Amazon reminds everyone the potential of mobile thinking


Amazon has historically been clever about IT, thinking ahead. While almost everyone else annoyed shoppers with truly irrelevant and annoying related products, Amazon made sure that most of its recommendation were truly helpful. Imagine getting customers to view ads as being valued.

Amazon’s efforts with Kindle and its Mayday button have shown that it’s doing the same magic for customer service.

When Amazon shipped its Kindle Fire HDX devices, it included a Mayday button that promised fast tech support. In other words, you hit the button and a tech support person pops on the screen within seconds, offering to help and with the instant ability to view your screen. On Dec. 26, Amazon announced that its average response time on Dec. 25 was nine seconds. (I’ll avoid commenting on how the Bob Cratchets answered those calls, having been unable to convince their Amazon Scrooge bosses to give them the day off on Christmas.)

Let that number sink in. Nine seconds after hitting the button, a customer service rep was live and helping. (I’ve actually found Amazon’s customer service to be excellent. Hopefully, their Kindle people are as good.) That was an average, if Amazon is to be believed, meaning that many of those calls were answered in fewer than nine seconds.

Even that “control or see my screen” instant action is impressive. When I deal with Dell’s tech support, it can take a good 5 minutes before they can actually see the screen.

“We set a goal for ourselves to have a response time of 15 seconds or less when a customer tapped the Mayday button—we’re proud to say that on Christmas Day we met this goal, with an average response time of just 9 seconds,�? said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We’re excited that millions of customers opened a Kindle Fire tablet this holiday season, and we’re glad so many customers tried out the Mayday button.�?

Amazon also shared some examples of what those support people saw and heard. This was my favorite: “A young girl got a Kindle Fire HDX for Christmas. She was playing around with it and accidentally tapped the Mayday button—when she saw the Tech Advisor, she just screamed “MOOOOOOMMM!,�? not having expected a person to pop up on the screen. Her parents could be heard laughing in the background.”

Wait a second. Does this mean that Amazon’s people can peek in folk by having the button controlled remotely? Oh, I forgot. Privacy invasion is a trademark of Google and Amazon has a contract to not compete there.

For mobile IT execs, this should open your mind to the possible. How many complaints do you get regarding tech support? Amazon is using a mobile device to show the industry what is possible. Do you think this has any potential outside of the Kindle?

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