Amazon’s Fire – and Pega’s Firefly – Raise the Bar for Expectations of Service

Attention, contact center managers: Your customers’ expectations for service just got a little higher.

With its announcement of the Fire phone on Wednesday, Amazon raised the bar yet again for how support should work. Each phone ships with Amazon's Mayday product which allows a CSR to seamlessly connect to a customer's device and actually see and control their phone's screen to help them with any question they have.

This kind of collaborative experience is the opposite of what most organizations provide today. Giving a CSR the ability to look over a customer's shoulder during the support process allows them to make an instant diagnosis of the issue without asking lots of questions. It also allows them to help the customer resolve the issue quickly and clearly. It creates a much more engaging, personal, and memorable experience between customer and company than any other support channel.

Forward-thinking customer service organizations are starting to shift their vision for customer support. They no longer think of it as a necessary evil, and instead have come to see it as a big opportunity. These organizations understand that in a connected world, one incredible support experience can convert an unhappy customer into an advocate. And that these advocates are far more powerful at customer acquisition than conventional marketing dollars.

While Mayday is limited to Amazon devices, I’m proud to be personally part of bringing similar collaborative technology to everyone. With Pega's acquisition of Firefly, large organizations will be able to provide this type of seamless collaborative experience to every customer on their website with co-browsing. By adding just one line of code to their existing site any organization can now enable their CSRs to connect up to a customer's browser, see exactly what they're seeing and collaborate with them in real time. Just like Mayday, Firefly's co-browsing technology never requires a download or an installation. Unlike Mayday it runs on any platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, and even the Fire phone.

Firefly also includes advanced security features that Mayday does not. For example, the CSR will only be able to see what is on the customer's web page itself; they won't see other open browser tabs and they won't see other open applications on the customer's computer. Additionally, information like passwords, credit cards, and social security numbers can be masked so that organizations can provide a collaborative experience without compromising sensitive customer data to CSRs.

In a recent study, Forrester found that this kind of co-browsing provides the highest customer satisfaction of any support channel including self-service, email, phone, and chat. This is a big reason why forward-thinking organizations are fast adopting co-browsing as an integral part of their support process. This is a big reason why forward-thinking organizations are fast adopting co-browsing as an integral part of their support process. Other contact center software providers are scrambling to catch up to this reality; in fact, Oracle announced today that it has acquired another co-browsing provider, LiveLook, for integration into their service platform.

A truly collaborative CSR-to-customer experience is the future of customer support. Is it time to re-evaluate how you're supporting your customers?