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November 08, 2018
Innovative customer service to drive business growth: Mutual of Omaha and Amazon Connect
By: Shantanu Joshi

With a long history of primarily servicing customers through agents, in 2017, Mutual of Omaha began a journey to realize a new contact center vision—including robust customer self-service options, mobility and a unified experience—to retain and upsell existing customers and attract new ones.

The critical driver of these modernization efforts was a desire to provide an improved customer experience. As younger, digital-native customers become an increasing percentage of the overall customer base, they may wonder why they’re still having to do things like read their credit card number over the phone to an agent and write down a confirmation number.

With capabilities like automated systems and other innovative technologies, Mutual wanted customers to end an interaction feeling like, “Wow, that was easy!”

Following an initial capability gap analysis, Mutual decided on a Contact Center as a Service model. This provided flexibility to quickly add or remove services and features based on business needs and changing call volumes. After performing an extensive evaluation of its cloud alternatives, Mutual ultimately selected Amazon Connect as its provider.

Mutual emphasized an improved customer experience as the critical driver for this modernization program and partnered with Accenture to deliver on that vision. Using Amazon services such as Lex, Polly, Lambda, and Kibana. Mutual has been able to improve customer engagement, develop self-service tools with leading-edge speech recognition, and gather powerful real-time and historical reporting metrics to continuously drive positive change.

An #insurance leader sought a higher level of #CX through the #cloud. Read how we worked with #AWScloud to make it happen: #reInvent

 
 

During initial implementation, Mutual discovered the benefits of the speed and flexibility of Amazon Web Services (AWS). On one of its highest call-volume days of the year the company experienced issues delivering calls from its carrier, thereby halting all incoming long-distance calls for an entire workday.

Knowing that the Amazon Connect proof of concept had started that day, executive leadership asked if it was possible to create basic contact center functionality in Amazon Connect in case the company was unable to resolve the issue by the next business day.

Accenture and Mutual of Omaha started standing up an AWS environment while business leadership drew out five different call flows. Within 6 hours the team had created the environment, in addition to developing and testing the call flows. They also created a spreadsheet to import contact center agents into Connect (if needed) to execute this plan. Amazon was on retainer to increase capacity at a moment’s notice if needed.

Although it never became necessary to execute this emergency plan, leadership was impressed that AWS would have been able to meet critical business needs in an extremely short timeframe.

One of the key lessons of this project is that the actual Connect implementation wasn’t the hard part. Far more challenging is addressing issues around security and compliance, updating legacy components, handling business requirements and timelines, and managing outages for migrations. These challenges mean that companies must address people and process during and after the implementation and not just the technology.

By Fall of 2018, Mutual plans to have approximately 1,000 call center agents working through Amazon Connect. In doing so, there is a forecasted savings in total cost of ownership with Amazon Connect compared to the prior legacy solution.

By implementing an innovative new call center approach on Amazon Connect, Mutual of Omaha has released untapped value in customer service to help grow business. The company has positioned AWS at the cornerstone of its target architecture for digital transformation.

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