Amazon Mayday: More than just video chat!
There’s been a lot of hype over the past few weeks regarding Amazon’s unveiling of their Kindle Fire HDX and the accompanying “Mayday” customer support tool. If you watched the US baseball championship game on TV this past few weeks, you no doubt saw the commercials with this in action. At the click of a button, a Kindle Fire HDX user can request help, and within 15 seconds be connected to a live Amazon support agent through one-way video chat. Amazon promises the service will be available 24/7/365 and if the 15 second response time holds true, it will be impressive.
What’s the real issue?
Much of the media coverage focuses on the video-chat aspect of this tool but I think we need to look beyond the technology itself and focus on the real, underlying value: this technology has the potential to address needs that real customer have every day. Sure, there may be a certain group of old-school users that likes to look at the person in the eye that is helping them. But when it comes down to it, many users of technology today are plenty comfortable with a voice or live chat experience. What really makes Mayday stand out, though, is how easy it is for a customer to connect to an agent and how positive this customer experience will likely be. Having a positive experience when resolving an issue – isn’t that what we’re all trying to achieve anyway?
Many attempts, few solutions
There are many high-tech solutions these days to streamline the support process, but in many cases, they add to an already frustrating experience. For example, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is meant to get users to the right group as quickly as possible, but we’ve all had the experience where it doesn’t recognize our request or doesn’t offer up a relevant option (try taking one of these calls in the car with kids or on the way from the train to work!).
Ultimately, consumers and users want the easiest path to resolve their problem. By enhancing the customer experience on the device itself, Amazon and other original equipment manufacturers or service providers have the power to build – and maintain – customer loyalty. Having the support channel built right into the platform is a great way to approach this.
From support to sales
I think there is another huge opportunity with the Mayday support experience that Amazon has not yet presented. Once they get past phase one of their roll-out and get users comfortable on their devices, I expect to see the Mayday button serve another purpose: sales enablement. Whether a shopper needs assistance completing a transaction or is looking to find out more about a product or shipping and return options, a trained agent could just as easily give sales or billing support as technical support. This deepens Amazon’s relationship with their customers by giving hands-on engagement in the sales process that rarely exists in the e-commerce world.