HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced the most substantial investment in consumer technical support in its history â€“ the aim of which is to enable people to get faster, more effective help with the HP technology products in their homes.
Customer service agents from Missouri to Moscow are now equipped with state-of-the art tools to help customers quickly return to their tasks, whether printing photos or connecting online with friends.
HPâ€™s investment is focused in three areas:
* A new customer support infrastructure, serving customers in 132 counties and 31 languages;
* Eight new call centers, including ones in Alabama, Missouri and Oregon and five others around the world; and
* A support agent training pilot program and expanded availability of key technology tools.
â€œOne of the most powerful ways to attract customers is by delivering superior tech support,â€ said Rob Enderle, principal analyst, The Enderle Group. â€HPâ€™s focus and the recent investment in tech support should make HP consumers very pleased, and competitors very concerned.â€
The new technology infrastructure behind HPâ€™s support includes an interactive troubleshooting guide that helps customer service agents quickly identify the issues and recommended courses of action to solve customer problems. Agents can easily email detailed instructions, complete with graphics, to customers so they can follow along or refer back to the information at a later date. This can be especially helpful for common PC maintenance tasks such as cleaning up files or for common printer issues such as solving paper jams.
The enhanced support technology infrastructure began rolling out with two agents in Indonesia early last year. It gradually evolved and expanded across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Canada and Latin America. Call centers in North America came online recently.
Additionally, more than 1,000 HP service agents have begun a new training program that addresses key issues customers face, such as configuring wireless networking or improving PC performance. Unlike traditional instructor-led training, the new program requires agents to actively participate in their learning through tasks such as simulations, role plays and e-learning. In addition, the learning applications allow agents to complete courses from their desks so they can meet ongoing skill enhancement needs.
HP is also broadening access to Instant Care, the companyâ€™s remote control capability that lets agents take control of a customerâ€™s desktop with his or her permission to solve problems. By the end of March, all seasoned agents supporting North American customers will have access to the tool. HPâ€™s recent call center data shows that using Instant Care increases customer satisfaction by 20 percent while reducing the amount of time people have to spend on the phone.
â€œCustomers expect and deserve outstanding support, and HPâ€™s goal is to be the industry leader in delivering it,â€ said Tara Bunch, vice president, Consumer Customer Operations, HP. â€œThis is the first of many improvements from HP that you will hear of in the coming months.â€