With today's launch of a new customer service hub in Dubai, HP has created a safe haven for residents in the emirate struggling with PCs, printers and other peripherals.
The Total Care Centre (TCC), which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, doubles up as a training centre where customers can access both free and paid services for upgrades, repairs and one-to-one advice from product experts.
In the midst of much fanfare, and following a dance act onto the stage, HP's Vice President and General Manager for MEMA (Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa), Antoine Barre, spoke to AMEinfo about how the vision for the facility goes beyond maintenance and sales.
"The success of a brand is all about the customer experience that the brand creates," said Barre. "Customer experience is not just about buying and using a product, but wanting to do more with it, and learning what you can get out of it."
The Middle East is seeing an acceleration in terms of technology adoption and HP are seeking to help users do more with what they have, according to Barre, who estimates that some of their products are only used to 15% of their potential.
"People are seeking more in-depth knowledge about their products and how they can use them, but they need someone to talk to. The objective of this centre is to answer all of the questions customers have and, in the event of a repair, fix the issue in-store."
Non HP users can get free training regardless and have the opportunity to buy a range of devices in the centre that, if successful, will be the first of several in the Middle East, says Barre.
"This is the first one in the region. We're going to test out the concept, see how many people come, conduct regular surveys, and based on its success we will consider expanding to other cities in the region."
Barre also told AME that the computing giant expects a strong end to the year with Windows 8 upgrades, for which the TCC is strategically placed. HP are partnering with Microsoft to be the leading vendor for Windows 8 adoption.
"We're also transitioning a lot of our notebook line-up to a thin and light form factor," he said. "Be ready to see more thin and light products from HP."
Customer care also valuable to SME users
Microsoft and Symantec have been listed as key partners and both Windows 8 training and security seminars have been announced, as well as basic home computing courses for beginners – and work group training that will cater more to SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises).
Today marks the official opening, but the centre's doors, just a stone's throw from Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station, have been ajar for three weeks as part of a soft launch. Product expert and HP Country Categoray Manager, Elena Danici, also described the current mix of clientele, and the importance of the TCC for start-ups and SME users.
"It's quite an interesting mix of ordinary customers who use their PC or laptop at home, as well as people who have small businesses. If you are an SME it's quite difficult to find a place that will address your technology concerns – normally these people don't have an IT manager or service in-house that can help to fix an issue or answer a basic question. The new Technology Care Centre will address all of this," she told AMEinfo.
The TCC will be open daily from 10am – 10pm and offers a 24 hour helpline for emergency enquiries.