Friday, June 15, 2018

How Salesforce uses AWS to Improve The Support Call Experience

In April I wrote about how moving infrastructure to the cloud is the start of a paradigm shift, and that building intelligence products and services is the next step. Today, I highlight an example of this presented by Salesforce and AWS.

The key AWS services discussed in the video are:

Amazon Lex

Amazon Lex is a chatbot platform. It uses speech recognition and language understanding technology to analyze text and speech. Amazon Lex can be trained to recognize a users intent and carry out a conversation to collect the necessary data.

Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service. You supply a string of text and Amazon Polly will return an audio file in a variety of different voices. To learn more about the features see To see the currently supported languages and voices available for those languages see

Amazon Transcribe

Amazon Transcribe is a speech-to-text service. With Amazon Transcribe you can take an audio file and have it convert it to text. The service supports all the popular audio file formats such as WAV, MP3, MP4, and FLAC. Currently, English and Spanish are supported.

Takeaways From The Video

Resolve Simple Tasks Without Human Interaction

I prefer to do most of my transactions online as opposed to on the phone. Studies have show millennials do as well. But there are still a group of people that prefer using the phone.

The video talks about using Amazon Lex to address simple task like status updates and address changes over the phone, but it is also possible to use Amazon Lex to implement text-based messaging services to address the same tasks as well.

Address The Frustration With Transferred Call

One the biggest frustrating points for me when call customer support is when I get transferred. I've spent time with the other person explaining my situation, and when I get transferred more often then not I have to start the conversation over again. 

A good CSR would have made some notes for the next CSR, but this is the exception, not the rule. This changes with the use of Amazon Lex and Transcribe, now whether it's by voice or by text, the conversation can be captured. This can help save time for both parties involved. The customer no longer has to repeat themselves, and the CSR can quickly review the dialog and move forward from that point.

More Actionable Insights And New Level of Understand

You have more reports, more actionable data points, and more complete audit trail. But what's truly innovative and new is the general accessible method to collect the content of what occurred on the support call and paired with data analytics you can understand your customers better than ever.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Technologies are tools, and at the end of the day, a great user experience is achieved by how we use the tools, not the tools themselves.

Understand the capabilities and limitations of the technology

As the video demonstrations a solid use case for technologies like Lex, Polly, and Transcribe is to help streamline and improve customer interaction. Their capabilities are improving every day, but still, have limits. Any of these services used beyond its current capabilities will only cause customer frustration.

Also, understand there are always corner cases when designing a system consider how the customer or the system can intuitively resolve them. 

Understand the problem or frustration you are solving

Talk to the people directly involved, their insight into common pain points. Find people with varying degrees of experience to get a comprehensive idea. 

Take a step back and review and understand the current process. What is it set out to achieve? How does this fit into the overall system of processes? Who utilizes the information? Is there a better way to collect it?

Each case will be unique and there are many other factors to the way in, but ultimately learning as much you can about the available technologies and the problem at hand will allow you to make the right decision.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss if any of these features are a good fit for your needs and or how to implement them.


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