Customer Support Vs. Social Documentation – The Balance of Power is Shifting

The best relationship in a customer focused organization is between the Customer Support and Technical Publications teams.  They tend to share customer issues to make both teams better and may even update the support and product documentation sites with their shared learnings.

Yet, even the best relationship between teams is not good enough today.  Because no one knows your product/service better than your customers.  And you’re not giving your customers a voice on your site.  It’s being filtered through customer service or is not being heard at all.  Why?

Why not enable your customers to help solve customer support issues?  Why not allow them the opportunity to post video tutorials?  Why not give them the tools to better your current documentation and support site?

The cost saving benefits to your organization are numerous.  I’ve illustrated it in the infographic below:

Social Documentation versus Customer Support

Since you don’t have the tools today to measure how effective your product/service documentation is for your customers you need to stock your company full of customer support people.  That can be expensive.

And if you’re like me, you don’t bother to check the product documentation because your expectation is that it’s light or won’t address your specific issue.  So you place a call to customer support.  And in aggregate that gets expensive for the organization.  In fact, according to our research, $156 per customer on average.

But the tools are coming.

Tools that enable your organization to monitor documentation usage. Reports and dashboards that give you real time heads up display on what users are searching for and not finding.  Analytics that display how useful an article is or if the article needs updating.

You’ll be able to deliver reports to decision makers that will justify an increase in your budget instead of customer supports’ because you’re delivering more value.   You’ll be able to show how your ineffective documentation wasn’t producing results but how you changed it to make it better.

Increasingly, your customers are expecting more.  More information about how your product/service works and more interaction with your brand.  But your static documentation doesn’t provide that.  You aren’t enabling it.

So they go elsewhere.  Maybe even to your competitors site.

But there is a solution.   A solution that decreases costs and increases revenue. You can sign up for a preview here.

You can view this as a beginning – one that raises the bar and your career.  Or you can ignore it and hope things work out for you in this increasingly Enterprise 2.0 world.

Most people take the latter route and wonder why things aren’t working out for them.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Is Your Technical Communication Career a Dead End? | CloudAve
  2. 5 Critical Questions to Determine if Your Product Documentation is Strategic | CloudAve
  3. 5 Critical Questions to Determine if Your Product Documentation is Strategic | MindTouch, Inc Blog
  4. Social Documentation versus Customer Support INFOGRAPHIC | One Step To Information

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