HP Expert Meetups Give Us Customer Support Insights

I’ve written a lot about our HP Experts on the blog – by now, you know that they are integral to our customer support efforts. This volunteer community of both HP employees and passionate customers/technology aficionados has been the lifeblood of our  Support Forums since 2008.


Our seven global HP Forums – along with HP Expert Days – have grown to be some of our most impactful support channels, thanks in large part to the HP Expert program and those volunteers who have helped build the community over the years. The happy result is that these Experts have been able to point millions of customers in the right direction to solve the trickiest of tech troubles.


Today, our volunteer and employee Experts have helped solve countless issues on the Forums, responding to customers when they reach out for support. In fact, the most helpful solutions are viewed 1,500 times on average, benefiting others in the community long after the original question is asked by a customer. 


It was only natural that we bring them together to meet in person.


A unique chance to connect

We’ve done this before via our Social Support Summits, but we wanted the opportunity to really dig deep with a smaller group via these HP Experts Meetups. It has been an excellent opportunity to build relationships between community members and HP employees in person and in the cities where they live.


We also wanted to recognize our community members who volunteer their time on the forums, offer technical content and training – and get their feedback about how to improve your online support experience.  


Finally, with support communities in seven languages – including English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Korean and Simplified Chinese – there’s no question that the Forums are a worldwide gathering of customers with different needs, and that an international component was important. We started in Brazil, where we got great feedback about our customers there and how we can improve their online support experience. Next stop? China!


Welcome to Shanghai!

We hosted our first Asia Pacific HP Expert meetup in Shanghai last month for Experts in our Simplified Chinese and Korean Consumer Support Communities. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, so is an in-person meeting.


“There’s no replacement for face-to-face interaction,” says Natalie Button, HP Global Social Care Events Manager. “Our customer Experts got to meet some of the HP folks who they work with (virtually!) every day. You learn so much more when you are able to interact – and we learn what our Experts really want out of the program, and what our customers are really saying about our products.”


The Shanghai gathering kicked off on September 18th and, over the next two days, the group shared thoughts about both Chinese and Korean Forum experiences, the Expert program, and customer feedback. They also got updates from us about the technical aspects of the forum to better help customers.  Of course, no group meetup is complete without team-building activities – and this one included Laugh Yoga and a golf outing!


“We laughed for almost an hour,” recalls Liu Chao, HP’s APJ Forum Community Manager. “I could see that everyone was happier and that the team was closer after the activities. This event was definitely helpful for us to build and maintain our relationships with Experts, because it helps us better serve our customers.”


Amsterdam 1.jpeg

No substitute: Connections, experience with new technology

Next stop was New Orleans – we were there just last week to meet up with even more Experts and get their perspective about how we’re doing with our North American support communities. And, as in Shanghai, they also had the chance to check out new (and not yet released!) HP technology – all in the name of giving you better support.


And, as with the other meetups, the most important part to both us and our community members has been the connections we’ve both been able to make at in-person meetings. Hands-on time with products is another focus. The more our Experts know about our products, the better they can support our customers when they have questions on the Forums.


“Our customer Experts got to play with four brand-new HP printers and test various mobile and cloud printing techniques in New Orleans,” she says. “They got their hands on HP’s latest Chromebooks, and even a few products that we haven’t announced yet. They interact with the products and can then better support our customers who are using those same products. And they leave the event feeling excited about the products that HP has to offer.”


Amsterdam 2.jpeg

Ready for Amsterdam!

There’s no question that we’re excited to be in Amsterdam this week and are ready to hear the feedback we’ll get from our Experts in Europe. We’ll be sure to report back and let you know how it goes but judging from the comments we've seen -- so far, so good!


For now, we have a much better understanding what is truly valuable for our HP Expert volunteers (like new product loans!), and we’ve come away with the kind of insights about support that we can only get from talking to customers just like you.


“I am most excited about having this army of volunteer experts who are excited about HP and who are excited about helping our customers!” says Button. “The Expert program is a connected and vital community that has been integral to the support we can give customers. We’ve found that our customers trust their peers and their advice, and we really could not ask for more. ”

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