Will Amazon’s Fire Phone redefine tech support and e-commerce?

Julie Pearl Published on June 20, 2014

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After making waves in the e-book reader and tablet markets with their Kindle product line, Amazon has just announced the release of their first smartphone. Interestingly enough, it promises easy shopping and queue-less tech support to users, among its string of features. Open Access BPO looks at how the Fire Phone can revolutionize customer service and e-commerce.
Amazon recently unveiled its own smartphone, which signals the e-commerce giant’s entry into the mobile phone business. Called the Fire Phone, the device is the only one of its kind running on Firefly technology, an operating system designed and developed solely for the Amazon product.
The Amazon Fire Phone, as a mobile device, has modern, innovative features that make it a promising competitor to Android and Apple smartphones, but we won’t be discussing much about its tech specs here. Instead, we’ll delve into the Fire Phone’s attempt at redefining customer service and e-commerce.

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Shopping made easy

One of the unique features of the phone is the Firefly button, which quickly launches the camera to identify printed product information and contact details to eliminate the need to list down long addresses and numbers of a seller. It also gets information about the songs, movies, and TV shows you play on the device, offering convenience should you ever want their release dates, show tickets, schedules, and download links.
Perhaps, the bigger purpose of the Firefly button is to tie shoppers within Amazon and nurture the relationship between the online marketplace and its existing customers. All the product data the Firefly button gathers can be used to check if the item is available on Amazon, thus enabling the user to order it directly from their phone. Android and iPhone owners can do this too, but they have to go through hoops that Fire Phone replaces with convenience.

Instant and visual tech support

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The Fire Phone has another convenient button that solves common issues that customers complain about when dealing with a phone representative. Aptly called Mayday, the button instantly connects a user to a live tech support agent who can either give a walkthrough by making drawn instructions on the phone screen or control the phone the way remote desktop programs do. All these can simultaneously happen while the agent relays instructions from a video call window, but the user can opt out of showing himself to the tech agent.
The Mayday button also promises no waiting and pre-scheduling, as agents can be available within just 15 seconds after pressing the button.
Being put on hold and getting unclear instructions are some of the biggest irks customers hate about phone-based customer service, so the Fire Phone could be revolutionizing the way tech support is done with this built-in feature. That is, if the public embraces the smartphone and if competitors start making this feature available on their own mobile devices without needing to install a separate app.

Should call center outsourcing in the Philippines and India be threatened?

While many doubt that the Fire Phone can knock Android devices and iPhones off the mobile technology throne (mainly because of its steep price and limited apps), it might have an impact on customer service and e-commerce industries in top outsourcing destinations.
Call centers and Internet merchants can learn a thing or two from the phone’s innovations. Amazon took its award-winning customer service to the device, so outsourcing firms could do the same by putting greater concentration on mobile commerce and customer relation apps. Just think of the second-mover advantage, the same phenomenon that launched Amazon to e-retail dominance.

OABPO-Julie Author
As one of Open Access BPO's content writers, Julie Pearl shares her BPO knowledge through her blog posts, research papers, and other resources. She writes about outsourcing news and call center management tips and insights.
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