Amazon connect Contact Center is a pretty amazing product to begin with. As is typical with Amazon you get reliability, robustness and the cloud’s scalability as soon as you sign up.
All your front desk / receptionist / call center agents need are:
- A computer
- Good internet connectivity
- A headset
That’s it – they can work from anywhere and still provide excellent customer service.
For many small businesses, the needs are pretty simple. Here’s what you are going to learn from this post.
- Sign up for AWS Connect Contact Center
- Set up your phone line (one)
- Set up your business hours
- Allow one or more of your customer service reps to handle inbound and outbound calls. When callers call your main phone number, they will be put in a queue so that your CSRs can respond to the call if they are not on another call / away OR they can respond as soon as they become available.
- Port your main phone number to AWS and begin servicing customers
Sign up for Amazon Connect Contact Center
Go to AWS Connect
And get started
Choose a URL that you will remember (you will distribute this to your agents)
Of course, you have various options to tie into an active directory or to your company’s authentication system using SAML 2.0 based authentication, but those are covered later on.
For now, choose the simplest version (storing users within amazon connect).
Create an administrator,
Choose the default settings for data storage, Review and then Create Instance..
Once it is done, you will see a page like this.
Set up your phone line (one)
Don’t worry – we will show you how to transfer everything over to your own phone number (your current one). For now, get started with this temporary phone number (it’s very cheap), get everything set up, ready, test it thoroughly and then port your current phone number to AWS Connect Contact Center. It’s a very smooth, seamless transition.
You should see this screen when you sign in.
You are almost good to go.. Give it a few mins for everything to be set up. Then try dialing your new phone number to see what happens. Also, try dialing your own number to see if you get a call from your brand new phone number.
You don’t have to choose a 1-800 number. If you do not like the local numbers this screen presents to you, you can always choose to Skip this screen and move forward. You can choose the phone number like this.
Set up your business hours
Head over to the business hours section and set your business hours however you want.
Keep in mind that AWS does not have a seamless voicemail feature, so you need to think of ways to handle inbound calls from callers after business hours.
Allow one or more of your customer service reps to handle inbound and outbound calls
As soon as you get started, you will see that AWS Connect already gives you a basic queue to begin with.
It even gives you a basic routing profile to begin with
On top of that, you will see that the phone number is already connected to a sample inbound flow – out of the box.
If you want, you can get started just with that.
However, you probably want some basic things set up first.
Set up your greeting and the first contact flow
All you have to do is open the “Sample inbound flow (first contact experience)” contact flow and start editing after making a copy of it. Go ahead and rename it to something you want e.g. “NH inbound flow 1 (first contact experience)”
Now, find the “Play prompt” thing on the contact flow.
Click on it and you will see the default text. “Hello, thanks for calling. These are some examples of what the Amazon Connect virtual contact center can enable you to do.”
Just change this to something that you want. E.g. If I want to say “Hello, thanks for calling Neesos Health. Please select from the following options so we can help you further.”
You will see that I have chosen “text to speech”.. You might have to play around with the text if your company name is not an easy translation for speech to text. As you see, for the translation to sound good, I had to change Nisos to Neesos.
Hit Save and then Hit Publish
Your next step would be to go back to the phone number screen and make sure that you direct the calls to this new contact flow you created.
Give it a minute or two and call your number 🙂
If you want to get started quickly – you can simply delete a few things from the Contact Flow you copied over and that’s it.
Head over to the “Get Customer Input” thing and delete whatever you do not want to start with.
Press 1 to be put in queue for an agent.
2 to securely enter content.
3 to hear the results of an AWS Lambda data dip.
4 to set a screen pop for the agent.
5 to roll the dice and simulate a and b testing.
Or 6 to set call recording behavior.
You probably want to start with something bare minimum – where a caller dials your main number, is put in a queue to be answered by your receptionist when they become available.
Go ahead and change the above to
“Let me connect you to one of our customer service representatives.”
Then, go ahead and delete the various branches and various nodes that you feel are not required
You will probably end up with something like this.
Feel free to download the file here
You will notice that this contact flow also uses a flow called “Sample queue configurations flow”. It’s a bit advanced for you right now.
So, go to the Contact Flows screen and open up that flow “Sample queue configurations flow”. Then, Save as another flow that you are going to edit. E.g. “NH 1 queue configurations flow”
Customize this queue configuration flow
As you have noticed, there’s a CHAT channel in there. You are not going to do that in this exercise. Go ahead and delete it and delete any other advanced features that you do not really need at the moment.
You will probably end up with something similar to this.
Feel free to download the file here.
Make sure that you go back to your other flow and change this section (to use the new flow you created)
That’s about it.
Add your staff
You can add your staff one by one or if you have a large number of staff, you can add them all by uploading a spreadsheet. It’s very simple.
Once you add more staff/agents they can login and would be able to handle calls – both inbound and outbound at the same time.
Port your current number to Amazon Connect
There’s a guide on Amazon that walks you through this. You can find it here.
Amazon technical support team will tell you exactly when the number will be ported over.
Once it is, it will show up on this page
“Manage Phone numbers”.. All you have to do at that time is to click on the phone number then make sure that you attach the contact flow you created to your phone number. That’s it.
What you achieved
- You set up your phone line in the cloud.
- You set up your caller greetings
- You set up your business hours
- Your customers can call you, talk to your staff
- Your customers can decide to get a call back instead of staying on hold
- You can add/remove as many staff as you need to handle inbound and outbound calls
- You ported over your current phone number to Amazon Connect Contact Center