Amazon customer support sets high bar for competitors

TechSupport.jpgLong gone are the days of speaking with an actual human when the Internet service is down or the latest technology gets a glitch.

In most cases, a mere phone call to a company’s tech support results in countless automated menu options offered by a recorded voice.

It seems as though technology companies want more than just an arm’s length from their patrons. However, Amazon’s new Kindle Fire just might make that customer connection again.

Among the three latest tablets by Amazon, the new Kindle Fire HDX will reintroduce that connection with the feature Mayday.

Essentially, this new software puts 24/7 tech support in the palm of tablet owners’ hands.

A button within the settings menu connects the user directly with a customer service representative in a small video box, which can be toggled around the screen. This is similar to Apple’s FaceTime, but for customer support.

The representative can then answer any questions as well as draw arrows or circles on the screen to guide people on how to resolve their issues.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained in its reveal that this feature aims to ease the transition into the sometimes overwhelming aspects of this device.

With this feature, Amazon has broken through the digital iron curtain separating user and tech support.

It’s important to note that while the tablet owner can see the representative, he or she cannot see the user in return, alleviating any unfortunate and embarrassing situation mimicking Chatroulette, a website setting up random people for video chat.

This addition could be the solution to many tech companies’ problems with customer support, and more technology companies should adopt face-to-digital-face customer support.

What’s handier than having a trained professional guide right on the screen to talk a newbie through their new Kindle or a technical glitch?

However, it does raise some concerns.

If Amazon can see what the user is doing on the screen, the company could also have monitoring capabilities.

In this case, a tablet owner should have the ability to opt in or out of the service for privacy reasons or general lack of interest.

If users download a different operating system, Amazon should not refuse tech support service and should remain trustworthy to the user.

If Amazon wants to truly make this customer friendly, then it should assist the user to the best of its ability regardless of any software modifications the user has made.

This new feature certainly beats the monotonous phone call a customer must endure for any sort of help, going through a list of options for 30 minutes only to find out the problem he or she has is not supported in that area.

A live human helping a confused user is almost unheard of with tech companies, and for Amazon, it puts a face back on the company and adds a sense of friendliness.

Although users look for immediacy in this digital age, it’s a thoughtful gesture on Amazon to have its tech support take time to help a customer.

While it’s not exactly bringing back face-to-face communication, Amazon knows how to bridge that gap. More companies should follow its lead.