This is a guest post authored by Rebecca Owens and Julian Hernandez, who work at Genesys Cloud.
Legacy technology limits organizations in their ability to offer excellent customer service to users. Organizations must design, establish, and implement their customer relationship strategies while balancing against operational efficiency concerns.
Another factor to consider is the constant evolution of the relationship with the customer. External drivers, such as those recently imposed by COVID-19, can radically change how we interact in a matter of days. Customers have been forced to change the way they usually interact with brands, which has resulted in an increase in the volume of interactions hitting those communication channels that remain open, such as contact centers. Organizations have seen a significant increase in the overall number of interactions they receive, in some cases as much as triple the pre-pandemic volumes. This is further compounded by issues that restrict the number of agents available to serve customers.
The customer experience (CX) is becoming increasingly relevant and is considered by most organizations as a key differentiator.
In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) in many different areas and operations within organizations. AI has evolved from being a mere concept to a tangible technology that can be incorporated in our day-to-day lives. The issue is that organizations are starting down this path only to find limitations due to language availability. Technologies are often only available in English or require a redesign or specialized development to handle multiple languages, which creates a barrier to entry.
Organizations face a range of challenges when formulating a CX strategy that offers a differentiated experience and can rapidly respond to changing business needs. To minimize the risk of adoption, you should aim to deploy solutions that provide greater flexibility, scalability, services, and automation possibilities.
Genesys Cloud (an omni-channel orchestration and customer relationship platform) provides all of the above as part of a public cloud model that enables quick and simple integration of AWS Contact Center Intelligence (AWS CCI) to transform the modern contact center from a cost center into a profit center. With AWS CCI, AWS and Genesys are committed to offer a variety of ways organizations can quickly and cost-effectively add functionalities such as conversational interfaces based on Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Kendra.
In less than 10 minutes, you can integrate Genesys Cloud with the AWS CCI self-service solution powered by Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly in either English-US, Spanish-US, Spanish-SP, French-FR, French-CA, and Italian-IT (recently released). This enables you to configure automated self-service channels that your customers can use to communicate naturally with bots powered by AI, which can understand their needs and provide quick and timely responses. Amazon Kendra (Amazon’s intelligent search service) “turbocharges” Amazon Lex with the ability to query FAQs and articles contained in a variety of knowledge bases to address the long tail of questions. You don’t have to explicitly program all these questions and corresponding answers in Amazon Lex. For more information, see AWS announces AWS Contact Center Intelligence solutions.
This is complemented by allowing for graceful escalation of conversations to live agents in situations where the bot can’t fully respond to a customer’s request, or when the company’s CX strategy requires it. The conversation context is passed to the agent so they know the messages that the user has previously exchanged with the bot, optimizing handle time, reducing effort, and increasing overall customer satisfaction.
With Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, Amazon Kendra, and Genesys Cloud, you can easily create a bot and deploy it to different channels: voice, chat, SMS, and social messaging apps.
Enabling the integration
The integration between Amazon Lex (from which the addition of Amazon Polly and Amazon Kendra easily follows) and Genesys Cloud is available out of the box. It’s designed so that you can employ it quickly and easily.
You should first configure an Amazon Lex bot in one of the supported languages (for this post, we use Spanish-US). In the following use case, the bot is designed to enable a conversational interface that allows users to validate information, availability, and purchase certain products. It also allows them to manage the order, including tracking, modification, and cancellation. All of these are implemented as intents configured in the bot.
The following screenshot shows a view of Genesys Cloud Resource Center, where you can get started.
Integration consists of three simple steps (for full instructions, see About the Amazon Lex integration):
- Install the Amazon Lex integration from Genesys AppFoundry (Genesys Marketplace).
- Configure the IAM role with permissions for Amazon Lex.
- Set up and activate the Lex integration into Genesys Cloud.
After completing these steps, you can use any bots that you configured in Amazon Lex within Genesys Cloud flows, regardless of whether the flow is for voice (IVR type) or for digital channels like web chat, social networks, and messaging channels. The following screenshot shows a view of available bots for our use case on the Amazon Lex console.
To use our sample retail management bot, go into Architect (a Genesys Cloud flow configuration product) and choose the type of flow to configure (voice, chat, or messaging) so you can use the tools available for that channel.
In the flow toolbox, you can add the Call Lex Bot action anywhere in the flow by adding it via drag-and-drop.
This is how you can call onto any of your existing Amazon Lex bots from a Genesys Cloud Architect flow. In this voice flow example, we first identify the customer through a query to the CRM before passing them to the bot.
The Call Lex Bot action allows you to select one of your existing bots and configure information to pass (input variables). It outputs the intent identified in Amazon Lex and the slot information collected by the bot (output variables). Genesys Cloud can use the outputs to continue processing the interaction and provide context to the human agent if the interaction is transferred.
Going back to our example, we use the bot
JH_Retail_Spa and configure two variables to pass to Amazon Lex that we collected from the CRM earlier in the flow:
Task.UserAccount. We then configure the track an order intent and its associated output variables.
The output information is played back to the customer, who can choose to finish the interaction or, if necessary, seek the support of a human agent. The agent is presented with a script that provides them with the context so they can seamlessly pick up the conversation at the point where the bot left off. This means the customer avoids having to repeat themselves, removing friction and improving customer experience.
You can enable the same functionality on digital channels, such as web chat, social networks, or messaging applications like WhatsApp or Line. In this case, all you need to do is use the same Genesys Cloud Architect action (Call Lex Bot) in digital flows.
The following screenshot shows an example of interacting with a bot on an online shopping website.
As with voice calls, if the customer needs additional support in digital interactions, these interactions are transferred to agents according to the defined routing strategy. Again, context is provided and the transcription of the conversation between the client and the bot is displayed to the agent.
In addition to these use cases, you can use the Genesys Cloud REST API to generate additional interaction types, providing differentiated customer service. For example, with the release of Amazon Lex in Spanish, some of our customers and partners are building Alexa Skills, delivering an additional personalized communication channel to their users.
Customer experience operations are constantly coming up against new challenges, especially in the days of COVID-19. Genesys Cloud provides a solution that can manage all the changes we’re facing daily. It natively provides a flexible, agile, and resilient omni-channel solution that enables scalability on demand.
With the release of Amazon Lex in Spanish, you can quickly incorporate bots within your voice or digital channels, improving efficiency and customer service. These interactions can be transferred when needed to human agents with the proper context so they can continue the conversation seamlessly and focus on more complex cases where they can add more value.
If you have Genesys Cloud, check out the integration with Amazon Lex in Spanish and US Spanish to see how simple and beneficial it can be. If you’re not a customer, this is an additional reason to migrate and take full advantage of the benefits Genesys and AWS CCI can offer you. Differentiate your organization by personalizing every customer service interaction, improving agent satisfaction, and enhancing visibility into important business metrics with a more intelligent contact center.
About the Authors
Rebecca Owens is a Senior Product Manager at Genesys and is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Julian Hernandez is Senior Cloud Business Development – LATAM for Genesys and is based out of Bogota D.C. Area, Colombia.