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Amazon Lex Tutorial: Using Amazon Lex and Polly to Create a Chatbot

Do you want to improve the user experiences in your contact center? Based on how we understand the user today, we know that customers prefer self-service. They want to get their information through a knowledgebase, wiki page, forum posts, or other web applications. Millennials have grown up accustomed to emails and chat communications via Facebook messenger and DMs on mobile devices, rather than telephone calls. Most millennial customers are going to contact customer service directly as a last resort. All of this means that your user experiences can be improved vastly through the use of an Amazon Lex chatbot.

What Are the Advantages of Amazon Lex Chatbot?

Amazon Connect with Lex allows contact centers to design chatbots that have the ability to parse organic speech with machine learning language models. Instead of users having to search for "shipping times + Canada," fos example, the user can instead ask the Amazon Lex chatbot "How long does it take to ship a package to Canada?" The chatbot will identify intent with natural language understanding and "know" that the user is asking for "shipping + Canada." Amazon Lex will then attempt to answer the question just as a human agent would.

A Lex bots is a cost-effective alternative to hiring more customer service representatives. They require virtually no cost to run. If they aren't used, they aren't a sunk cost in the way an employee would be. When they are used, they can deal with many customers at once.

Traditionally, chatbots have just been text-based. But today, a customer service chatbot can listen to, understand, and provide answers vocally. This offers a completely new dimension to customer support.

This is tremendously advantageous, because depending on the bot design, Amazon Connect with Lex can answer rudimentary questions without the need for a paid customer service representative. If the chatbot cannot answer questions, it can still politely escalate to a real person. Building conversational interfaces within Amazon Connect is very scalable. Not only do they provide a great customer experience based on business logic, but they can deal with 1,000 customers just as easily as 100 customers.

Amazon Lex Tutorial: Using Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly to Create a Bot

Four key Amazon Connect technologies can be used by your organization to build, test, and deploy a reliable, stable, and intelligent chatbot:

1. Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is Amazon's self-service contact center product, which provides an all-in-one contact center for any organization. Small businesses and large enterprises can both utilize Amazon Connect, as the cost and services provided scale to the size of the customer.

2. Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is able to turn text, like conversation transcripts, into extremely human-like speech patterns. This is designed to provide for a better user experience for customer-based applications using voice. Apps won't just need to type out answers, they can actually talk directly to the customer. This is convenient for the customer as well, as they can talk to Amazon Polly while they are doing other things.

3. Amazon Connect with Lex

Amazon Lex is the technology that powers conversation through both voice and text, taking in the input and "understanding" it through its complex algorithms. Amazon Lex includes something called natural language understanding, which uses deep learning to be able to identify what the customer is asking based on the language that they are using. This is actually very challenging, as people tend to use phrases such as, "What should I do about that?" where "that" refers to a previously brought up subject. An Amazon Lex chatbot can learn and grow over time, becoming "smarter" with machine learning.

4. Amazon Web Services

AWS provides data processing, bandwidth, and storage for business solutions. It is one of the largest services that Amazon offers today. Amazon Web Services provides the server capabilities necessary for an advanced chatbot system with Amazon Lex automated chatbot designers, conversational interfaces, and Lambda function. As noted, things things like Amazon Connect with Lex can very complicated and require an immense amount of processing due to their advanced algorithms.

Next Steps with Amazon Lex Chatbot

80% of businesses plan to start using a chatbot in the next few years, with 36% already implementing them. Amazon has provided all of the tools your organization needs to create a superb chatbot for contact center customer support. Through Amazon's technologies, you can access best-in-class natural language understanding and the data and bandwidth capabilities needed to utilize it.

Visit the VoiceFoundry How-to AWS Tutorials resource page for more in-depth Amazon Lex Tutorials.