The Landscape of Customer Experience (CX) Tools

Every Federal agency has some level of customer engagement. Whether it’s for internal government resources or for agency constituents, customer service has been a long-standing element of providing help to the American public. For decades, the contact center space has been dominated by a few providers, with deep ties to the telecommunications industry. Agencies would need to contract with global organizations to manage racks and racks of hardware and provision countless licenses across multiple applications in order to provide a functional customer service experience.Now, thanks to cloud technology, the effort around CX tooling can focus on innovating and not the complexities of connecting disparate solution.

How do Integrations Work

For on-premise solutions to properly integrate with each other, a layer is needed between the two applications. Traditionally, this exists in the form of a server that is networked to each of the solutions and runs the necessary code to join them. For example, if the Government is using an on-premise ticketing solution for their service desk and an on-premise phone system for their inbound calls, a unique server would execute lookups in the ticketing system that are mapped to values in the phone system. If a caller has a phone number that exists in the ticketing system, the server executes the code that does the data lookup and passes the joined data to and from each application. The list of components to manage in a traditional integration is long: servers, ports, licenses, networking, and operating systems…just to name a few.

The Uniqueness of the Federal CX Space

In addition to the complexities of connecting physical devices and managing different stacks, the Government also must consider the compliance requirements to deploy an integration. In the conventional model, all of the hardware and software needed to deliver the integration must be accounted for in boundaries and controls. Procurement can also be a challenge, given the acquisition regulations that all agencies must adhere to. While the Government may want to implement new approaches for improving the customer experience, often the barriers are so overwhelming that integrations are bypassed or not considered at all.

Integrating Disparate Solutions in the Cloud

One of the most compelling factors with migrating Government workloads to the cloud is the agility that agencies will have around data integration. When organizations use AWS services to deliver customer service experiences, the ability to integrate with external solutions is embedded in the solution. AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service for running code without having to provision or manage servers. This means that the code required to tie the different components together does not need its own hardware.

Additionally, AWS has a robust ACD (automated call distributor) solution that also sits in the cloud. Amazon Connect is a robust contact center solution that does not require seat licenses, is FedRAMP compliant, and since it’s consumption-based pricing, the Government only pays for the time that the customer is connected to the platform. Amazon Connect embeds AWS Lambda capabilities in the contact flow design tool, enabling code for integrations to be triggered directly in the contact flow.

In the below diagram, the inbound call connects to Amazon Connect, with all telephony provided by AWS. The inbound phone number is mapped to a contact flow where an AWS Lambda function is invoked. This Lambda function joins the voice call to the ServiceNow instance. All of the data from within ServiceNow is then available for us with the call flow. For example, ServiceNow can take the caller’s inbound phone number and lookup an existing case and automatically propagate the case information to the agent who is handling the call.

AWS Cloud Graphic depicting Gateways
A Seamless Agent Experience

Not only does an integrated call experience facilitate a more efficient interaction, from the agent perspective, a single tool reduces the level of effort to help the customer. When Amazon Connect is embedded in the ticketing or CRM system, the agent does not need to navigate to another solution on their desktop. Improving agent tools leads to a more productive agent community.

AWS Cloud Graphic depicting Gateways

Let STS help your organization optimize its investment in the contact center. Integrating agent tools not only improves productivity, it streamlines the customer experience, letting the agents focus on providing the best customer service without the burden of navigating multiple tools.

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