Troubleshooting Tools and Information - Amazon Connect

Troubleshooting Tools and Information

The following tools and information can be helpful with troubleshooting issues with Amazon Connect.

  • Instance ARN—Provide your instance ARN (Amazon Resource Name) when you contact AWS support so that they can see the activity in your Amazon Connect instance. You can find the ARN for your instance on the Overview page that you access by choosing the alias of the instance from the Amazon Connect console.

  • Call recordings—are very useful, not only to illustrate and determine reported behavior, but also to rule out audio issues from the agent's side. Recordings in Amazon Connect are done at the instance side of the interaction, before the audio traverses the agent connection. This allows you to determine if the audio issue was isolated to the agent's side of the interaction or if it existed in the audio received by the agent. You can find call recordings associated with a contact in the Contact Search report.

  • Contact IDs from the contact record —Provide when you contact AWS support.

  • Agent desktop performance/process logs—can help rule out local resource/network contention.

  • Contact Control Panel (CCP) logs—to track agent actions and timing. To download CCP logs, choose the settings cogwheel in the CCP, and then choose Download logs. The logs are saved to your browser's default download directory.

  • Network utilization logging/monitoring—specifically for latency and dropped packets on the same network segment as your agents.

  • Private WAN/LAN network diagram—outlining connection paths to the edge router to AWS to explain network traversal.

  • Firewall allow list access—to verify that IP/port ranges are added to the allow list (also known as whitelist) as described in Set up your network.

  • Audio capturing and analytic tools—for latency calculations from the agent's workstation.

  • AWS region latency test tools—use the Endpoint Test Utility tool.

Gathering Helpful Information using the Streams API

For tracking and troubleshooting issues at scale, collecting data surrounding overall call quality is recommended. Anytime poor call quality is experienced, agents can note the current time and corresponding disposition code by using the disposition key chart, as shown in the following chart. Alternatively, you can use the Streams API to incorporate your own report and issue feature in the custom CCP to write these dispositions with corresponding call information to a database, like Amazon DynamoDB. For more information about the Amazon Connect Streams API, see the GitHub repository at https://github.com/aws/amazon-connect-streams.

Example Agent Issue Report Disposition

The following example disposition keys are listed by symptom, scenario, and severity.

Symptom

  • S—Softphone error

  • M—Missed calls

  • L—Latency causes poor quality

  • P—Starts off OK, gets progressively worse over time

  • D—Disconnected calls

  • W—One way audio; for example, the agent can hear the customer, but the customer cannot hear the agent

  • V—Volume too quiet or too loud

  • C—Choppy/cuts in and out intermittently

Scenario

  • O—Outbound call

  • I—Inbound call

  • T—Three-way call

Severity

  • 1—Small impact, but can use the CCP effectively

  • 2—Medium impact, communication is difficult, but can still service calls

  • 3—Large impact, cannot use the CCP to take calls

Examples

  • 5:45PM agentName LT2 (latency on a three-way call with medium impact).

  • 6:05PM agentName DO3 (disconnected three-way call with large impact).

  • 6:34PM agentName MI3 (missed inbound call with large impact).

Analyzing the Data

The following guidelines can assist you in analyzing the data to identify issues in your environment.

  • Use the Contact record / Contact search report to identify the contact IDs for the contacts during which call quality issues occurred. The contact record includes a link to the associated call recording, and additional details that you can use for symptom verification and to provide to your AWS support representative.

  • Use the agent name and timestamp in the contact record to get a sense of the types of issues you're experiencing and their prevalence by agent, symptom, scenario, and severity over time. This will allow you to see if issues are happening around the same time, surround a specific event, or are isolated to specific agents or agent actions. You can also easily identify and access associated call recordings and associated contact IDs available if you need to engage support.

  • Correlate data sources, such as local network logs, CPU/disk/memory utilization and process monitor logs from the operating system on the client workstation. This lets you correlate events by agent over time to rule out local resource contention as a cause or contributor.

  • Analyze data by symptom and scenario reported per minute or per hour to create heat maps of an issue by type and severity by agent over time. Doing this is especially helpful in environmental troubleshooting as you may find clustered impacts associated with scheduled activity like backups or large file transfers.

  • If you can't find any evidence of local resource contention or derive any noteworthy correlations, you can use the contact IDs collected to open a support case. If issues experienced are intermittent in nature, they most likely relate to issues with the agent's workstation, network connectivity, or both.

Validation Testing

Voice quality issues can have many contributing sources. It's important to run controlled tests and monitor the same environment or workstation as those reporting the issue, and be able to reproduce the same use cases. Consider the following general testing recommendations for measuring and gathering data to investigate voice quality issues.

PSTN and Agent Connection Latency

For troubleshooting cross-talk issues, you need to differentiate and measure agent and raw PSTN latency contributions, as they require different remediation efforts.

