Close the gap between customer expectations and experience with product documentation
Everywhere you look, the easy availability of technology to both customers and businesses are rapidly changing customer expectations and experience. In a fast-paced digital and engaged world, this makes creating a meaningful customer experience an important part of any business strategy.
- Accenture stated that 90% of B2B leaders believe customer experience is crucial to their organizations’ strategic priorities.
- Deloitte revealed that 62% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator; and
- Gartner predicted that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations have implemented significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.
However, an Accenture study also found out that only 23% of B2B companies achieve strong ROI on their customer experience initiatives. And almost as many (20%) generate low or no return. This stresses the widening gap between customers’ expectations and what they actually experience with companies.
Product documentation has always been a part of customer strategy, mostly for customer support. But in today’s digital landscape, where people looking for answers online is the new norm, product documentation has found new applications. It is now a valuable tool that attracts, engages, and retains customers, as well as a platform to upsell and cross-sell.
Delivering highly credible and relevant contents, product documentation can also be used to address the customer expectations and experience gap. In customer experience, simply producing contents is not the key. Rather, it is nurturing relationships with customers using product documentation. Here’s how:
- Make product documentation a part of the product or service. While product documentation is technically an extension of a product, it can be treated as a separate asset with a different purpose. Product documentation gives value by conveniently providing answers to problems related to your product—whether for existing customers or potential ones. This creates an opportunity to engage with customers wherever they are in their journey. For instance, if your company has a portfolio of products, you can deliver contents in multiple languages which expands your reach and customer brand awareness.
- Gather feedback and analyze. Consistently monitoring customer feedback is crucial to stay on top of what your customers and market want. This way, you can modify your strategy to immediately meet customers where they are, leaving a positive impression. Having a dynamic product documentation portal enables you to improve the analytics of the documentation—not only to increase users traffic, but more importantly, to discover what is working or not.
- Identify unmet needs and innovation ideas. The comments you receive on your product documentation assets are a goldmine. These interactions reveal the actual pain points your customers are experiencing—some of them also suggest ideas to solve problems. Leverage customers’ initiative in communicating with you by putting up intuitive feedback and sharing tools that improve the documentation process and allow easy follow ups with subject matter experts and customers’ feedback. This way, you can strengthen customer engagement and be one step ahead of customer needs in the future.
More than a dynamic product documentation portal, successfully closing the gap between customer expectations and experience needs empathy and listening. While product documentation sends out relevant contents that engage, and provide the analytics to continuously improve strategy, what customers truly want is having a meaningful connection with companies. To do that, leverage your product documentation to better listen to your customers and use these insights to deliver valuable experiences that exceed what your customers expect.