Lithys 2013: HP - Best Social Support Program

Lithys 2013: HP - Best Social Support Program

Company: HPHP_logo.png

Entry submitted by: Tyna Chua (tyna_c) Social Media Manager

Community: HP Support Forum (

Lithy category: Best Social Support Program



Lithy_1.jpgThe award-winning HP Consumer Support Forums – the cornerstone of HP’s social support efforts – are a global interactive community where HP customers connect online with one another to exchange insights, tips and answers to each other's questions.


Boasting traffic of two visits every second in 2012, the HP Consumer Support Forums have hit some remarkable milestones which demonstrate their reach, impact and growth:


  • With a notable 48% increase in Forum questions, the community handled this growth effectively, showing a 17% improvement in reply rate.  We are showing continued improvement in reply rates, with the last three months showing an increase of 27%.
  • An impressive 80% increase in page views of Accepted Solutions.
  • Accepted Solutions are viewed 1,500 times on average, enabling others to benefit from a solution provided by the community to the original post-er.

(Data is based on 2012 compared to 2011).


Drivers of Success


At the heart of HP’s Social Support Program are the following:


I.  Community Engagement

HP’s social care community would not be as successful as it is today if it weren’t for our volunteer "HP Experts" – employees and customers who donate their time to the Forums to answer HP customer questions.These Experts are the life blood of HP’s Forums, and their active participation directly influences the vibrancy and vitality of the seven HP Forum communities.


So how do we energize and motivate our Experts to keep participating in our Forums?  We continue to develop our HP Expert Program, which includes:


  • Our annual Social Support Summit, bringing together hundreds of our top Forum contributors from around the world with one thing in common: a passion to help others through social tools.   In its second year, the Summit this March in Orlando, FL attracted 200 attendees speaking more than seven languages: English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese.



  • Worldwide expert meet ups:  Meet-ups bring together global and regional HP employees and local volunteers for informal social gatherings to exchange ideas and solutions.
  • Contests:  HP introduced a gaming challenge for top contributors to respond to threads on the least active Forum boards.
  • Expert Days: 24-hour Expert "marathons” on specific topics designed to accelerate solutions to customer issues.
  • Improving Expert efficiency with an Unanswered Questions Widget: A widget displaying unanswered Forum posts allows HP Experts fast and easy access to neglected posts, resulting in faster response times and more satisfied customers.
  • Product Loan Program: Provides Experts the opportunity to have the most popular HP products in their homes so they can better help customers asking product-specific questions. 
  • Product Briefing Series:  Provide training on new HP products and technologies, giving Experts up-to-date knowledge to help customers in the Forums.  We conducted seven Product Briefings in 2012, with more planned in 2013. 

These initiatives helped contribute to the following results (Data is based on 2012 compared to 2011):


















II. Customer Experience

Because the great majority of our Forum visitors are “observers,” we have placed due emphasis on improving the user interface by making it easier for visitors to ask a question or search the Forums.  In partnership with Lithium, we have launched several customer experience improvements that increase visibility to the “ask” feature and improve search results layout.   Preliminary data shows that the changes yield positive results, increasing Forum search by 66% globally (week after release average vs. week prior to release average).  In the pipeline are changes to simplify registration and encourage customer feedback.


III.  Monitoring and Harvesting

We currently harvest our Forum conversations and provide frequent, regular feedback to the business units for product improvement or service/support quality. Funneling customer feedback from Forums to business units results in improvements such as creation of patches by our software development team or updates to content on our website.Additionally, every month, we provide the business units with a list of top viewed threads that have not been solved by the community so they can further investigate and provide guidance.


IV. Investments

Our Forums are a key component of our overall support strategy, and this is evident in our investment priorities, including:

  • improving our tools and making enhancements to the Forums experience
  • recruiting top talent to add to our army of Experts and advocates
  • investing in our volunteer base and dedicated agents that help assist our customers

Social media as a channel for customer support continues to grow in importance to HP and its customers.  Our Forum activity remains far-reaching, providing support throughout several regions and languages.


Quick Timeline

  • HP's Consumer Support Forums available since 2009
  • Quarterly Expert Days across seven languages commenced 2009
  • Expert meet ups commenced 2010
  • Inaugural Social Support Summit occurred March 2012
  • One billion Page Views milestone in November 2012





Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2013 Lithy Submission
Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2013 Lithy Finalist