  • [overall_latency] is the total latency experienced between caller and agent. This latency can be calculated as [overall_latency] = [agent_latency] + [pstn_latency].

  • [pstn_latency] is the latency between Amazon Connect endpoint and the caller. This latency can be calculated as [pstn_latency] = [overall_latency] - [agent_connection_latency]. This latency can be improved by using a different Amazon Connect Region location or avoiding external and circular transfers to geographically distant endpoint locations.

  • [agent_latency] is the latency between Amazon Connect endpoint and the agent. This latency can be calculated as [agent_latency] = [overall_latency] - [recording_latency]. This latency can be improved by using AWS Direct Connect for agents on-premises, avoiding the use of VPN connections, improving private WAN/LAN performance/durability, or using an Amazon Connect Region location closer to your agents. Depending on your use case, selecting a different Region selection may also increase [pstn_latency].

    Amazon Connect leverages CloudFront for connectivity. Not all CloudFront ranges are advertised over AWS Direct Connect. This means not all URLs generated by Amazon Connect are reachable over a Public Virtual Interface.

  • [redirect_latency] is the latency resulting in redirecting audio to an external device. This latency can be calculated by measuring [overall_latency] once with redirect and once without and take the difference between the two.

  • [forward_latency] is the latency resulting in forward calls to or from Amazon Connect. This latency can be calculated by measuring [overall_latency], once with forward and once without, and take the difference between the two.

Measuring Latency

In addition to the steps below, see Measure latency for validation testing and troubleshooting in Amazon Connect).

  • Reproduce your use case. Any deviations need to be measured and accounted for, because they skew test results.

  • Match production controls and environment as much as possible. Use the same flows, phone numbers, and endpoint locations.

  • Note the geographical locations of your callers, agents, and external transfer destinations, where applicable. If you are servicing multiple countries, each country should be tested individually to provide the same test coverage that your agents experience in production.

  • Note mobile and land line use in your tests. Mobile networks can add latency and need to be measured and considered for customer, agent, and transfer endpoints, where applicable.

  • Reproduce the business use case. If the agents use conference and transfer, be sure to test those scenarios. If circular transfers occur, which are not recommended, be sure to test those as well.

  • Reproduce the agent environment by including the workstation environment, located on the same network segment, and using equipment your agents would use.

Requirements for Testing Latency

To perform effective testing for latency, the following are required:

  • Call recording enabled to capture [agent_latency]. Without call recording, you can calculate only [overall_latency].

  • A customer phone source. For testing, confirm call quality on an actual call from a customer.

  • An agent phone, if redirecting audio to an external device. You must be able to record the input and output of this device.

  • A third-party transfer endpoint, if applicable. Testing is best when performed on actual calls or transfers from a third party.

  • An agent workstation with sound recording or analysis software.

  • Reproducible use cases. Troubleshooting can be difficult for issues that cannot be reproduced.

  • NTP or other method to sync timestamps to facilitate identifying specific contacts and when they occurred, especially when activity is occurring across multiple time zones.

Testing Inbound Calls Using a Soft Phone

This process allows you to complete a latency test scenario in about 15 seconds. Analyzing the results and marking timestamps takes approximately 1-2 minutes per recording.

  1. Go to a quiet location.

  2. Configure agent workstation to play audio from external speakers and make sure they are turned up.

  3. Use the agent workstation to log in to the CCP.

  4. Start recording using an audio capturing tool on the agent workstation.

  5. From the customer's phone source, use a speaker phone to call the incoming number for your Amazon Connect instance. This could really just be any external phone source to simulate a customer call.

  6. Answer the incoming call using the soft phone on the agent workstation.

  7. Make sure that the customer phone is not muted.

  8. On the customer side, use an object or your hand, tap loudly on the desk or table, and then immediately mute the customer phone.

  9. Wait 3 or more seconds. Repeat steps 7-8 at least 3 times.

  10. Stop recording on the agent workstation.

  11. Open the recording in your audio analysis tool. You should be able to see both the initial tapping sound that you made on the desk, and the tapping sound on the agent line on the other end. Take the three deltas and average for your [overall_latency].

  12. Optionally, to calculate [agent_latency], open the associated Amazon Connect call recording in your audio analysis tool. You should be able to see both the initial tapping sound and the sound when it arrives to the agent at the other end. Take the three deltas and average for your [recording_latency]. [agent_latency] = [overall_latency] - [recording_latency]. Repeat as needed.

Modify the test plan as necessary to fit your use case. As the steps change, the process of recording and analyzing the audio is the same. If you need to test conferences and transfers, take measurements as normal, and then take another measurement when the conference is active with the third party transfer endpoint.

Interpreting the Test Results

The impact of increasing [overall_latency] begins to be noticeable at approximately 300ms and can result in crosstalk above 500ms. The impact, and what level of latency is considered acceptable, depends on your use case. For recommended remediation efforts for decreasing latency, see the PSTN and Agent Connection Latency.