May 19, 2020

Amazon Dash: genius convenience or sheer laziness?

Internet of Things
Amazon Dash
Amazon Dash UK
E-commerce in Europe
Real GDPR
3 min
Amazon Dash: genius convenience or sheer laziness?

E-commerce giant Amazon has just launched its Amazon Dash service to Prime customers in the UK, following launches in Germany, Austria and the USA.

The service allows customers to order essentials at the press of a button in the home, from toilet paper and dishwasher tablets to pet food and tea bags. There are an initial 48 brands supplied in the UK, including Air Wick, Andrex, Ariel, Brabantia, Fairy, Finish, Gillette, Huggies, Johnson's Baby, Kleenex, Listerine, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, Neutrogena, Nicorette, Olay, Pedigree, Philips Sonicare, Rimmel, Vanish, Whiskas, Wilkinson, and more.

"We've all experienced the frustration of running out of something we need—Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service are designed to make that moment a thing of the past," said Daniel Rausch, Director of Amazon Dash. "Dash Buttons offer the convenience of 1-Click shopping from anywhere in the home—they can be placed near those frequently used items you don't want to run out of, and when you see supplies running low, the Dash Button makes it easier than ever to order more. Just press the button and your item is on its way."

Amazon rationalises Dash on the basis of saving time for busy working people, and the frustration of realising you are out of important supplies.

However, is this just another gimmick that only encourages more laziness into the way we live?

The Internet of Things is already transforming our lives, in many cases going unnoticed. We can control our heating and lighting from our smartphones. We can order drinks in football stadiums from an app and have it delivered to our seat. Amazon Dash looks like another progression in this sense, building on the mass of home delivery services already available.

The next step for Amazon is to automate even further so that appliances such as printers, vacuum cleaners and washing machines order new ink, bags and washing tablets when they are running low. It looks like it will soon be possible to cater for one’s shopping needs entirely without leaving the home. Many will say this is a win for convenience and will allow people to concentrate on more important priorities. Others will argue this is a step towards an automated, lazy and robotic existence.

Regardless of this question, the fact the delivery will take up to 24 hours means that nipping out to the shops will solve the problem far sooner than Dash will.

It is also an expensive way of shopping, with each product costing £4.99 and having to be made in separate orders. Many consumers will not want to pay £10 for a pack of coffee and some toilet roll. Supermarket own brands are also not included at this stage, and there is another question over what many will see as a needless environmental regarding packaging and transport.

Despite this the service has proven popular so far. Since launching in the US last year, the Dash Button programme has seen continued growth, with the number of brands, orders and items available all increasing at a rapid pace. In the last two months, Dash Button orders have increased threefold and orders via Dash Button take place at a rate of over twice a minute. The number of Dash Button brands available in the US has also expanded four times faster in 2016 compared with 2015.

Whether it will be received like this in Europe will be interesting to see.

Read the September 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

Follow @BizReviewEurope

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Jun 12, 2021

Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey

CX
customerjourney
Limitless
gigeconomy
Roger Beadle, Co-founder & CEO...
6 min
Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless looks at how CX can directly Influence revenue generation in streaming services

There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.

There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.

There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.

In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.

Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.

So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?

Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney

While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.

For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.

For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.

Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.

It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.

How do companies support the new customer journey?

More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.

These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.

The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?

For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.

It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.

And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.

It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.

At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.

About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.

About Limitless
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.

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