Transparent technology saves sick laptop

Last week was frustrating. My laptop got ill. After working with technical support, I was told that the laptop had to be sent in for repair.

Last week was frustrating. My laptop got ill. After working with technical support, I was told that the laptop had to be sent in for repair. It's now in the manufacturer's intensive care unit. Luckily, I've been able to use my son's desktop computer. However, I don't have access to my data, much of which is being cleaned off of my laptop (probably as I am typing this). 

The bright spot was working with technical support. Each support agent was smart, courteous and patient. Even more impressive, our communication was purely text-based, yet it felt as if the agent and I were talking face-to-face. I was profoundly in awe of the technology transparency. I felt as if I could trust my sick laptop with these folk.

On Monday night, my laptop became symptomatic -- the fan was very loud and the laptop was overheating. I completed an online email form. Upon sending it, a window appeared telling me that I'd receive a response in one hour. "Yeah, right." Still, 45 minutes later I received an email from Harry. Not a boilerplate acknowledgement of my email message -- rather, a real email message from a real person. After a few email exchanges, he gave me a link to update my bios. The fan was quietly humming. I sent one last email thanking Harry, then I went to bed.

On Tuesday morning, the fan was quiet but the laptop continued to overheat. I wanted someone to do remote diagnostics, so I opened a live chat session. I spoke with Verna. By this time, my laptop would overheat then power down within a few minutes. Since my laptop couldn't stay on long enough for her to do diagnostics, she suggested that I send it in for repair. She handled all the arrangements within our chat session. I later received a transcript of our chat session via email. I kissed my laptop goodbye, then sent it to California for repair. 

Affirmations 

  • Humanizing the messaging experience is paramount in gaining the customer's trust.
  • Customers will only use messaging technology with which they are comfortable.
  • Customers need flexibility. For example, on Saturday I was too tired to do a live chat. However, by  Sunday I wanted answers immediately.
  • Technology must be transparent. People want to talk to people, not to software.

Epilogue

  • My laptop is expected to make a full recovery and be home tomorrow.
  • Thank you HP for superior customer support.