Audible Is Offering Live Customer Support Through Amazon Echo Devices
Yesterday Audible, Amazon’s e-book company, introduced a feature that allows U.S. owners of Amazon Echo devices to call Audible’s live customer service line. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Audible states the service will run nonstop. All users have to do is say “Alexa, call Audible,” to launch the feature. Live customer support representatives can aid customers with audiobook recommendations, exchanges, technical problems, and the Audible app setup. At this time, the feature is available on Echo devices only.
Alexa-Powered System Is Not Meant to Be Just Another Avenue for Calling Customer Support
The Verge is reporting that this may be the first time Alexa has been linked to an existing customer support center to provide service 24/7. Audible is also saying that this feature is more than just providing customers with another way to contact customer support, claiming it worked closely with the Alexa team to build a unique internal tool specifically for Echo-owning Audible subscribers. While specific statements about what this unique internal tool does have not been made, one can gather from the promotional video that Audible may be referring to an effort to provide audiobook recommendations.
The venture to focus on audiobook recommendations also makes a lot of sense when considering the state of voice search today. A March study from Score Publishing made headlines when its results concluded that New York Times bestselling authors and their publishers will lose $17 million this year in book sales because of poor voice assistant search recognition.
Alexa did not perform so well in this study, and because Amazon owns Audible, the company definitely has an incentive to improve its performance. Human-based book recommendations are not necessarily the same thing as search engine results, however, it certainly could be worth trying out. In addition, Audible will be able to encourage a trusting and transparent relationship with its customers.
Being able to contact customer service representatives is something that many smart speaker owners are interested in, too. Voicebot research from the U.S. Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2019 found that 31.4% of smart speaker owners say they are interested in using their devices to contact customer service departments. U.S. smart speaker owners rose 40% in 2018 to reach 66.4 million with total smart speakers in use rising to 133 million, and Amazon Echo maintains a 61% market share among smart speaker owners according to the same Voicebot report. Audible, and Amazon, are leveraging customer intrigue to grow the audiobook service, and the move makes a lot of sense.