Customer service best practices have shifted dramatically in the past several years amid a younger and more diverse marketplace that is driven by new technology. While some organizations have fallen behind in terms of customer service training and relationship management, others have leveraged new channels and capabilities to bolster financial performances.
Amazon made headlines this fall when it announced the introduction of a "Mayday Button" on its newest generation of Kindle mobile devices. Some experts are arguing that this might be the most progressive customer service utility of all time, and that the button will likely change the game in virtually every market because of how desirable it is among consumers.
What is the Mayday Button?
Put simply, Amazon's Mayday Button is a live video-streaming component of the tablet that connects the user to a customer service representative from the company. The button can be pressed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will help customers get the information they need as seamlessly as possible, especially as users will be able to talk face-to-face with agents in a virtual environment.
Studies indicate that consumers who rank a customer service experience as poor most often have issues with representatives' lack of knowledge and basic communication skills. Amazon has stepped up its game to avoid underserved and disengaged customers with this Mayday Button, which comes with the guarantee of always-available support.
What are the market implications?
Individuals who are interested in the potential impacts of the Mayday Button on customer service should look toward other pioneers such as Best Buy and Apple. Best Buy's "Geek Squad" was found to strengthen customer service performance and thus drove consumer interest in the brand. Likewise, Apple's "Genius Bar" has been mentioned in countless conversations related to the company's consistent financial performance.
Laptop Magazine has already awarded Amazon its Game Changer Award for 2013 because of the Mayday Button, and many believe the feature will force other companies to begin stepping up their game in this arena.
Should B2B consider similar efforts?
Many of the latest and greatest innovations in the customer service market seem to relate most closely to consumer-targeted companies. However, business-to-business firms need to consider advancing their customer service training and management strategies to remain competitive in future marketplaces.
Many B2B companies have started to leverage new customer service training and technology to maximize loyalty and retention.