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Click4Assistance UK Software Provider asksThe New Kindle's 'Mayday' Button: Will It Live Up To The Hype?
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25 November 2013

Gemma Baker


Click4Assistance UK Software Provider asksThe New Kindle's 'Mayday' Button: Will It Live Up To The Hype?

Amazon's new Kindle Fire looks set to take the customer service industry up a notch. The online retailer has announced the ability for users to have a direct video consultation with customer service executives, who’ll appear on the screen of the device itself.

Can this possibly live up to the hype? 

The feature, which has been dubbed 'Mayday', has already been shown in adverts, working flawlessly (of course). It's also been advertised as a 24/7 service. If it works properly, it’s set to change the customer service landscape forever and set a high precedent for other businesses - however, there are a number of key questions people might have:

Does this mean they can see me?

The very fact that Skype hasn't become the be all and end all of customer communications is firm indication that people aren’t as keen on the idea of video chatting as many thought they would be. Fortunately, Amazon seem to have pre-empted this issue, and have announced that no, the customer service executive will not be able to see the customer, they will only be able to see the customer’s screen. So if you've got a raging hangover, a black eye and all you want is sit in your pants and watch a funny film, you don’t have to run upstairs to get a shirt and comb your hair for the sake of a two-minute conversation with an Amazon representative.

Will it work properly?

Presumably, the connection to Mayday will be made through the web. Therefore, doesn't it rely just as heavily on the internet connection of the customer as that of Amazon themselves? Anyone who struggles with their internet signal (whether due to the area they live in or simply just a poor service) might struggle to get any sense out of the video stream. Downloading an e-book doesn't require an absolutely beasty connection, but streaming video certainly will. CEO Jeff Bezos told reporters that the service would take advantage of the retailer's existing cloud computing infrastructure, but it will be interesting to see if that's enough to handle the conversation in areas without the latest WIFI technology.

Is it really all that revolutionary in the first place? 

As with many hyped up announcements, the release of the Mayday service has been treated as awe-inspiring, but is it really as revolutionary as it seems? Or is it a case of the emperor's new clothes? Live chat software is also becoming more and more common around the UK and the US, with many larger companies now offering the potential for customers to communicate with brands without using the phone. And interestingly, recent research has showed that incorporating video technology into live chat software is well received by the customer.

Is it a reason to actually buy a Kindle Fire? 

Unlike the traditional Kindle, the Fire is competing in a market with Apple's all conquering iPad. The original white tablet still regularly pulls in the lion's share of the market - taking 48% of US sales in the last quarter, with the Kindle itself taking just 17%. Is this feature really going to help increase sales, or would the only retailer have been better investing their money in some exclusive content, or on a genuinely new technology feature? It's worth noting of course that although this offers a new customer service feature, most people who are tech-headed enough will probably be confident enough to not even need such assistance in the first place.

The verdict: 

The proof of the pudding, as ever, will be in the eating. However, Amazon still has some way to go in demonstrating that its MayDay feature isn't just a gimmick.

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Gemma is a Marketing Executive for UK web chat Provider Click4Assistance, with a range of knowledge in live chat software and customer engagement channels, customer service methods and improving online business.


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