“In a world where technology and innovation refuse to rest, the following rule is increasingly true: the more complex your product, the more important it is to explain how your product works – clearly, completely and accurately.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement, it comes from an excellent white paper: “Why Documentation Matters, and Why Outsourcing Makes Sense”, written by Rob Webber and edited by Jose Druker.
Good technical documentation delivers ROI and customer satisfaction
An example of this is how WordPress has evolved with their technical documentation and support. I’m a big WordPress fan but there are times when innovations to the user interface are not always intuitive (at least to me). In the past, some of the technical explanations created more confusion than clarity. But the good news is that WordPress listened to user feedback and the technical how-tos are getting better and better. If the Help section and FAQs don’t provide enough information, friendly humans (“Happiness Engineers”) respond promptly to problems or questions. Loyal users also step up to help others in the discussion area.
This satisfies me as a customer – I get the answers I need, I feel part of a user community, and I see that WordPress is actively responding to my needs. As of this writing, there are over 73,000,000 WordPress sites in the world – I take that as a clear sign that the company is trying hard to deliver on customer satisfaction.
Andrew, one of my colleagues at Architect of Communication, is an engineer and technical communications specialist. He shares these thoughts:
“Good technical documentation has a clear Return on Investment (ROI). The ROI is that the customer does not associate frustration with the product or the brand, after-sales services receive fewer calls and less unnecessary product returns are made. This consumer report by Accenture underlines my point:
American consumers returned $13.8 billion in electronics in 2007. Between 60 percent and 85 percent of this equipment was perfectly functional, but the purchasers returned it because of confusing interfaces, features that were difficult to access, a lack of customer education and weak documentation. These were all factors that excellent written communication could have solved — yet in its absence, many electronics companies found that they were frustrating customers to the point of initiating a product return, and their credibility was taking a hit.”
Is clear and concise technical documentation part of your company’s communication strategy?
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