One trend that business has been addressing for a number of years is aggregating interfaces and services so that customers have one place to go to address their needs. The days of specialists or specialist sites seem to be the decline, at least in the consumer space. HP recently updated its approach to its Support Center:
Today, we live in a world increasingly filled with more and more complexity, an instant-on world. We’re lucky if we can even find the telephone number to call for support, much less actually speak to a real person. That’s why HP redesigned its Support Center. It’s online so it can be easily accessed. It supports many languages and dialects (36 when I checked), has active chatting and it is open 24x7, so it’s convenient.
The whole issue of ease of use and operation is being viewed as a more important component of the lifecycle costs of almost any product. As quality increases, their lifespan increases and the likelihood of configuration support for devices like computers goes up eventually. Old and sometimes bad things will build up over time. There are numerous products in our lives that could use this kind of on-line support system.
There are numerous features on the Support Center, some of which are:
- My Support – Manage support contacts, HP Care Pack Services and warranties in one location
- Support Case Manager –Updates from HP support agents, track progress from the time a case is created until it is resolved and closed
- Search Support Knowledge – Search for answers to support questions
- Always On Support Community HP Forums – Interact with peers and learn how others have solved problems. Ask questions, share your solutions
- Product Pages – Find product-specific support information fast – from top issues and solutions to most viewed documents, support pages and advisories
- Guided Troubleshooting – Find solutions to common problems with step-by-step troubleshooting tools
- Get Help – Direct access to support experts via chat or email; or locate an HP repair center
- Drivers, software and firmware – download updates, firmware, drivers and patches