Service WhatsApp customers in your callcenter

Helping customers via whatsapp and your callcenter software. Here’s how even small businesses can behave like larger competitors.

Categorized as Technology Tagged

WhatsApp, as we all know, is ubiquitous. Almost everyone uses it. This is even more so the case outside of the USA.

I find that (for many reasons that are beyond the scope of this article) patients and customers seem to prefer WhatsApp over text messaging (outside of the USA).

So, does this mean that you cannot service Whatsapp connected patients and customers?

Not at all – you still can!

You can move callers / customers from the phone to chat to save on telephony costs. This chat can be web chat, text messaging chat, WhatsApp chat, iMessage chat etc.

Simply tie these steps into your phone tree (IVR) to reduce costs. Callers will self service as much as possible.

We almost always use Amazon Web Services for most of our work (EZHCRM is built on top of AWS). Hence, the steps below will talk only about how to do it in AWS.

Both via Amazon Connect voice and via Amazon Connect Chat.

Let’s look at each option.

Amazon Connect Voice + WhatsApp

This is well documented in this blog here – Using WhatsApp and Amazon Lex to escalate to voice via Amazon Connect | Amazon Web Services.

For Whatsapp, you need to use an authorized service provider like Twilio.

The solution you need is really quite simple.

  1. Create an Amazon Lex bot that responds to your patient’s queries.
  2. Set up this Amazon Lex chatbot integration with WhatsApp (let’s say that you got it from Twilio). For this, you need to set up the Twilio API integration on Amazon Lex (you are going to need the URL of the Amazon Lex channel configuration). So, your Twilio Whatsapp will talk to your Amazon Lex. 
  3. Modify the Amazon Lex fulfillment behavior so that when a certain utterance occurs (e.g. “agent” or “customer service” or “talk to an agent” etc), the conversation will be transferred to the agent via a call)
  4. Create the Lambda function to initiate the outbound API call to Amazon Connect.
  5. Set up the contact flow on Amazon Connect so that agents can answer that call. In this call, pass the conversation from whatsapp / Amazon Lex bot as contact attributes to the CCP2 so that the agent has context of what transpired before the call was transferred.

That’s it.

Amazon Connect Web Chat + WhatsApp

Now, let’s look at handling the same situation via Amazon Connect web chat.

I found a nice little proof of concept here.

Note that I have not tried it out ourselves and this is not yet available in EzHCRM yet either.

Your mileage may vary.

The general concept here is that it uses websockets to keep a conversation going between Twilio’s Whatsapp APIs and Amazon Connect Chat APIs.

So this way, the need for Amazon Lex chatbots are eliminated and your patient/customer can chat directly with your agents via Whatsapp, while your agents can respond via Amazon Connect Web Chat.