Amazon’s Mayday button was designed to help Amazon customers with their Kindle Fire HDX tablets, a solution to the overwhelming calls Amazon was getting with their tablets some time ago. Contacting support in real time on a tablet wasn’t an option back then, and Amazon’s customer service support was innovative.

It turns out that, today, Amazon’s Mayday is still innovative. While Amazon has thought within a box (that is, this service is for its customers, only), some are taking Amazon’s Mayday button and running with it for an enterprise crowd. Salesforce, for example, looks to emerge with its own Mayday-like button that can be accessed within an iOS or Android app for enterprise business professionals who’ve questions. The Salesforce 1SOS Service will launch in beta mode this month and has 5 customers with which to test this experimental service. Twenty customers will help Salesforce work out the bugs in its SOS Service and provide feedback on how the company can improve the service. Salesforce Service Cloud Product Management VP Larry Robinson said in a statement that Amazon’s Mayday service is responsible for Salesforce’s new enterprise Mayday solution: “It’s [Salesforce SOS Service] really the Mayday experience brought to market for any company. Most apps don’t have customer service integration. We want any company to play like Amazon does.” Salesforce is in talks with companies such as Phillips, Stanley Black and Decker, and to see if they’re interested in doing live demos of the new business Mayday service.

If Salesforce and other businesses want to offer this feature for their customers, they’ll have a hard act to follow. To demo the service, they’ll have to rely on the best customers for response times, and, last but not least, they’ll have to beat Amazon’s response time for their customer base. When Amazon debuted the Mayday service, the company wanted to keep their response time at 15 seconds. Now, Amazon’s Mayday average response time is 9.75 seconds – and 75% of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX owners use the service, the company said in its Friday announcement.

Of course, the word “play” is interesting in and of itself: it turns out that Amazon does indeed use its Mayday service for “play” as well as work. While most customers use Mayday to find something on their Kindle Fire HDX tablet or ask questions about problems they’re having, some customers call in for random purposes. One customer called and asked a Mayday expert to help him navigate through his current level in Angry Birds, another asked about help with making a PB&J (Peanut Butter and Jelly) sandwich, while one other wanted a happy birthday sing-along partner, and another wanted advice on which of his wedding proposals was most appropriate for the occasion.

The Mayday button has, and continues to be, a huge success. Above all, it shows us that even the most successful businesses need a helping hand (or should we say, button?) every now and then.


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