Navigating through product documentation can be intimidating, so users will often ask questions of your support team before trying to find those answers themselves. However, you can turn that trend around by following these proven techniques to increase self service support, which often also increases customer satisfaction and lowers support costs. These six best practices are taken directly from the successes of the dozens of technology companies I’ve worked with.
Last week I was in Denver, Colorado at the infamous DEFRAG Conference. DEFRAG is a conference that is devoted to information overload and web innovation. It’s a smaller conference (~500) which provides for a great atmosphere.
The conference provided refreshing insight on innovation, company culture, web standards, startup strategy and more. The speaker lineup included startup CEO’s (LiveFyre, GetSatisfaction), enterprise leaders (Netflix, BestBuy, Microsoft, Google), authors and even Aneesh Chopra from the Executive Office of the President.
I was able to attend most of the keynote presentations and perhaps the most informative was from Adrian Cockcroft of Netflix. Adrian talked about the approach to culture and efficiency at Netflix. He discussed how they have resolved some of the more complex corporate issues by simplifying or even eliminating processes that traditionally plague big business. This insight was especially interesting because of all the negative media surrounding Netflix recently.
I’ll most certainly be attending DEFRAG again next year to soak in the mass of knowledge. The SWAG bags are also the best I’ve ever seen!
This week I’ll be at LavaCon in Austin, Texas where MindTouch will be breaking news.
Questions? Everyone has questions. Why is the sky blue? You can search and search, from site to site, person to person only to stumble upon meaningless jargon and obscure information that creates even more questions. A waste of time right?
Your alternative? Post your questions for the world to see and let the answers come to you. It is quite often that the question you ask will require you to specify the subject matter you want to know. Questions and Answers allows just that.
MindTouch has developed a Question and Answers plug-in that will allows users to post questions and get them answered by community peers.
RightScale, the leader in cloud computing management, recently launched their new MindTouch powered Collaborative Network for self service-support and product documentation. This innovative property provides users structure, search and discoverability to what was an inherently unstructured and disconnected knowledge base. Content consists of tutorials, videos, references, and frequently asked questions.
The MindTouch platform made the development of a customized Collaborative Network rapid and painless. Innovations in the property include dynamically updated navigation tools that expose potentially overlooked portions of documentation. Collaborative editing. Rapid application development to serve the community’s evolving needs. And an advanced search interface to the MindTouch integrated enterprise search engine that enables custom queries based on tagging, page and file contents.
The web property takes advantage of the latest capabilities from the MindTouch Lyons release. For instance, page properties are used to define descriptions, icons and navigation options for pages that display in their homepage and tier two navigation. Additionally, the unified look and feel takes advantage of PHP plugins making deployment and future upgrades fast and painless. The overarching user experience of the site delivers an easy and fluid way for visitors to navigate and find desired information, contact support and refine searches.
The key stakeholders at RightScale had the following to say about their engagement with MindTouch:
“MindTouch was helpful during each phase of our project. What impressed me the most however was during the actual launch phase. When it became obvious that our launch would run past the MindTouch Deployment Engineer’s scheduled work hours, he volunteered additional contact information so I could reach him if any issues surfaced.” Greg DeRenne Information Architect – RightScale Inc.
“MindTouch continues to deliver world-class support to match their world-class technology. Our customers might not notice, but we’re using MindTouch as the backbone of RightScale’s new Support site. Thanks to the Professional Services team of MindTouch, we now have a completely customized site with an advanced search, custom navigation, and dynamic content. MindTouch not only helped us meet our tight deadline, they also coached and trained us along the way so that by the end of the project, we were completely self-sufficient. Our only regret is that we didn’t call MindTouch sooner!” Dean Onishi, Communications Manager – RightScale Inc.
Check out http://support.rightscale.com to see how RightScale is using MindTouch to drive their community empowerment efforts.
September seems as though it will be a very busy month for us MindTouchers. So far we have planned to attend a notable series of conferences including Office 2.0, Zendcon, BlogWorldExpo and our first conference in France, Paris Capitale du Libre and Open Source Think Tank.
Paris Capitale du Libre will take place September 24th and 25th in Paris and will focus on the “economic & strategic issues related to today’s Open Source Software.” While in Paris we’re also going to attend the Open Source Think Tank conference which will take place September 21st through the 23rd.
We became aware of the Open Source conference through a recommendation from our dear friends from the Linagora Groupe. We’re ecstatic to be a part of the Europeans Open Source circuit and we’re looking forward to both conferences. Please let us know if you’re going to either Paris Capitale du Libre or Open Source Think Tank.
The team at BlogWorld & New Media Expo would like to invite the MindTouch community out to Vegas, and enjoy 20% off admission. Register with code MTDEKIVIP and you’ll save 20% off of every BlogWorld admission option including: Exhibits Only; Exhibits + Party; Full Access; Executive & Entrepreneur packages. And our normal discount pricing expires Aug. 22nd, so hurry and you can get the 20-off of the already discounted price and save a bundle!
BlogWorld & New Media Expo was created to nurture the fast-growing new media industry, to present an educational, enjoyable and energetic venue for connecting with talented resources, vendors and innovative developers for collaboration, and for discovering the latest advances in blogging, new media technology and social media networking. This is the place to come to supercharge both internally- and externally-facing communications for small enterprise up to the largest corporations.
We’re proud to have MindTouch at BlogWorld, incredibly impressed with the team’s smart, user-friendly approach to enterprise collaboration tools thru Deki, and let’s face it…the electrifying spirit and energy of the MindTouch team on the tradeshow floor is contagious! If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet your MindTouch team and community members in-person, BlogWorld is the place to do it.
See you in Las Vegas, and don’t forget to register by Aug. 22nd for best savings! One last thing…our partner hotel discounts expire Aug. 18th, so book your rooms now, and you’ll have plenty of dough left over for nighttime shenanigans….like our friend Aaron here!
Visit the event site to register online and book your hotel room quickly and easily.
The MindTouch team is happy to announce that we’ll be exhibiting at Defrag in early November. Defrag, a conference devoted to the tools and technologies that enable software to leverage social interaction, will be held in Denver, Colorado. This will be our second time at Defrag and it has proven to be one of most popular shows.
If you also plan to attend Defrag make sure you let us know! If you’re a Deki user, contributor, developer, evangelist or just a Deki fan join the MindTouch Tribe and keep up to date with our conference giveaways, events and festivities. As part of the MindTouch Tribe you will be eligible for:
- $100 Discount Code to Defrag (must use before 08/15)
- MindTouch FREEDOM t-shirt
- Access to the MindTouch Happy Hour at Defrag
- User meetups in your area
- DekiCon schedule and locations