Enable skill calling through Alexa-enabled devices with this new feature in the Amazon Chime SDK

Staff Writer Apr 12, 2023
Alexa Skills

Today there are over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices with customers in the world — and that number is rapidly growing. The article below covers new features in the Amazon Chime SDK, which enable businesses to connect with their customers and prospects in simple, natural and intuitive ways. 

Today, Amazon announced the launch of Alexa Chime Skill Calling, which now enables customers to call businesses directly from within Alexa Skills. Customers can enable calling for individual skills, without the need to separately enable Alexa calling in their Alexa app. Calls are made through simple voice commands eliminating the need to remember phone numbers. 

With Alexa Chime Skill Calling, Alexa customers can benefit from a shorter call duration because agents can see existing customer profile information, in addition to previous customer contact information. Customers benefit from wide band audio quality with optional background noise reduction provided by Amazon Chime SDK Voice Focus

For businesses, the skill calling capability provides an opportunity to develop innovative Alexa support features utilizing over 100+ million Alexa devices to enable hands-free calling. This includes use cases while watching TV, using IoT devices, and more. Additionally, because calls are placed using the Amazon Chime SDK the support experience can be easily integrated with existing customer engagement infrastructure creating a consistent experience for users whether they are calling from an Alexa device, or reaching the company on other channels such as a website or mobile application. 

Alexa Chime Skill Calling is a powerful new feature that allows customers to use simple voice commands from their own Alexa Skill to reach business users without having to repeat their personal information. For example, financial services customers cansimply say ‘Alexa, ask Bank to call my advisor.‘ 

Salesforce, a strategic AWS partner, has an extensive customer base that can take advantage of the new feature to solve their customers’ unique needs. 

“Salesforce enables organizations to deliver highly personalized, real-time customer experiences at scale. This requires connecting with customers through their preferred communication channels, including the most powerful channel of all, the human voice,” says Ryan Nichols the SVP & GM of Contact Center for Salesforce Service Cloud. “Alexa calling turns voice into a truly digital channel, enabling seamless omnichannel experiences when combined with Salesforce’s Customer 360. This enables a great customer experience at a lower cost to serve.”

To get started, trusted skill developers can follow the following steps:

  1. Open the Amazon Chime SDK console and create a new SIP Media Application, then turn on the option for Alexa Calling under Alexa Skill Configuration. This will enable Alexa Calling in the Alexa Developer Console. 
  2. Enable calling from an existing skill by opening the Amazon Chime SDK administration console, purchasing a new phone numbers(s), and associating it with a SIP rule, and SIP Media Application (SMA). 
  3. Follow steps provided to embed auto-generated code associated with the SMA in the Alexa skill. Steps include adding one or more calling intents, adding slots, and adding custom code for calling. 
  4. In the skill, developers can also add an identifier in the SIP header that can be used in SMA for inbound calls to look up context. 
  5. Once the skill is published, end users use the new calling intents to create the inbound calls to the destination phone number provided. 

Routing calls directly through Amazon Connect will be possible in the future. The diagram below illustrates how businesses can make their Alexa Skills work even harder for them with Alexa skill calling.

The diagram below shows the typical flow for a call. The call is initiated by the user. After the custom skill built by the skill builder is invoked, it is then is routed to Amazon Chime SDK PSTN Audio where the skill developer manages the routing of the call into their existing support flows.

To learn more about the Amazon Chime SDK integration with Alexa Communications please see our:

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