We have featured advances in unified communications and collaboration geared to the contact center market a number of times on this site, but I haven't seen anything very interesting at the consumer end -- until now, from Amazon.
When it announced the new version of the Kindle, the Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) made sure everyone knew it was a full-featured tablet available in 7-inch or 8.9-inch versions, not just an e-reader. But what caught the attention of much of the punditry on the Web was one new feature, the so-called Mayday button.
As described in the piles of information about the new Kindle tablets on Amazon's purchase page, the Mayday button is a one-click customer service button that will put you into live video contact with a service person, any time, 24 hours a day. The service person can help walk you through whatever issues you have with the device. Amazon claims the goal for a response time is 15 seconds or less. The service is free.
CNet had some good snark about how Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) makes you go to a "genius bar" in a store to get this kind of service. But it also compares the quality of the service that another CNet writer saw in a demo to the level of quality from the Apple geniuses. That is pretty high praise. Say what you will about Apple's marketing strategy, its support has always been at the top of the game.
Neal Shact of Communitech Services, writing on NoJitter, is ebullient about the Mayday button and what it means for Amazon. He asks if this is as important as the "shot heard round the world" at the start of Revolutionary War. That seems a bit of a stretch, but Shact raises some good points about the deep integration of customer data and service that has to exist at the core of the Mayday button. As he puts it:
There is no reason that CRM and ERP data should be housed and accessed with two different processes. Some companies combine the two and refer to it as their Master Data. Nor should it be difficult to access this master data with communications technologies, whether it is video and audio like Amazon, or some other type of communications mediums.