to find information that helps provide a world-class customer experience. Since implementing Amazon Connect Customer Profiles, we've seen a ~25% reduction in handle time and a ~10% increase in CSAT."
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services promotes child safety and offers prevention services to strengthen families. It also connects children with stable, loving homes in times of need. "Our Child Protection Hotline agents are vital to helping the most populous U.S. county, with more than 10 million people, navigate difficult domestic challenges such as child abuse reports, investigations, and foster care. Contact Lens for Amazon Connect makes our life a lot easier because we're able to look at patterns, trends, and predictions that help guide our work," said Carlos Torres, Division Chief for Los Angeles County's Child Protection Hotline. "We are excited at the prospect of enabling the real-time capabilities of Contact Lens for Amazon Connect so that caller analytics and real-time alerts will - at a future time - be delivered live in our Amazon Connect supervisor dashboard so that we can help our agents navigate these difficult situations, without requiring supervisors to be there in-person, or listening to every call."
Perspecta brings a diverse set of capabilities to our U.S. government customers in defense, intelligence, civilian, health care, and state and local markets. "From mission services to digital transformation to enterprise operations, everything we do supports one imperative: solving some of the country's most complex challenges. The Amazon Connect contact center solution provides a robust backbone that supports our customers' missions. We use Contact Lens for Amazon Connect to analyze post-call metrics, sentiment, and trends to understand our customer better and provide superior, proactive service," said Mike Kirkland, senior vice president of offerings at Perspecta. "We're excited for Contact Lens for Amazon Connect's new real-time capabilities, which will allow us to detect customer experience issues during live calls so supervisors can jump in to provide immediate support, and improve the first call resolution rate by 25%, while reducing overall volume and costs by 5%."
AnswerConnect is a virtual receptionist answering service, providing businesses with cost-effective customer support and callers with a real voice in every call. "Amazon Connect provides our virtual receptionists, businesses, and their customers with reliable support, 24/7. And now that extends beyond just answering calls. Our virtual receptionists spend up to two hours per day outside of telephone interactions on other contact center work, including everything from responding to open tickets to filling out forms. Typically, this would require interacting with multiple vendors and applications to do something as simple as sending an email," said Abilash Amarasekaran, Cloud Engineer for FULL Creative (the parent company of AnswerConnect). "With Amazon Connect Tasks, we can prioritize and assign work items to agents based on urgency. Also, Amazon Connect Tasks automates laborious tasks that don't require agent work such as notifying a customer of a form submission or updating a ticket. For a contact center with over 900 agents, we spend an enormous amount of time on these operational tasks. Amazon Connect Tasks saves our virtual receptionists vital hours and improves productivity by 15%."
Fujitsu (News - Alert) is an innovative, global information technology and services provider that helps organizations across multiple industries thrive in the modern digital world by driving new value from cutting-edge digital technologies. "At Fujitsu, our IT services exist to keep our customers' businesses running, and Amazon Connect empowers 5,300 of our contact center agents to better serve customers. Outside the 300,000 interactions our agents handle each month, they have to spend hours each day on additional tasks such as resolving open emails and tickets. This is a manual, time consuming process that often leaves important tasks incomplete," said Alex Sanchez, Head of Global GDC Networks for Fujitsu. "Amazon Connect Tasks will allow our agents to prioritize, assign, and track all tasks. Through connectors to external applications such as Salesforce, Amazon Lex chatbots, and Amazon Pinpoint, we can automate tasks like follow-ups to customers. With Amazon Connect Tasks we expect our agent productivity to improve 30% and expect to refine our customer experience even further with other Amazon Connect innovations."
Accolade is a personalized health and benefits solution that serves employers across the country. "Amazon Connect has been a critical driver behind the modernization efforts to improve our customer experience. By using Amazon Connect Voice ID to streamline caller authentication, we want to make voice interactions more secure and help customers resolve their issues quickly without having to answer multiple security questions," said Stephen Murphy, the Senior Director Cloud Engineering at Accolade. "Amazon Connect Voice ID is compelling because customers can enroll or verify their stated identity without having to say any specific words or phrases. Our contact center team is looking forward to using this new secure authentication feature of Amazon Connect."
About Amazon Web Services
For 14 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 175 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 77 Availability Zones (AZs) within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in India, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland. Millions of customers-including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies-trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.
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