Connect yourself to the future

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Peter Clark 12th July 2019 5 minute read

Connect yourself to the future

Capita recently became a Consulting Partner with Amazon. Peter Clark, Technical Solutions Director at Capita, explains the importance of Amazon Connect, and why its integration with SmartAgent capabilities into clients’ customer management operations will support businesses facing increasingly demanding customers and ever fiercer competition. (Find out more about how we're using cloud contact centre technology to enhance the customer experience here.)

Retailers today face a challenge unlike any they’ve met before. Shoppers take it as a given that they can find anything they want almost instantly online; the content around it will be personalised and relevant; and once ordered, their purchase will be delivered to their door the following day. Because why wouldn’t it be?

While felt most keenly within retail, this shift in customer expectations is set to make life uncomfortable for many other sectors too.

If retailers are to rise to this threat, they need to transform their own customer service to match. Organisations that can bring the best of cloud-based delivery, access to a broad digital eco-system, and expertise in customer management, all under one roof, will be the biggest winners. They’ll see lower costs, improved performance, more sales and happier customers.

Through our partnership with Amazon Connect, we are helping our customers do exactly that. At the same time, we are plugging them into our wider tech capability, omni-channel delivery and extensive customer management experience.

A platform evolved to deal with demanding customers

Connect is actually the Cloud-based contact centre system that Amazon began building for its own business a decade ago, so it’s ‘grown up’ supporting the world’s largest and most successful retail operation. After years of refinement, Amazon has made it available to outside clients seeking a new telephony platform for their own operations.

To be clear, Connect doesn’t have all the answers. For a start, it’s voice-based so doesn’t provide for text-based channels such as Messenger, email, webchat etc. It also requires careful integration and configuration, like a pile of Lego bricks that need assembling correctly to create the right structure and be accessible to other capabilities.  

But what Connect does do – and we know this through our own trials with clients – is deliver an exceptional level of additional functionality within a voice-based telephony platform, especially around analysing call data to help retailers improve and personalise the experience they offer their customers.

Making agility a reality rather than a wish

There’s no doubt that competition in retail and other sectors is changing rapidly and often unpredictably. Organisations will need to react faster than ever to prosper and survive. Connect can be a valuable ally in that search for agility.

Fundamental to Connect’s ability to move fast is the break it provides from traditional telephony. Amazon Connect is totally software driven. The changes that were difficult to enact with a CAPEX heavy infrastructure model can now be handled dynamically, with less effort, fewer experts and in a more agile way.

With the right people to understand this configuration, and maximise its benefits through your customer management operations, organisations can bring that fail-fast, learn-fast and move on agility to their customer experience and contact centres

Connecting to smarter capabilities

As I said earlier, Connect doesn’t have all the answers, particularly with reference to multi-channel communications. So since late 2018, Capita has been both testing Connect with clients and looking at ways to ‘complete the package’ and deliver Connect in the most effective way that lets clients cherry-pick the elements relevant to them.

Working alongside UK software developer MissionLabs, we’re advocating SmartAgent, a solution that plugs into the Amazon Web Services that drive Connect, and enables that multi-channel access. Agents can have text-based interactions with customers via webchat, WhatsApp, Messenger, email, and more. SmartAgent also enables self-serve by linking with back office systems and does ‘data dips’ into CRMs and billing systems to deliver customers’ details to agents’ screens as conversations are happening.

It’s true that many of these capabilities can be matched by existing technology, but by and large they are expensive and complex solutions that can be hard to integrate and expensive to add on.

Not so with Connect, which is why we see its partnership with Capita and SmartAgent as a way to get clients to this agile and profitable future quickly - and without straining the CAPEX budget.

Want to try smarter contact centre delivery for yourself? Request a demo with Capita and Amazon Connect at our Hub page.

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