(This entry was posted by Michele Guthrie, Personal Systems and Printing, HP)
While much of the buzz lately has centered on the release of HP’s new Windows 8-based products, another team at HP is working feverishly to help ensure that HP customers have the necessary support to navigate the Windows 8 transition.
We had a chance to talk with Enrique Lores, senior vice president of HP Customer Support & Services, to discuss his team’s readiness and other priorities.
Tell us how your team is gearing up to help HP’s customers as we near the launch of Windows 8.
Our overarching goal is to help HP customers transition seamlessly to new HP Windows 8-based products or easily upgrade their existing HP products with the new OS. We’re providing simple tools for customers to access upgrades and drivers, and offering multiple ways to get the answers they need. HP has provided extensive training on HP Windows 8-based products and upgrades for all of its 14,000+ commercial and consumer support agents worldwide.
Customers can use HP Support Assistant, an on-product tool and one-stop support shop with automated updates and self-help options. We encourage users to visit HP’s dedicated Web support page for Windows 8-based product upgrades and drivers, and answers to other Windows 8 support questions related to HP devices. For those who prefer to receive support visually, instructional videos are available for both printing-related questions and computing-related questions. In addition, on Nov. 28, HP will host a free Expert Day on the Consumer Support Forums to answer all customer questions specific to Windows 8 compatibility with HP laptops, PCs and printers.
Our focus is to help our customers experience the power and excitement of HP Windows 8-enabled products rather than get stuck on the process of setting up, maximizing or upgrading their products. We are committed to not only answering our customers’ questions or helping them solve a problem, but to introduce them to everything that is possible with a more robust product.
Can you expand a little more on the Expert Day activity you just mentioned? What is Expert Day all about and who is it geared for?
Expert Day is a program we kicked off in 2009. Several times yearly, we host 24-hour online support marathons on the HP Consumer Support Forums. Hundreds of HP subject matter experts – some of them employees but most of them volunteer customers – staff the forums during that period to assist our customers. The experts answer questions, provide tips and tricks and generally help customers learn about how to use and maximize their devices. At the end of the day, our customers have an immense wealth of support solutions and resources to tap within the forums. We host these Expert Days in seven different languages on all our forums around the world. Best of all, they’re free.
So whether new customers are purchasing HP Windows-8 based PCs for the first time, or for current customers who are upgrading their products, we encourage them to drop in the forums on Nov 28 for Expert Day.
I want to mention that while Expert Days generate a flurry of activity on our forums, HP’s experts are available to help customers on the forums every day. Since we launched the forums, we’ve helped an estimated 40+ million HP customers, and our experts have accounted for more than 50% of the solutions.
Are there any important learnings you’ve taken from previous OS launches and applied to your team’s support plan for HP Windows 8-based devices?
As we prepared, it was important to remember the support environment has changed since the Windows 7 launch. I think the most significant shift has been the growing expectations from customers for fast, simple support offered in the way they work best whether that is online, on product or via phone. So we’ve worked hard to add to the breadth of our support offerings and want to make sure there are plenty of options for both new and existing customers across all demographics and user types.
For example, we are proud of all of the social support channels we’ve put in place. @HPSupport is available to answer customers’ Windows 8 tweets Monday through Friday, and will tweet out a Windows 8 Support Tip of the Day each day at Noon PT. On Tuesday, November 13 from 1 – 2pm PT, @HPSupport is holding a Windows 8 Twitter Tech Talk with Microsoft to answer tweets live using the hashtag #winchat. Customers should check out the HP Facebook page for wall updates with support updates and emerging solutions for HP Windows 8-based products.
Another challenge customers have faced when upgrading operating systems has been ensuring they can seamlessly print. HP is in a unique position with our printing footprint to ensure that transition is easier than ever. We have driver solutions included in the Windows 8 operating system that support more than 450 HP printing products. In addition, customers can take advantage of the Printer Install Wizard. The wizard is available for a majority of consumer printers and will help customers select and install their print drivers, improving the overall customer experience.
So it sounds as though the Customer Support & Services team is ready to tackle the migration to Windows 8. Are there any other support-related issues keeping you and your team busy these days?
Recently, we’ve been hearing from an increasing number of our US-based customers who have been contacted by third-party support providers who are selling HP driver downloads, diagnostic tools and repair services. I want our customers to know that HP offers these drivers and software at no additional cost on the official HP website.
These third-party providers spend a lot of money to advertise their Web sites. Though many of the companies use the HP trademark symbol and claim to be “official” HP distributors, they are not affiliated with HP.
Unfortunately, these companies are also targeting some of the most vulnerable members of our customer base – seniors on fixed incomes.
We want to encourage all our customers to be cautious when dealing with any company or any website that asks them to pay for driver downloads or diagnostic tools. Please work directly with HP and visit HP.com to ensure you are getting your drivers or tools from a trusted source – us. I’ll sleep better at night knowing that you do.