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It's been eight months now since Amazon launched the "Mayday" button alongside its Kindle Fire HDX tablet, promising buyers live, on-screen support any time every day of the year. It was a big bet that sought to "revolutionize tech support" and according to the company's recent update, it's working.
The retail giant says that 75% of Fire HDX customer questions now come via the Mayday button, with an average response time of just 9.75 seconds. Amazon had originally set a response time goal of 15 seconds or less.
The feature was designed to reduce friction in providing customer support. Instead of digging through help forums or figuring out who to call when they encounter an issue, Fire HDX owners can simply tap the Mayday button within their tablet's quick settings menu and an expert will appear on screen. He won't see you back but can co-pilot you through any problem by annotating on your screen or walking you through the solution without user input.
Amazon also shared a few unusual anecdotes on how people have been using Mayday – aside from getting actual tech support, that is. One user received help beating an Angry Birds level, another used it to settle a discussion with friends on the best way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while one tech advisor sang happy birthday to someone just getting an HDX as a gift.
The company is expected to unveil its first smartphone next week which is all but confirmed to include a novel 3D effect. The timing of Amazon's update on Mayday may be a hint that the feature is headed to that device as well and the company is looking to drum up good press. At this point that's purely conjecture, however. We'll know for sure come June 18.