The following is an overview of MindTouch Customer Experience Manager, Corey Ganser’s highly attended presentation this year at LavaCon 2012.
“Today I’m going to cover What Makes a Superhero? Doing What Others Can’t and/or Won’t. I’ll explain more about this as we get into the presentation, but before I get started, here is a little overview of me. I’m the Customer Experience Manager at MindTouch. As a Customer Experience Manager, I’m responsible for working with every department within MindTouch to ensure we provide a consistent and positive experience for all of our customers. Note that when I say customers, it extends beyond our actual customers that pay us money, but also incorporates prospects or people that are interested in evaluating our software.
The Customer Experience initiative provides a holistic approach to providing an excellent experience for customers to ultimately affect initiatives dictated at an executive level.
Working with customers of MindTouch, I see this initiative consistently and I’ve been able to extract elements of the organization that exist before they move towards a unified customer experience.
The first thing that is evident is that there is a division among departments that make it hard for the customer to receive a consistent message or experience. Not only does this affect the customer though, it also affects the employees within the organization and is primarily rooted in a dispersion of content for the customer.
We see the Support department has a knowledge base, the Technical Writing team maintains the formal documentation/User Manuals, Product can have a separate in product help that isn’t pulled from any of the above resources. Marketing and Sales too have a separate repository of information that they use to entice prospects join the sales pipeline.
This division leads to a lot of duplicated effort that causes confusion within the company.
This confusion is easily transmitted to the customer and in turn, they take on the confusion and have a hard time getting a positive experience. The Support team should be leveraging the documentation that the Technical Writing team is putting together and the Technical Writing team should be able to leverage the SME in support to help seed their content. And for those of you that think PDF is an acceptable delivery method for your support team to leverage, it isn’t. Your support team isn’t going to send a PDF to a customer and say: “download this PDF, scroll down to page 56 and then look at paragraph 3 and that is your answer.” What an awful way to receive help.
Product, Marketing, and Sales should be leveraging the work coming out of Technical Writing and Support combined to enhance the experience for the users. Product can incorporate this into the product. Marketing and Sales can tie in this documentation into their tools to share with prospects. Ultimately if the prospect doesn’t find information that helps them make an informed decision about what to buy, they aren’t going to choose your company as their vendor.
Let’s take a look at some of MindTouch customers that are doing this currently.
Case Study #1: coolOrange
• The Need:
a) Integration with Support Ticketing
b) Easy to use interface for authoring
c) Ability to create templates for consistency of knowledge capture
d) A system that wouldn’t require management and upgrading by coolOrange
a) MindTouch as a central repository for content with integration into Zendesk
a) Decreased costs for creation of docs, increased quality of support, and improved communication all around
b) 17% drop in support tickets
Case Study #2: Zuora
• The Need:
a) Increase collaboration among SMEs
b) Support Ticketing Integration
c) Make documentation more accessible to users
d) Increase analytics around documentation to identify trends and usage
• Solution Implemented:
a) MindTouch at the center of content
b) Integration with Zendesk
a) Opening up documentation to SMEs resulted in 200 new articles over the course of a couple of months.
b) Zuora’s customers increased usage of self-help.
c) Sales leads are generating from documentation
Case Study #3: SuccessFactors
• The Need:
a) Looking for a central location for documentation
b) Chat Integration
c) Easy to manage documentation repository
d) Integration with SAP Service OnDemand
e) Ability to extend documentation into the product
f) Personalize the customer’s experience with help from SSO
a) MindTouch as their main support portal
b) SnapEngage for chat
c) Service OnDemand for help desk
d) SSO integration with MindTouch and pass- through to chat and helpdesk
a) Central location for customers to access self-help with a personalized experience
Ultimately what each one of these companies is doing is creating an authoritative source for content: everyone (prospects, customers, and employees) has access to the single source of truth as opposed to multiple answers to the same question
As you review your plan to move ahead with a solution like MindTouch, make sure you don’t just choose a solution that is right for you only now. I like to relate this to Mr./Mrs. Right vs. Mr./Mrs. Right now. If you choose Mr./Mrs. Right Now, you’ll most likely overlook a lot of critical requirements that will unfortunately surface later on in the relationship. This truth can be said about a documentation solution. Write down a list of the direction you want to go with your content. This includes covering:
- Creation – Web authoring and making it easy to create content.
- Publishing – Don’t go through 10 steps to publish your documentation when it should only be 3-5.
- Consumption – Identify how your customers want to access your content and make sure you can support that delivery method.
- Contribution – don’t be afraid to open the doors to your community to solicit feedback from them. They have been using your product for a long time and will have some great knowledge that should be captured.”
To learn how MindTouch can can help you get the most out of your product documentation and help click here