Thousands of times each day, HP customers around the world turn to social networks to get their problems solved and their questions answered. And the investment, it’s paying off — customers are getting faster resolution through their channels of choice, and HP is experiencing improved agent productivity, higher net promoter scores, and quicker response times. To learn how, we recently sat down with Kriti Kapoor, HP’s Director of Global Social Customer Care.

Q: Can you tell us how HP arrived at the decision to begin investing so heavily in the use of social customer care?

A: The call to execute our social customer care strategy was loud and clear. All we had to do was check Twitter, Facebook, WeChat, Sina Weibo, or the hundreds of other social networks. With or without HP, customers were talking about our brand—and a large, rapidly growing number of those conversations were related to technical support. It was paramount to let our customers know that we listen and care.

Q: What steps did you take to execute the vision?

A: As HP has done throughout our history, we knew the answer was to follow the customer’s lead. Similar to what we did in 2008, when we first introduced the HP Support Forum. Today, our forum serves more than 9 million visitors a month in seven different languages.

Then, as now, we recognized that the key to delivering a premium service experience was to tune into the channels customers are using, and make it as seamless as possible to help them get the answers they need.

Q: When you joined HP as its Global Director of Social Customer Care in 2014, what were some of the technical challenges you encountered?

A: Fortunately, my team was well on its way to being able to listen for service-related social conversations. Through Social Studio, we could detect and respond to customers’ technical problems, as well as other similar topics. But there was a disconnect between Social Studio and our CRM system, Service Cloud.

Q: Can you explain?

A: We had thousands of agents using our CRM system for other channels, but not for social cases. Our social agents were tracking customers manually.  For example, they didn’t have simple access to data related to the products customers owned, their warranty information, service histories, prior cases, or other information needed to resolve the issue as effectively as possible.

With the rise of customer escalations being generated through social media, something had to change. Our solution was to integrate the platforms to address our two biggest producers of social customer cases—Facebook and Twitter.

Q: How did the integration of Social Studio with Service Cloud help to achieve your goals?

A: Thanks to that integration, HP’s social agents now have access to all CRM data, and posts can be filtered to identify by highest priority and then converted into cases managed within the same console used for phone, email, and chat.

Today, it is far easier for agents to see where to take the conversation and how to help the customer. The efficiencies are greatly improved—agent engagement with customers has increased 187 percent. HP support also experienced a two percent increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS) and social response times were cut by 60 percent.

Q: What impact has this had on your ability to achieve other business objectives?

A: Through our social customer care program, HP now listens to 1.2 million conversations per year from customers looking for help on more than 100 social media network sites across 95 countries. With numbers like that, it is imperative to evaluate social customer care’s impact on other key areas of the business. I refer to this as ‘the social multiplier effect.’

With 52 million printers and 48 million PCs shipped each year, when you increase NPS by even a fraction of a percentage, the impact is substantial. Every customer matters, every conversation counts.

Q: Social conversations and sentiments are constantly evolving. How do you keep others in the organization abreast of what’s happening?

A: To see conversations as they happen, we rely on our recently implemented Social Care Command Center. It provides real-time analytics of what conversations are trending, where they’re happening globally, customer sentiment, and more. We have a huge amount of data that can benefit other parts of the organization—product engineering, marketing, sales, quality assurance—it’s invaluable.

Q: What advice do you have for companies looking to implement a social customer care strategy?

A: The highly visible and personal nature of social magnifies the importance of getting it right. It is a readily accessible barometer of how much you care about your customers. Whether they have bought from you before, or are evaluating a new purchase, your customers are paying attention. Even if you begin with one social network, it’s critical to get started now.

Q: What does the implementation of Social Customer Care mean for the future of the business?

A: On the surface, we’re providing social customer care. But the value we deliver to our customers and HP as a whole goes much farther. I believe we’ve only just begun to tap its full potential.

About Kriti Kapoor

As director of HP Global Social Care, Kriti Kapoor leads the worldwide Social Customer Care organization in support of HP's $56 Billion printing and personal systems (PPS) business. With nearly 20 years of international marketing experience centered on emerging technologies, Kriti understands the significance of customer sentiment and how it impacts brand loyalty. She has worked in 3 continents, America, Europe, and Asia, and has traveled to 43 countries, providing her a broad frame of reference, an appreciation for global and local perspectives, and the ability to strategically adapt to changing customer needs. @kriti_kapoor