Improved Customer Experience with Amazon Connect

The Challenge

WDH was established in 2005 and is one of the UK’s largest social housing providers, with over 32,000 homes across the Wakefield district and the North of England. As part of WDH’s wider digital transformation initiative, the team wanted to procure a new cloud hosted telephony solution. 

WDH was looking to procure a new cloud hosted telephony platform that would replace its existing on-premise solution which was reaching end of life.  

The requirement to Alscient consisted of the following: 

  • Evaluate and recommend a replacement cloud telephony platform that was simpler to maintain and more cost effective. 
  • Migrate all of their staff, across 50 distinct teams to the new solution. 
  • Support SSO integration with their existing Active Directory. 
  • Provide a solution to allow staff to pause/resume calls. 
  • Provide a suite of reports to allow supervisors to monitor call volume. 
  • Provide a solution to maintain the recordings in line with agreed retention periods.   
  • Port numbers across from the existing solution to the new provider. 
  • Provide the ability to easily modify IVR flows to provide informational messages. 

The Solution

Alscient addressed these requirements in a phased approach. We initially evaluated several leading telephony platforms against the wider set of requirements and shortlisted it down to two. Amazon Connect was finally chosen due to its “pay-as-you-go” cost model and its seamless integration with Salesforce.  

The rollout was planned over a six-month period with internal teams scheduled to initially go live. Following testing of the core flows and the customer experience against a smaller user base, the solution was launched. Over a series of releases, a large proportion of the teams within WDH were onboarded across to Amazon Connect. A custom softphone solution was used by some of the teams to allow calls to be paused and resumed in real-time. This made use of a static page hosted within S3 which was surfaced via a CloudFront distribution. Amazon Athena was also used to provide SQL like query capability against the Contact Trace Records. We also made heavy use of Polly to play different voice prompts based on IVR menu selection and used AWS Lambda to directly interrogate an out of hours support roster which was maintained inside of Salesforce. Integration with Active Directory was also provided to seamlessly sign into Amazon Connect via the setup of an IAM Identity Provider inside of AWS.   

In total over 100 team queues were created on the new platform and innovate features such as the ability to  request callbacks were provided. Once the last team was migrated across, all of the numbers from the old solution were ported to Amazon Connect. This was done without any downtime or impact on the caller experience.

The Result

All aspects of the project were successfully delivered, within the original budget and timeframe. Additional initiatives are now being planned, to improve the customer experience including self-serve options taking advantage of other AWS automation services including Lambda, Lex and Contact Lens. 

“The solution has resulted in a cost reduction from our original platform and is much easier to maintain. The Alscient team clearly demonstrated their expertise with Amazon Connect and were very responsive to our needs. We now plan to integrate the solution with Salesforce and roll out a best of breed real-time reporting solution to provide further insight into call volumes.”

Rachel Felix, Programme Manager

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