Amazon Brings Live, Video Support to the Fire Phone: Why Brands Need to Double-Down on Rich, High-Touch Engagement

Posted by
Robert LoCascio
Founder and CEO
Friday, June 27, 2014 - 16:46

You may have read headlines last year when Amazon decided to bring an unprecedented service to its Kindle device. “Mayday,” the 24/7, on-demand help button, connects customers to a “live person” through video chat. Last week, the eCommerce giant announced that it is now offering the same service on its new Fire Phone.

While offering one-touch, high-touch, 24/7 video support seems like a lofty and resource-intensive move, we think that Amazon is onto something big. They are looking beyond product features and price points to get ahead in the competitive market of consumer electronics.

What Makes Amazon’s Fire So Hot?

Firstly: product differentiation. In an age when tech products are innovating and re-versioning all the time, Amazon found a way to stand apart from a sea of competitors (i.e. Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S5, Blackberry’s Q10, Google’s Nexus 5, and so on). In fact, the Fire is garnering a lot of buzz in the blogosphere for this innovative, on-demand customer service feature alone.  

Secondly: Amazon has found a way to encourage adoption of a new device. And, in an era when there are constant technological updates, consumers are often hesitant to change their behavior and learn a new device or interface when it might be out-of-date in 30 days. But, by offering live video support, Amazon is teaching Fire, and empowering users to become adept at using the new smart phone with personalized step-by-step guidance from a live person. 

It’s a win-win for both consumers and sales. Encouraging digital adoption leads to savvier, power users—and more usage means more money for Amazon.

Thirdly: Amazon is leading with mobile. While its website is still largely self-service and “no touch,” the brand’s mobile strategy takes on the opposite approach, and rightly so. If you haven’t yet, accept that today’s consumer is shopping and socializing predominantly on mobile. Mobile is the future of all communications, and will be the eventual cornerstone of all consumer engagement.  So, my final point, a solid mobile strategy is critical for any business’ long-term success.

Fire Up Your Mobile Strategy: 3 Tips To Integrate Real Time, High-Touch Support

Below are 3 tips to advance your mobile strategy and engage consumers with more meaningful messages.

  1. Offer real time, one-to-one support. Mobile shoppers have higher intent to purchase, yet the highest rates of abandonment. Chat is an easy way to provide quick, personalized support, not to mention that mobile users increasingly prefer text to voice. Plus, the added value of digital interactions is that of data and location—chat agents can provide highly tailored and relevant information to people on the go.
  1. Be mobile-specific . Consider how mobile plays into your customer’s entire journey, and map out specific pain points that your mobile customers experience so you can build a very specific engagement strategy. My colleague, Grant Miller, wrote a post on maximizing use of mobile in the context of  the entire omni-channel experience. He notes, “A seamless omni-channel customer journey will integrate the use of online, in-store and mobile shopping− serving unique needs and interests on all channels.”
  1. Let the consumer shape your mobile strategy. Before diving in, tap into the voice of the customer. Take inventory of customer complaints (and praise) to know what they expect when they visit your site on mobile. A few ways to listen in: simply read mobile chat conversations, create exclusive, private lists in Twitter and monitor on a daily basis, join LinkedIn or Facebook groups relevant to your audience and follow along. With insight into customer conversations, you can eliminate any guesswork  and build a mobile journey that delights customers.

Brands that aren’t thinking “mobile” don’t have any time to lose. In less than 5 years, messaging services apps have accumulated more 1 billion users (Meeker report). It took 18 years for the Internet to reach 2.7 billion.  Brands need not only have a mobile touchpoint, they need to start investigating how to differentiate themselves, like Amazon, with higher touch digital engagements. Mobile is the future of commerce and connection, and like Rob emphasized, the future really is now.

Which brands are doing a good job of offering rich, live customer support and engagements?

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