Amazon Web Services Connects More Channels with AI and Analytics: The 2021 CRM Conversation Starters

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The engine that drives Amazon is clearly e-commerce, but customer service is certainly not an afterthought. The Seattle-based tech giant’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2017 launched Amazon Connect, a suite of cloud-based contact center services that leverage the artificial intelligence powering Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant to handle contact center interactions, and it has been steadily improving Connect ever since.

In just the past year, AWS rolled out Contact Center Intelligence (CCI) to help companies add machine-learning-based intelligence to their contact centers. AWS CCI offers contact center solutions through AWS’s pre-trained machine learning services—including text-to-speech, translation, transcription, enterprise search, chatbots, business intelligence, and language comprehension—to aid at a variety of points in the contact center workflow. It includes modules for self-service, live and post-call analytics, and agent assistance.

In December, AWS added five capabilities to Amazon Connect to 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, and make customer follow-up tasks easier to manage. They are Wisdom, which gives agents the information they need to solve issues in real time; Customer Profiles, which scans and matches customer records, contact history, and data from CRM, e-commerce, and order management applications into a unified customer profile; Real-Time Contact Lens, to analyze contacts and provide real-time alerts when specified conditions are met; Tasks, which automates, tracks, and manages tasks for contact center agents; and Voice ID, which provides real-time caller authentication using machine learning-powered voice analysis.

Another innovation released in just the past few months was Amazon Lookout for Metrics, a fully managed service that detects anomalies in metrics and helps determine their root causes.

Amazon Lookout for Metrics helps businesses monitor metrics like revenue, web page views, active users, transaction volume, and mobile app installations and diagnose the root cause of anomalies. Available CRM data sources include Salesforce, Marketo, and Zendesk.

And just last month, AWS added Amazon Transcribe Call Analytics, a feature that builds on Amazon Transcribe and is a key enhancement to AWS Contact Center Intelligence.

Amazon Transcribe Call Analytics allows the extraction of valuable insights from customer conversations, such as customer service calls, sales video calls, or web-based audio interactions, through a single API.

Amazon Transcribe Call Analytics features include time-stamped turn-by-turn call transcription in 21 languages; issue detection, which picks up the shortest set of contiguous words in a conversation turn that represents the reason for the call; call categorization based on factors like keyword or phrase matching, speaking time, interruptions, agent and customer sentiment, and how quickly and loudly a customer or agent is speaking; and redaction of sensitive data from the text transcript and the corresponding audio file. Transcribe Call Analytics also adds natural language processing (NLP) capabilities specifically trained on customer calls.

Its most recent efforts to bolster Amazon Connect included significant integrations with Merkle, Auraya, VHT, Talkdesk, Avaya, 8x8, Clarabridge, Pypestream, Clevy, Voiceworx, Cresta, Cyara, Cogito, DVS Analytics, RingCentral, and Salesforce.

“Amazon Web Services is helping reimagine customer service, not just move it to the cloud,” says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics.

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