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Just How Fast Does Amazon's Mayday Button Get Help?
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Just How Fast Does Amazon's Mayday Button Get Help?

June 18, 2014
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

Most everyone has run into trouble at some point or another with a new piece of hardware. Maybe that new Windows 8 PC is making some trouble. Maybe that exciting new smartwatch isn't quite syncing up with the smartphone. Or maybe that new Kindle Fire won't open a favorite e-book. Amazon, seeming to understand that not all tech issues can be solved by a combination of the manual and blind experimentation—not to mention frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages online—so Amazon brought in the Mayday button to quickly summon help for users. A new study discovered just how much time it takes to actually supply that help, and the answer is oddly less than some would think.

Amazon claims that, on average, it takes just 9.75 seconds from the time the customer pushes the Mayday button to when customer service gets on the device with the customer. The service is available essentially nonstop—much was made of the average contact time that Amazon managed to pull off with the Mayday button on Christmas Day—so pretty much any time there's an issue or just a question in general, answers can be had quickly. Reports suggest that the team has proven extremely obliging as well in terms of what “answers” are provided; one story noted how an Amazon rep helped a customer through a level of “Angry Birds.” Another pointed out how a young man called in and asked the Amazon rep to sing “Happy Birthday” to his girlfriend, after giving said girlfriend a Kindle Fire HDX for Christmas.

Amazon Customer Service director Scott Brown elaborated on the importance of the Mayday button, saying “75 percent of customer contacts for Fire HDX now come via the Mayday button. Even as the Mayday button has grown to become the most popular way for customers to ask questions, the team's been able to beat the response time goal of 15 seconds or less-our average is just 9.75 seconds.” Public response has been downright ebullient, with positive comments flooding the exchanges in support of Amazon's new service.

It's been a great move, marketing wise, for Amazon in general; the company has a way to offer customer service help in a rapid fashion and without the customer having to go through automated menus or anything else. It does help, somewhat, that the contact mechanism is built right into the device itself, but it's likely to still produce some issues with people making erroneous or otherwise frivolous requests. Still, the good news for something like this is that Amazon is able to make a lot of friends in its customer base; when customers can get issues solved, and solved quickly, said customers are likely to return to whoever provided that kind of customer service. While there will almost certainly be some waste involved, the end result is a good one for pretty much all involved. Some firms are actually already looking to offer comparable service thanks to things like OnSIP's InstaCall system.

The end result here is a win-win for Amazon and its customers, and it's really a wonder no one else has tried this kind of service yet. It may only be a matter of time thanks to new communications tools, but until then, Amazon's got the whip hand on this one.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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