Live video chat demonstrates cross-channel customer service

Omnichannel Commerce

Live video chat may become the standard for providing customer service across multiple channels. The success of Amazon’s Mayday button proves that customers respond well to having the option of live video chat with customer service representatives.

Traditionally, customer service – in the context of the retail sector – takes place at a booth in the front of a brick-and-mortar store. People go to these booths to ask questions, exchange and return items, file complaints or inquire about purchases or orders.

However, just as people have begun shopping across a broad array of different retail channels, ranging from traditional physical locations to online stores, customer service is evolving in a similar manner. People want to be able to conduct traditional transactions in the most convenient way possible, whether by going into a nearby store, submitting a ticket via email, calling a service center, engaging in live video chat or any other means.

Mayday, mayday!

Amazon’s unique Mayday button, featured on the company’s tablet devices such as the Amazon Fire HDX, is just another example of how customer service has changed. When HDX users need help, they can easily press the Mayday button and receive help from an Amazon support agent within seconds. The interaction takes place through onscreen live video chat and is available for free 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“Seventy-five percent of customer contacts for Fire HDX now come via the Mayday button.

Internet Retailer recently reported that the Mayday button has been a hit with customers, becoming the most popular way for HDX customers to reach service agents. This is likely due to how incredibly effective the system is, with customers waiting an average of only 9.75 seconds for a service representative to respond.

“When we set out to invent the Mayday button, we wanted to revolutionize tech support—and we’re happy to report it’s working,” Scott Brown, director of Amazon customer service, told Internet Retailer. “Seventy-five 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.”

Enabling omnichannel customer service

The Mayday button on Amazon’s tablet is a pertinent example of how customer service is changing to fit the needs of modern consumers. People are busy and when they have customer service needs, they want to take care of them in the most convenient way. Retailers need to learn from Amazon and be flexible enough to offer that degree of service across whichever communication channels their shoppers desire.

To that end, it’s crucial that merchants also have the right eCommerce solutions in place that allow them to respond to customer service inquiries, regardless of where the original purchase took place. Agents should be able to look up orders and purchase history based on a broad number of inputs, ranging from customer name to credit card number to email address. If merchants keep accurate customer databases with up-to-date profiles and have the right solutions deployed, they should be able to consolidate information across multiple channels that allows them to answer service inquiries quickly and efficiently.

Retailers are making great strides to offer customers multiple shopping avenues, whether it be mobile devices, online stores, brick-and-mortar shops or anywhere else. However, it’s crucial merchants keep in mind that purchasing is only one part of the shopping equation – returns and exchanges and customer service are equally important parts. Retailers will need to ensure they can offer customer service across multiple channels as well if they want to offer a truly great shopping experience.

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