Amazon Connect Conversational AI – Amazon’s biggest play?

Amazon Connect Conversational AI. Amazon and Google have invested over a billion dollars in Conversational Interfaces. Additionally multiple technology partners are also taking these AI platforms and enabling them to work with their platforms (like Genesys, Avaya, Mitel, 8×8, Twilio)… So we know the leaders in telephony and the contact centre believe in it, but what is it and why is there so much hype around this?

 

 

Innovation

In the world of Self-Service innovation, conversational interfaces very much sit at the top of the list. The benefits it brings in terms of Customer experience, and return on investment, are tangible.

Amazon Connect

What is Amazon Connect Conversational AI?

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. Broadly speaking, that means having a computer undertake tasks which would normally require human intervention. Things like recognising speech, and making decisions. Conversational AI is an extension to that, where we utilise the AI capacity to allow customers to engage naturally with an artificial voice interface. For the Contact Centre world this is ground breaking. Gartner report that “AI Will Become a Critical Component of UX, With Conversational AI Leading the Initial Charge”.

gartner

Why Now?

Conversational Interfaces have actually been around for a while and Route One Connect team members have implemented some of the early adopters over 10 years ago. However, the reason there is so much excitement now is due to lots of stars aligning. They are as follows:

Focus on CX

Almost everywhere you turn, Customer Experience is embedded in the strap line of every technology business. But it’s not as simple as just saying it, as a business you must earn your stripes, feel the pain on the front line and feel the deep pain points of a customer journey.

Cost

The main recognition software required to stand up a conversational interface was very expensive, did not support elastic scaling and also required an eye watering amount of Professional Services to capture utterances, deploy, tune and repeat. You simply could not have such an interface unless you had $400,000+.

Synthetic Voice

Synthetic voice is a new term for TTS (Text to Speech) and the advances here are phenomenal. With the addition of SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language), the developer can make the synthesised voice sound natural and lifelike.

With legacy IVR systems it was frowned upon to use TTS because the Customer Experience was so poor. Voice User Interface (VUI) designers would have to design the IVR in such a way that allowed them to concatenate professional prompts together to make the system sound natural. This was possible but obstructed the designer’s goal to build true conversational interfaces.

By using Synthetic Voice now the designer can tap into knowledge bases or FAQs. The caller can ask a question and the system can provide an accurate response, all using the same synthetic voice.

Amazon Connect

What are the main differences between Amazon and Google

A big difference between Amazon Connect and Google Contact Centre AI is their route to market. With Amazon you don’t have to have any telephony in place to stand up a contact centre – just an internet connection. With Google you have to already have a telephony platform like Avaya, Cisco, 8×8, Mitel or Genesys, which typically is burdened with huge investment. Other features of both these products are as follows:

Amazon Connect

•Complete CC available within 10 mins
•Comes with telephony built in.
•Pay as you go model
•Marketplace – Ecosystem of supporting products
•Available in many regions globally

Google Contact Centre AI

•120+ Languages supported
•Leverage 3rd party contact centre features
•Pre built agent desktop
•Spelling correction
•Speech bias

Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect Conversational AI – Summary

To conclude, Amazon Connect offers something new and creates an environment where innovation can breed. Due to advances in synthesised voice, Conversational AI can now take a massive leap forward – the voice content can be so much more dynamic. Customer Experience designers can now be more creative in delivering customer centric designs that can improve NPS (Net Promoter Score).

To understand more about Conversational AI, please go to our product page for more information.