HP demonstrates how to use Social Support Communities (SSC)

I had the pleasure of chatting with Lois Townsend who is in charge of the Social Media Strategy and Operations Group at HP.  We focused primarily on their approach to leveraging social media to improve their customer’s experiences, using tools like SSC in the process.

It is clear why Lois is leading this effort at HP.  The passion, the excitement, that I heard in her voice as we discussed customer engagement, customer satisfaction, cannot be faked.  She loves her job.  As we discussed the key to being successful with your social media efforts, she made it clear that you must really understand what your business objectives are, using common sense as a guide.    At HP they have taken an approach whereby they are focusing on a few social channels, not trying to cover them all, instead focusing on doing a great job on the key channels where their customers are engaging most.

Lois explained that the temptation to cover a larger number of social channels is always there.  When new channels, new ideas, are brought to the table they always look at these ideas through the lenses of the larger objectives.  If the idea fits, they run with it.  If it does not, they move on.

HP is using Lithium’s Social Support Community (SSC) software to manage their communities, and, according to Lithium, HP has seen faster growth in its community than in any other community they have benchmarked.  The numbers are truly amazing.  Here are the highlights:

  • HP has over 2 million customers visiting the site every month.
  • They have 100,000 registered users in the community
  • Their SSC community averages over 8 million pages views per month.  They are now up to almost 20 million page views per month.

While these numbers are clearly impressive they are simply one part of how success is measured.  Clearly, usage is a critical measurement, but equally important is the reduction in call volume, customer survey scores, the amount of customer generated content.  All numbers are trending well for HP, SSC is making a difference.

One of the things that surprised me was the fact that there is a weekly meeting between Lois’ team and the heads of the two product divisions, printers/imaging and computing.  This high-level team reviews the trending of issues, identifying product and content improvements that are needed, identifying common customer requests.  This community feedback has become a way of life in terms of its impact to product improvements and enhancements.  Customers, HP customers anyway, are making a difference, co-creating products with HP. 

If you’re interested in seeing reading more about HPs approach, check out her interview on the Lithium blog from a couple of months back.

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