Following the recent release of a more robust and comprehensive Guided Content Framework, new MindTouch Editor Widgets are soon to join the mix. These new widgets will help further streamline the content editing experience for users of MindTouch self-service software. While the new Editor Widgets might seem minor in comparison to the overarching information architecture they feed into, the two share a similar aim: Improve the user experience by eliminating variables. Whereas the Guided … [Read more...] about Introducing New MindTouch Editor Widgets
For anyone creating knowledge content, customer support agents likely represent a large part of the audience. Support agents need information to progress through onboarding, assist customers, and learn how to support new products or services. Unfortunately, the content we work so hard to create doesn’t always find its way into the support agent experience. Before we spend all our time considering why internal customers aren’t using product documentation, it's useful to consider how customer … [Read more...] about How Customer Support Agents Find Content
The heavy lifting is done. The tech writers have interviewed SMEs. They’ve taken screenshots, written the documents, and put them through workflow for publication. Off that documentation goes to the knowledge base. To a web self-service portal or online help. Maybe a long-form PDF. Things are generally peachy until we come to find that internal customers aren’t actually using the documentation. They can’t find the knowledge they need, or they can’t find it quickly enough. Maybe they don’t … [Read more...] about Echo-o! Why Internal Customers Aren’t Using Your Documentation
Why do we create content? This seems like a simple question. To make customers more successful? To provide more information about a product or service? For ourselves? A closer look usually reveals more nuance than we might like to admit. Each business and use case—each person, place, and new technology—adds layers that can complicate the why. Maybe it’s more useful to start with who. Who, specifically, do we create content for? And who (or what) ends up consuming that content at the end … [Read more...] about Who is Your Content Really For?
“Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.” This directive from Google Webmaster Guidelines—the call to think about customers first—contributed to how we designed the Guided Content Framework, our proprietary approach to internal information architecture. What is the Guided Content Framework? Guided Content Framework is the internal content framework we use for our customer sites. Essentially, it helps users organize various pieces of content and microcontent into high-level … [Read more...] about Put Customers First with Guided Content Framework
The #STC18 Technical Communication Summit is the annual conference organized by the Society for Technical Communication, which took place this year (65th anniversary!) in Orlando on May 20-23, 2018. The theme, Communicate the Future, was all about looking forward—strategically. What does this mean in practice? Innovation is a habit, not an outcome The opening keynote talk, Perpetual Innovation: How the World’s Most Innovative Teams Surface Great Ideas to Deliver Exponential Outcomes, came … [Read more...] about Communicate the future at #STC18 and beyond
Among the many challenges facing customer service departments, cost is near the top of the list. Things like high ticket volume and agent turnover can be among the most costly; but high-effort customer service experiences tend to be the multiplier. This helps explain the (relatively) recent emergence of web self-service portals as an effective way to improve the customer experience and defray customer support costs. As the subscription economy continues to take hold, decision makers in the … [Read more...] about What is a Web Self-Service Portal?
Or maybe the real question is, why are you making it so hard on your customers? Okay, time for a reality check. Companies that don’t make at least some of their documentation public are likely missing a huge opportunity for self-service. Correction: their customers are definitely missing out on the opportunity to help themselves. That’s a self-service fail. A big one. We’ve written at length about the rise of micromoments, those curious little things that today drive many of the … [Read more...] about Why Isn’t Your Documentation Public?
While there are many trends helping to transform self-service customer support, few garner as much conversation as automation. The A-word. To some, the word automation creates nauseating waves of existential dread. Automation will make traditional customer support roles obsolete, they whisper. Yet there is another, more tempered view that has gained traction over the past few years: automation is not likely to steal every last customer support job; but it will transform these roles … [Read more...] about Automation and the “Shift-Left” Model
Today’s customer support landscape is ruled by the companies that rule direct customer engagement. Whatever the reason, be it Mobilegeddon or life at the speed of the latest page refresh, our customers expect us to meet them wherever they are throughout the entire customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-sale and everything in between. Blink and that customer might be gone, probably on to the next micromoment. No matter how daunting a challenge it can be to meet the demand for instant, … [Read more...] about What is Contextual (Self-Service) Content?