HP uses artificial intelligence to transform its customer support experience

HP Inc. handles more than 600 million technical support contacts each year, and the company strives to make every single one a satisfying experience for the customer. To improve both self-service and contact center support delivery, HP built a virtual agent using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI solution for customer service. Customers can now interact conversationally with the assistant to solve common problems, support staff use the Microsoft AI solution for instant access to a wealth of troubleshooting information, and the company gains deeper insights into common customer issues.

Many computer and peripherals owners have experienced the frustration of trying to get technical support. Whether navigating online articles to find the right resource, or repeating everything they’ve already tried to a telephone support representative, looking for help can be a time-consuming experience.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Virtual agents for real-world problems

HP Inc. is the one of the largest global manufacturers of PCs and printers, and its customer support contact centers handle more than 600 million contacts per year. Each contact offers an opportunity to influence a customer’s future with the brand. “Customer service is a big driver of loyalty,” says Daniel Martinez, Director of Support Solutions for HP Inc. “If we’re able to provide a good customer experience, that will drive more continued business for HP.”

Providing a great customer experience is complicated by the wide range of products that HP supports. The company saw the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to help both its customers and its support agents navigate the 50,000 pages of HP product information, thus providing better self-service for its customers and significantly boosting the effectiveness of its support agents.

Ready to turn its vision into reality, HP worked with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI solution for customer service to deploy a virtual agent that would serve as the foundation for its new support model. The Microsoft AI solution amplifies human ingenuity in customer service and engagement across all channels, empowering brands to deliver exceptional customer experiences. HP also included the virtual agent in the HP Support Assistant tool installed on every HP computer, ensuring that all customers would benefit from its new AI support solution.

“HP is reinventing the support experience by empowering our customers to easily solve a broad range of issues on their own,” says Jon Flaxman, Chief Operating Officer for HP Inc. “The advanced artificial intelligence capabilities from Microsoft enable HP Customer Service to deliver and manage these self-service solutions efficiently and with more precision.”

The virtual agent engages customers in a conversational, multiturn dialog that helps them diagnose and solve problems they may be having. If the assistant is unable to completely resolve the problem, the transition to a call with a live agent is seamless for the customer. “When the customer’s inquiry comes in to our contact center, the agent gets all of the context around the issue, including what problem the customer is facing and what they’ve already tried with the virtual agent, plus information such as diagnostic results, the system state, and the serial number,” says Martinez. “The customer doesn’t need to start over from scratch.”

Better data for better decisions

With the Microsoft AI solution in place, HP contact center agents can quickly locate resources using the tool to drive resolution of customer problems. “It taps into all of the databases that we would currently use—I can go to one touch point and pull data to get the information I’m looking for,” explains Joseph Thibodaux, Customer Support Agent for HP Inc. “It’s going to streamline that process for me. It’s going to reduce call handle times, it’s going to reduce the actual overall wait for the customer. I’ll be the knowledge base that the customer is looking for.”

In addition to providing valuable information to contact center agents, the Microsoft AI solution also provides key business insights for HP. “With the system dashboard, we can look in one place to understand more about direct customer feedback, see key metrics around how the system is performing, and whether or not it’s resolving customer problems,” says LaChelle Porter-Ainer, Head of Global Digital Support and Contact Centers for HP Inc. “We can also use what we learn to improve future products and services.”

Adds Martinez, “The virtual agent gets smarter over time, so our agents will always have the best possible resolution. Originally, we were addressing 15 to 20 percent of issues with digital tools. We’re expanding that to close to 70 or 80 percent with artificial intelligence.”

With its new technology, HP is positioned to offer an optimal support experience through all channels. “When we sell a product, we are also selling the excellence of support and services,” says Gilbert Rossi, Global Head of Customer Support for HP Inc. “With the Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI solution for customer service, we’ll be ahead of the game and reinvent the way we run our support and services business by providing a best-in-class customer experience.”

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