Chat - Amazon Connect

Chat

For an introduction video, check out Getting Started with Amazon Connect chat on YouTube.

Amazon Connect Chat enables your customers to start chatting with contact center agents from any of your business applications, web or mobile. Interactions are asynchronous, enabling your customers to start a chat with an agent or Amazon Lex bot, step away from it, and then resume the conversation again. They can even switch devices and continue the chat.

Agents have a single user interface to help customers using both voice and chat. This reduces the number of tools that agents have to learn and the number of screens they have to interact with. Chat activities integrate into your existing contact center flows and the automation that you built for voice. You build your flows once and reuse them across multiple channels. Likewise, for metrics collection and the dashboards you built, they automatically benefit from the unified metrics across multiple channels.

Amazon Connect Chat is charged on a per use basis. There are no required up-front payments, long-term commitments, or minimum monthly fees. You pay per chat message, independently of the number of agents or customers using it. Regional pricing may vary. For more information, see Amazon Connect pricing.

Getting started with chat

To add chat capabilities to your Amazon Connect contact center and allow your agents to engage in chats, perform two steps:

Agents can then begin accepting chats through the Contact Control Panel.

Amazon Connect provides several resources to help you add chat to your website. For more information, see Set up your customer's chat experience.

Example chat scenario

A customer and agent are chatting. The customer stops responding to the agent. The agent asks "Are you there?" and doesn't get a reply. The agent leaves the chat. Now the chat is no longer associated with an agent. Your contact flow determines what happens next.

In this scenario, the customer eventually sends another message ("Hey, I'm back") and the chat resumes. Depending on the logic that you define in the contact flow, the chat can be assigned to the original agent, or a different agent or queue.

Here's how you build this scenario:

  1. Create a disconnect flow. The following image shows the Sample disconnect flow.

  2. In the disconnect flow, add a Wait block. The Wait block has two branches:

    • Timeout: Run this branch if the customer hasn't sent a message after a specified amount of time. The total duration of the chat, including multiple Wait blocks, cannot exceed 25 hours.

      For example, for this branch you might just want to run a Disconnect block and end the chat.

    • Customer return: Run this branch when the customer returns and sends a message. With this branch, you can route the customer to the previous agent, previous queue, or set a new working queue or agent.

  3. In your inbound contact flow, add the Set Disconnect Flow block. Use it to specify that when the agent or Amazon Lex bot has disconnected from the chat and only the customer remains, the set disconnect flow should run.

    In the following block, for example, we specified that the Sample disconnect flow should run.

    For an example that uses the Set disconnect flow block, see the Sample inbound flow.

When do chats end?

The total duration for a chat conversation, including the time spent waiting when the customer isn't active, can't exceed 25 hours. After that the chat conversation ends.

During the 25 hours, there's no limit to the number of times a customer can stop and resume chat.

To specify wait time a shorter than 25 hours, use the Wait block. For example, you might wait 12 hours for the customer to resume the chat. If the customer tries to resume the chat after 12 hours, in the flow you can have an Amazon Lex bot ask if they're contacting you about the same issue or a different one.

By specifying a shorter wait time, you help ensure that customers have a good experience. Otherwise, it's possible for the customer to resume a chat after 24 hours and 58 minutes, and then be cut off after two minutes because the conversation ends automatically at the 25-hour limit.

Tip

If you're using Amazon Lex with chat, note that the default session timeout for an Amazon Lex session is 5 minutes. The total duration for a session can't exceed 24 hours. To change the session timeout, see Setting the Session Timeout in the Amazon Lex Developer Guide.

More information

For more information about chat, see the following topics: