One of the big problems with personal technology support is that it can take an excessive amount of time to get help if you have a problem. This became an issue even for large companies during the pandemic because IT wasn’t going into the office either, so their ability to supply needed support was substantially reduced. I’m at HP’s Amplify conference this week where HP talks to partners about new offerings, like how to enhance how users get support.
HP Dragonfly Pro example
At this event, I am using the new HP Dragonfly Pro notebook (built in collaboration with AMD who had a significant presence at this event). Because I got the beta version of the product, I’ve had some issues, so the laptop’s one-button support feature, similar to what I have in my Jaguar and Volvo, was a godsend. All I had to do is push one button and I had someone on the phone who could fix my PC, much like if I’d called into IT support (which I don’t have). I expect even people who work for large companies don’t get support that is this prompt and effective.
At the HP event, I asked about the tech support that is currently unique to the Dragonfly Pro laptop and whether it would be spread to other HP offerings.
The answer was a resounding “yes.” I think this should become the future of support, particularly as HP begins to adopt generative AI.
The future of HP support
HP already stands out as having the strongest security with Wolf Security. Now it’s working toward having the strongest support by emulating the automotive market to provide a faster, better support process for its primary lines (PCs and printers). Given this is a company-wide initiative, I expect it to eventually spread to peripherals. Come to think of it, given HP’s “better-together” approach, you’ll likely see this first when attaching an HP peripheral to an HP laptop or printer.
Some of the capabilities of this program may remain unique to PCs, like the ability to opt in to a program that provides a replacement PC in case of catastrophic damage (which would be far less frequent with a printer or peripheral).
One of the interesting aspects of this service approach is something I learned from doing a survey on Dell and Sony in the late 1990s. Sony had a more reliable and better-built product than Dell did, but Dell outsold Sony by several magnitudes, regardless. What we found was that even though Dell computers broke more than Sony computers did, Dell treated you far better when you called in for support than Sony did. It made buyers feel that Dell had their back while Sony didn’t seem to care about them after the sale.
HP’s products today are far better than anyone’s computers, including Sony’s, were in the 1990s, so the need to contact support is reduced. In a way, HP’s approach is like having Sony’s quality and Dell’s support experience so that you get the best of both worlds. You don’t have to choose between a great product and great support. I call that kind of choice an ugly choice because you shouldn’t have to make it to begin with. With HP’s coming products (and the Windows Dragonfly Pro today), you won’t need to make that choice.
Service is how we connect with a company after a sale. If you have a bad support experience, whether that be a car or a PC, you are unlikely to buy from that vendor again. With the spread of social media, you’ll likely share that bad experience with others, keeping them from buying from the problematic vendor. HP is aggressively moving to have the best in all things PC and printers, starting with security and ending with support, which should help HP’s sales and its partners.
Once HP begins to adopt generative AI (it’s moving to deploy it internally, first), this support experience will get even better. It will be automatic so that your future problems may simply vanish automatically in the future. I have little doubt that other vendors will eventually attempt to match what HP is doing, but for now, HP appears to be the most aggressive at addressing the service needs of customers who don’t have IT support, and eventually helping IT provide better support with generative AI, as well.