5 Things You Should Do to Scale Social Care (An Inside Look at HP)

Lithium Technologies marketing director Francisca Fanucchi spoke with HP global director of social customer care Kriti Kapoor.

With more than 30 million customer interactions across phone, chat and social media, HP’s customer-support team strives to not only keep up, but find new ways to improve customer experience.

Global director of social customer care Kriti Kapoor recently shared with me advances HP has made to evolve its customer-support efforts to better serve a large, diverse and global installed base of customers.

Build a thriving community of customers, superfans and social care agents

After taking a look at its online mentions back in 2008, HP recognized the opportunity to create its own technical-support community–one that unites and customers around the world. The company noticed that many of its customers were going to places like Yahoo Answers, Fixya, Baidu Zhidao in China, ReclameAQUI in Brazil and other message boards to ask technical questions, seek help and provide feedback about HP products.

So instead of having people trawl the internet trying to find information, HP created HP Support Forums–an online HP-branded and managed community where customers help each other, find solutions to common issues and ask experts (HP superfans) for help for their trickiest tech queries.

Plus, HP’s social agents jump in to the rescue to ensure that they leave no customers behind in their support experience.


Meet customers where they are

There’s never been a better time for brands to leverage the reach of social media networks and messaging application platforms. Kapoor said brands should monitor conversations that are happening around the world about their brand and participate in those so people know that their favorite brands are actively trying to help them.

For HP, 2008 through 2012 was marked by a journey in social listening and engagement with expansion into Facebook, Twitter and 20 other key social networks globally.

More recently, HP’s social care footprint has progressed rapidly to platforms with regional dominance, in particular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk in Asia. This adoption is proof that the company looks to reinvent the way it supports its customers’ post purchase experience–and meet them where they are.

Understand the underlying economics of going social

In Kapoor’s journey, she focused on the economic value and customer experience via social channels by answering questions like:

  • What’s the cost per contact of serving customers via phone, chat and social?
  • How do the resolution rates compare?
  • Which channels of support are best suited for various interactions?

Using data, analytics and in partnership with finance, her team built a return-on-investment and cost-per-contact model to highlight the benefits of social care; in particular, to account for the “social multiplier” effect.

For example: with a phone interaction, issue resolution happens one customer at a time, and it is difficult to scale. HP’s online communities have been a key differentiator for the customer-support team–each accepted solution to an issue gets viewed 40 times on average, enabling the company to serve many more customers at any given time.


Break silos within and across the organization–social is a team sport

Kapoor estimates that she’s probably spoken to 1,000 people just within customer support about social care. She emphasized the number of customers served through social and the resolution rates in each channel, showcasing new experiences that can be delivered through mobile messaging, while improving resolution rates, reducing response times and driving greater customer retention.

She highlighted the unique benefit of HP’s online communities–for example, the ability to get real-time feedback from customers on new product launches, common and top issues and being able to serve a large installed base of customers whose product warranty has lapsed.

HP’s marketing team is part of a cross-functional council that comes together regularly to talk about key issues facing social care and marketing. Kapoor has one person on her team assigned as a liaison to communities and one person assigned to social media support, so they know who to go to when there are issues. The team also regularly discusses technology roadmaps, ways to deepen social integration across HP, provide insights from social care across to marketing, key campaigns and more.

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