Move callers from voice to chat and save on telephony costs

Here’s how you can move callers from voice to chat and save on telephony costs. Chat also allows you to help more callers simultaneously.

Categorized as Technology Tagged

You have various options here – offer callback option, offer other channels (e.g. text messaging, WhatsApp, iMessage, visual IVR , self service IVR etc.) where customers can reach you as well.

This will allow the caller an option to chat with agents because agents can multitask better on chat rather than on phone calls.

I usually try to push the caller to move to chat more than being on call (based on hold time) because calls are more expensive.

There are several ways to introduce the chat channel. 

First, I always recommend adding a “start a chat” button on your website or mobile app by adding chat icons to your “Make an appointment” or “contact us” pages. 

Second, announce to callers / patients ( while they are in a voice queue) in the IVR that chat may be a faster option and let them know where on your website to find this option.

You can also offer to send an SMS with the chat link from the IVR itself.

Hint: this is a nifty way to capture your caller’s mobile number

Finally, when voice queues exceed desired service levels (SLAs), you can proactively prompt customers to move to chat by sending them a direct link to your chat channel.

In any case, your agents can service a lot more callers / patients (benefits of multitasking ) in the same time that they would take to service a single caller / patient over the phone.

Use this blog Redirecting voice contacts to chat on Amazon Connect | Amazon Web Services to learn more about how to do this.

The general idea is :

  1. Create a Lambda function that can call Amazon Pinpoint and send an SMS with the Amazon connect chat link
  2. Create an Amazon Pinpoint project and get an SMS number (you don’t have to enable 2 way SMS on this). Set up default keywords if needed and help text / keywords if needed to ensure it sends the Amazon Connect chat link on demand.
  3. Ensure that your agent queues have chat channels enabled.
  4. Update your IVR with the options mentioned above and as / when the caller chooses (or the SLAs are exceeded), send that SMS with the Amazon connect chat link. Keep in mind that you can only send an SMS to a caller that’s using a mobile phone, so your IVR should always confirm with the caller which phone number they want to receive the SMS at (even though you can validate whether the caller is calling from a mobile or landline using Amazon Pinpoint’s Phone Number Validate – Amazon Pinpoint API).
  5. Ensure that you’re passing an agent’s username and/or name from the contact flow to the Lambda function as this would be needed in the chat URL SMS that’s sent out. 
  6. Send the SMS and have your agents service patients via chat.

That’s about all you have to do. Now, your agents can service the caller and even transfer the chats to another queue, quick connect or another agent if they want to (based on what they need during the chat session with the caller).