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Day 3 Update: Internal Hackathon Focused on Creating COVID-19 Response Solutions

On Monday, our Customer Engagement Solutions team kicked off an internal Hackathon focused on creating COVID-19 response solutions using the Amazon Connect and Twilio Flex cloud contact center platforms.

Yesterday, we checked in on each team’s progress. The five teams are close to wrapping up their work so they can demo their solutions tomorrow and Friday.

Let’s check in to see how their solutions are coming along.

Team 1

Team 1 is working on an interactive phone menu that allows callers to check their symptoms against CDC guidelines and obtain local hospital information using Amazon Connect. Yesterday, the team added the ability to retrieve nearby hospital information based on the caller’s location.

Today, the team is working to integrate individual pieces of the solution and ensure all interfaces are working correctly. The team is upgrading the hospital search function to include the majority of hospitals in the Toronto area, as well as incorporating a geo-coding API to determine which hospital locations are closest to the caller.

Team 2

Team 2 is building a solution that offers callers waiting in queue the option to participate in an SMS conversation to more quickly handle their concerns. The team explored ways to best send and receive SMS using AWS services yesterday and currently has the service that hooks SMS to Amazon Connect Chat deployed and working.

Today, the team is setting up an Amazon Lex bot that will chat with customers while they wait in queue along with testing and addressing any bug fixes.

Team 3

Team 3 is creating a rapid remote assessment of potential COVID-19 cases, including a symptom checker, risk scoring, and immediate routing of high-risk cases to a remote medical professional, with the option of adding a telehealth voice or video call. The team built the Twilio Flex voice and SMS channels yesterday along with a simple interface doctors can use to respond to callers.

They’re now working hard to enable additional channels before their demo.

Team 4

Team 4 is working on a quick set up voice notification service for community-based organizations using the Twilio Flex platform. Organizations would use this service to check on seniors and at-risk people in the community. The team made progress yesterday addressing real-world issues for automated outbound voice like answering machine detection, connection failures, and retries.

Today, they’re working on recording the status of calls to use in notifications, allowing organizers to trigger a notification via SMS, and looking into potential additional features like a list library, recording library, an opt-out for recipients, and a means for recipients to leave return voice messages for organizers.

Team 5

Team 5 is setting up offloading systems that reduce the number of calls in queue by offering options like callbacks to ensure as many callers as possible can be helped. The team is refining their solution today after building their proof of concept for customer and agent call bridging yesterday. This includes finalizing the ability for customers to wait in various COVID-19 help queues and allowing agents to bypass a traditional login so they can be verified using a whitelisted phone number and PIN.

While the team assumes there will typically be more callers than agents, they are considering how to handle alternate scenarios: What if there are no agents online? What if there are no customers calling in? What happens when queued customers remain after agents sign out?

Coming Up

The teams will wrap up their projects tomorrow morning. Each team will demonstrate what they’ve built to the rest of the Customer Engagement Solutions team over the next couple of days.

We’re excited to share how these projects turned out in a final blog post later this week!

Our Team

Customer engagement goes beyond customer service. Our team takes pride in our personal approach to the customer journey. We typically help enterprise clients transform and modernize their contact center with platforms like Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact center service, and Twilio Flex, a programmable cloud contact center platform.

We have over 10 years of experience in delivering customer care solutions, including building, supporting, and deploying contact center solutions, and we consider it our personal responsibility to apply our expertise to helping our global community through the pandemic in any way we can.

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Alexandra Elledge

I'm a Senior Technical Writer and Trainer for Perficient's Amazon Connect Practice. Amazon Connect is a pay as you go cloud-based contact center service that’s part of the Amazon Web Services platform.

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