Keeping up with the 21st century customer mindset through product documentation

Posted by
February 13, 2018

You’ve probably received a negative customer review on one of your social media channels by now. Gone were the days of relatively discreet phone calls with customer service representatives. Instead of only speaking with you about their feedback, complaints, and demands, some customers prefer to be more public, posting comments and reviews online. And you’re aware that having even one bad comment can turn away potential, as well as existing, customers.

Understanding your customers

It is frustrating for business when such things happen. However, as digital connectivity continues to disrupt customer-business interaction, it is expected that customers will continue to express both their discontent and satisfaction through any channel they want.

Not disregarding the fact that your customers have different personas, today’s fast-paced digital world generally encourages them to take more control, to be more independent, knowledgeable, and demanding. With easily accessible resources at their fingertips, customers prefer to do everything on their own terms—whether consciously or unconsciously—quickly and efficiently.

Giving your customers what they want

In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, “companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily,” which means, to “remove obstacles” for them. Forrester also revealed that 73% of customers said that valuing their time is the most important thing a business can do. In a similar way, 53% of customers think it is important for them to resolve their own product or service problems rather than call support, according to a Zendesk report.

As customers opt to do it on their own (Gartner predicted that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human), your business must meet your customers where they are, and provide them with the tools and solutions that help them solve their problems in the most effective way.

Preparing your product documentation for your customers

Now considered as more than a static customer support tool, product documentation has so much potential not only to help you keep pace with the new customer mindset, but also genuinely provide your customers with easily accessible personalized answers to their problems—whenever and wherever they need them. How?

Availability

Making your product documentation available in different search engines and across multiple devices improves customers’ satisfaction. Taking this up a notch is to let your customers search through the product documentation with live filtering and search results preview, so they can quickly find the information they need.

Reliability

Keeping your product documentation updated and consistent guarantees customers of its credibility and authority. Pushing relevant content to your customers also help them solve their issues quickly. By increasing your customers’ trust in your content, they are more than willing to share their experience with others, so make sure you have feedback and sharing tools in place.

Suitability

Ensuring your product documentation fits your customer needs at the right moment naturally increases the usage of your content. You can give users the option of an automated and faceted search for a solution before opening a support case, which supports case deflection and reduces time-to-resolution. With this, you are helping them save time and effort, resulting in more productivity.

As customers take the lead of their own experience with your business, it is a good time to be reminded of what Daniel Carnegie, in his most popular and widely read book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, said, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

In the context of customer service, your customers know and value when a business is genuinely helping them out solve their issues. Being creatures of emotions, they (and every person of course) are always ready to give a compliment if their experience with your business is positive. But remember, they are also likely to share the negatives ones. Prevent the latter by making sure your product documentation is available, reliable, and suitable to cater to the new customer mindset, and you will end up with happy, satisfied, and loyal customers.

 

Zoomin’s dynamic knowledge portal extends the reach of product documentation libraries by giving customers easy, personalized access to the answers they need—from any device, whenever they want, and from any location. Zoomin moves your content from a static collection of documents, to a dynamic world of answers. Learn more by scheduling your guided demo.

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