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Not only do customers want self-serve support, but they’re increasingly demanding it. As Forrester Research’s Kate Leggett observes: “customers have little appetite for long or difficult service interactions, including navigating arduous interactive voice response (IVR) menus to connect with an agent or waiting in queues to be connected to a phone agent; and are increasingly turning to self-service as the easiest path to service resolution”.
While the evolution from sales funnel to customer journey is a major win for customers – who as we all know enjoy buying, but hate “being sold” — it’s nevertheless posing some new challenges for businesses that they need to address and resolve now, not later.
For companies with numerous product lines, multiple target markets, and overall complex product documentation needs, the shift towards intelligent content is clearly a step in the right direction – regardless of whether they are using DITA, HTML or proprietary solutions (e.g. Framemaker, Flare, etc.). Not only does it dramatically reduce development, review, translation and maintenance costs, but it is a major win for technical writers who can invest their time adding value – and less time rewriting content.
While there is no shortage of guidance on how organizations can engage employees in creating marketing content – such as blogs, social media posts, LinkedIn updates, and so on – there is a surprising lack of practical advice on how to engage Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the product documentation process.