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Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX "Mayday Button" Ups the Ante for Wireless Device Customer Service

October 03, 2013

There is a great deal of talk in contact center and customer support spheres about multichannel (or “omnichannel”) customer service being the future. Companies are looking for ways to differentiate from their competitors, and the conventional wisdom is that the place to do it is in the quality of customer support they offer. A few calls to the average customer support center, however, gives the impression that “talk” is all it is. Many, if not most, contact centers are still slow, inefficient, highly siloed places where customers must continually recite their account numbers and other information to each point of contact they interact with. While these centers purport to be multichannel, most customers still find that the old-fashioned telephone call is still the fastest way to get service.


In the high-tech marketplace, the stakes to provide top-notch and innovative customer service are even higher. The world is in love with smartphones and tablet computers, and those marketplaces are flush with new offerings, old favorites and bargain-basement priced devices. Customers must weigh operating systems, apps, functionality, product quality, graphics and many other factors…and that’s all before they begin to evaluate the likely quality of customer support they will receive.

Amazon, with its new Kindle Fire HDX, has seriously raised the stakes in the tablet computer market when it comes to customer support. The newest Fire, which is a fully functional tablet and not simply a glorified e-reader, features a truly killer marketing point: the Mayday button.

The Mayday button is a one-click customer service button that will connect the user to an Amazon customer support employee via videoconference at any time of the day, 24 hours a day. The goal is to help Kindle Fire HDX users solve technical problems with the help of a friendly face and voice, and Amazon says its goal is to connect users in 15 seconds or less. Apple iPad users still need to get in the car and drive to a “Genius Bar.”

Neal Shact, founder and CEO of CommuniTech Services, recently blogged for the Web site No Jitter and declared the Kindle Fire’s Mayday button to be “the shot heard round the world” when it comes to customer support.  He notes that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos calls it a matter of “deep integration through the entire stack.”

“When Bezos says deep integration through the entire stack, he is referring to an enterprise commitment to leverage everything they know about their customers to ensure a great customer experience and long-term profitability,” writes Shact. “This combines all types of customer data both experiential (CRM) and transactional (ERP), and delivers it to an Amazon employee instantly so that the customer, who only needs to press a button for help, has access to all of that information at their fingertips.”

While the integration of customer data in the contact center shouldn’t be a revolutionary concept – the trade press has been talking about it since the origins of computer-telephone integration (CTI) in the 1990s – real-world experiences tell us that it still has the ability to put a company in an advantageous customer service position. Combining CRM and ERP data simply makes good sense if the goal is to provide top-notch customer service.

So while “revolutionary” may be over-the-top in describing Amazon and its Mayday feature, it’s still pretty clear that the concept puts Amazon firmly at the top of the heap in the wireless device customer service marketplace.




Edited by Blaise McNamee

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