In the Fall of 2013, Amazon launched a groundbreaking customer service feature available on their HD products. “Mayday” enables users to visually connect with a remote customer service agent with a single click. A small video feed pops up and allows for a natural, personalized interaction. Furthermore, the user’s device screen is visible to the support agent, allowing them to see the problem at hand, annotate the screen and explain procedures in the interface. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts it as being “very similar to having someone stand next to you” and with the goal of “revolutionizing tech support”, director of Customer Service, Scott Brown, says “we’re happy to report it’s working!” The service is available all year round, 24 hours a day and manages an impressive average response time of 9.75 seconds.
At the moment only available on the Amazon Fire phone and Kindle Fire HDX, Mayday has set a new standard for customer service and tech support by seamlessly incorporating the human element into our digital experience. It is not surprising that video is the direction customer service and tech support is heading and that Amazon is the first to implement it on its tablet devices. Apple, a dominant figure in the tablet market since the inception of the iPad in 2010, has seen huge success in the implementation of its “Genius Bar” at its retail locations. In 2012, Apple retail stores saw 300 million visitors and up to 50,000 Genius Bar appointments a day. According to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Tech Services Study in 2012, nearly 60% of Apple product owners said they were more likely to make another Apple purchase following their tech support experience. Nearly 90% of customers who made use of Apple’s Genius Bar reported that they were extremely or very satisfied.
Unfortunately, Amazon does not provide the brick-and-mortar retail stores to which they can send their customers. So with the introduction of Mayday, Amazon has sought to compete with Apple’s stellar tech support by bringing it to the comfort of your own home. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said that “people tend to associate any type of tech support as a negative experience, but Apple has demonstrated that those ‘negatives’ can be turned into positive brand experiences and result in a trip back to the store.” Not only is high quality tech support a great feature for the customer, if done properly it can also be a brand-building element for the manufacturer.
Live video-chat is the natural successor to the outdated tech support services currently available on many platforms, such as live chat. We have previously written on why Live Chat is simply not enough for sales (https://blog.glia.com/10-reasons-live-chat-is-not-enough-for-sales/), but it is also not enough for tech support either. Consumers want to be able to have a human interaction, whether in person or through video feed, to both explain the issue at hand and to learn more about their product, as shown by the success of the Genius Bar. The ‘revolutionary’ in Amazon’s Mayday is the ability to remotely share your screen with a support agent, enabling them to annotate and guide you through the device. The support team can immediately detect the issue and educate you on how to use new features on your Kindle HDX or Fire phone, all whilst you sit on the couch. No more appointments at the Genius Bar needed and most importantly, no longer will you have to sit with your mother explaining how to download an audiobook.