Using SMS In Engage For Amazon Connect

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Engage for Amazon Connect enables your Amazon Connect contact center to be truly omni-channel, making it easy to add chat channels your customers already know and use: email, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat and now, SMS. In Engage for Amazon Connect, clients and partners can now add a Toll-free, 10DLC or Long Code phone number to their contact center using Amazon Pinpoint.

How it works

Before jumping in, you may be wondering why you should use SMS in your contact center? SMS, or Short Message Service, is a popular channel for customer communication, especially for quick and concise messages. Using SMS in your contact center can provide a convenient and efficient way for customers to communicate with your business. It can also help to improve the overall customer experience by offering them a channel they are familiar with and use regularly in their everyday lives.

There are several benefits to using SMS in your contact center:

  1. Immediate delivery: SMS messages are delivered almost instantly, providing an efficient and timely way for customers to get in touch with your business.
  2. Convenience: SMS allows customers to communicate with your business from anywhere, at any time, using their mobile devices.
  3. Personalization: SMS allows businesses to personalize messages with the customer's name and other relevant information, making the experience more personalized and enjoyable for the customer.
  4. Cost-effective: SMS is a cost-effective solution compared to other channels such as phone calls, making it an attractive option for businesses.
  5. Easy integration: SMS can be easily integrated with your contact center software, allowing agents to handle SMS inquiries alongside other customer interactions.

By leveraging Amazon Pinpoint in your AWS account, SMS can be enabled as another inbound chat channel using transactional, two-way communication between clients on mobile phones and agents. The Engage Message Bridge will inter-connect the Amazon Pinpoint number and Amazon Connect instance in your AWS account, enabling SMS conversations to look and feel like any other agent chat. This makes your agent experience seamless as they may jump between concurrent chats across your omni-channel contact center, using the Engage for Amazon Connect desktop.

Information carried in the SMS messages is transmitted to and from your Amazon Connect instance as a Contact, saved as a Chat Transcript in your Amazon S3 bucket. This also means that SMS-based chats are accessible through native Amazon Connect searching and reporting like Contact Search, Real-time Metrics and Historical Metrics. 

Below is a high-level architecture showing how a client's SMS is delivered both from an inbound (client) perspective and outbound reply (agent) perspective. In our architecture, Engage for Amazon Connect leverages Amazon Pinpoint, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) and AWS Lambda to carry SMS messages to-and-from clients using Toll-free (US), 10DLC (US) or Long Code (international) phone number.

Demo SMS Channel - US and International

Amazon Pinpoint makes it easy to request a Toll-free (US) or Long Code (international) number with immediate availability. These two number types are ideal for testing and evaluation use cases with low messaging volume. For international clients and partners, be sure to first check that your country supports both Long Codes and two-way SMS

By default, US Toll-free numbers support 3 message parts per second (MPS) while all other international Long Codes support 10 MPS. Be sure to consider these thresholds in your demo assessment, as any messages exceeding the MPS limit will be dropped. You can read more about MPS limits from AWS here.

Short Code numbers are not recommended either as they are primarily used for outbound, application-to-person communication and take many weeks to provision.

For high-volume, production SMS channels, the type of number you will need to register will also depend on whether it’s for US or international clients.

Production SMS Channel - US

US-based clients should use a 10-digit long code (10DLC) number for high-throughput, production SMS channel use cases with Engage for Amazon Connect. There are three steps to this process:

  1. Register a company.
  2. Register a 10DLC campaign.
  3. Request a 10DLC number through Amazon Pinpoint.

Note: when registering your 10DLC campaign, the message volume limits vary across each carrier used by the inbound customer:

  • AT&T: 12 to 60 outbound message parts per minute (depending on campaign type and attributes).
  • T-Mobile or Sprint: 2,000 outbound messages per day.
  • Verizon and smaller regional carriers: varies.

The timeframe for registering a 10DLC number will likely take several weeks. 10DLC, like Toll-free, only works with US numbers.

Production SMS Channel - International

For international clients, a Long Code number is required for high-throughput, production SMS with Engage for Amazon Connect. As before, be sure to first confirm that your country supports both Long Codes and two-way SMS.

To setup a Long Code for production SMS channel use cases:

  1. Request a Long Code number through Amazon Pinpoint.
  2. Request a quota increase. Here you will request an increase from 10 MPS to a threshold suitable for your environment. Limits vary between countries.

Amazon Pinpoint Phone Numbers for SMS

Review the table below to learn more about the phone number types offered by Amazon Pinpoint.Next steps

Next Steps

By using a Toll-free, 10DLC or international Long Code phone number in Amazon Pinpoint, you can easily add an SMS channel to your omni-channel contact center. Each number is suited for specific countries and either demo or production use cases.

To add an SMS channel to Engage for Amazon Connect, follow our detailed guide on the Local Measure Resource Center.

September 20, 2021

Bennett Borofka

Solutions Architect, Local Measure

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