I have been searching for a famous line from a film or song that articulates a benefit of Amazon Connect – One that will get the readers attention… it had to be:
“I Feel The Need… The Need For Amazon Connect Speed” – Did It Get Your Attention?
Amazon Connect Pricing Model
I have recently seen many posts from AWS stating the most revolutionary part of Amazon Connect is its payment model. And we agree this is a massive part of Amazon Connect, Amazon Lex’s armoury but we think the speed at which you can have a fully functional Contact Centre trumps the pricing model.
The key difference in the pricing model is that you pay for what you use and this is very different from most other Contact Centre vendors who want to charge you for licenses or per seat\per month. The issue I have with the per seat per month model is it is not flexible enough – It doesn’t work for everyone. If today is a Monday, I will likely need more Agents to cover the high volume of calls vs not needing as many agents on a Sunday. With the per seat per month model, you will pay for the extra capacity on Sunday even though you are not using it. Additionally – what happens if you are a growing business and the headcount is continually increasing… does that mean you have to keep buying more seats. It’s not flexible and could be expensive.
We think the Amazon Connect way is correct. Charge the customers for what they use. For instance: if on Monday they use a lot of resources but on Sunday you use much less – then charge the customer accordingly!
Speed Of Deployment
We digressed there with the pricing model. Amazon Connect and the speed at which you can build a Contact Centre is the real talking point. When we explore why we think speed is important there are a few factors that come to mind. For Instance:
Components of a Contact Centre
So a typically Contact Centre requires the following components:
- Telephony – BT\ Virgin \ Gamma will provide inbound\outbound numbers that have the bandwidth to make and receive an amount of traffic. this value is dependent on what you have purchased.
- CRM integration – typically agents use a CRM system and it is desirable to integrate it with the telephony system. However, this historically is not an easy task.
- Speech Analytics
- Screen Pop
- Speech Recognition
- Maybe voice biometrics
- Outbound functionality
- Skill-based routing
Historically, this is a crazy amount of effort to have all these components built. However, with Amazon Connect you can have all of this set up in days or weeks.
So, if we were able to stand up a Contact Centre for a particular line of business in a short amount of time then the ROI can be realised just at the speed of execution. We have seen many businesses wait for their existing telephony stack to be licensed (maybe upgraded) and that process has taken more than 9 months. When you look at it like that these customers have missed out on many months of improved CX, increases in self-service etc. Having all these components ready enables a Contact Centre to benefit from the technology earlier which in itself increases the Return Of Investment.
UX and UI
The User Interface for Amazon Connect and the rest of the AWS ecosystem is a huge contributing factor to speed up the Contact Centre Build. Here are some examples of brilliant user experiences:
With Amazon Connect you simply navigate to the Dashboard and add a phone number in the location that you want. Let that sink in!! historically if you wanted telephony lines set up you would need to place an order with gamma or BT, then there would be a lead time for installation. This may take weeks alone. With Amazon Connect you will have an inbound number set up in 2 or 3 minutes, and that’s because the capacity has already been provisioned on a mass scale.
Automated speech recognition
If you needed ASR, you would again need an ASR prover such as Nuance. Again, much like telephony, you would need to place an order for licenses. This process is fairly slow and very expensive. With Amazon Connect and the AWS ecosystem, ASR and NLU are provided by Amazon Lex also using the ay as you model.
Speech Analytics is also an expensive feature that historically requires a third party like Verint. But you guessed it, AWS have this covered too with Amazon Connect Contact Lens. Amazon Connect Contact Lens is enabled by simply selecting a check box and enabling call recording in the Amazon Connect contact flow. That’s it! It’s instant.
There are 2 case studies that I want to bring to your attention. These illustrate the power of Amazon Connect’s speed. First, when Covid 19 happened Contact Centres were faced with a huge problem of enabling staff to work from home. Many customers did not have the technology to support that and a solution was required urgently. And this was where Amazon Connect was able to flex. Many Contact Centres like Morrisons, Collison, NHS, Barclays, Admiral Insurance, Subway, Post Office and Nationwide all jumped on Amazon Connect. As a result, they were able to keep their Contact Centre going.
The Second Case study that we would like to discuss is a large pharmaceutical company needed to enable self-service. The goal was to deflect calls away from the pharmacy and provide an easy-to-use voice interface. The project wasn’t huge but had enough components like telephony, speech recognition, databases, etc to make it challenging. This project took Route One Connect just under 2 weeks to deliver. The customer felt the benefits of the project almost as soon as they engaged us as an Amazon Connect specialist.