The customer experience (CX) refers to the overall feelings and experiences of your customers, as they discover your brand, engage with your products and services, and maintain that brand relationship.
For many businesses, it’s the most important factor for success; happy customers who make full use of your products and services will continue to buy from you, and support the development of your reputation and the reach of your brand.
One of the key strategies for supporting a better customer experience is technical writing—the process of documenting complex, technical ideas in a way that anyone can understand. So why is this art so important, and what can you do to improve it?
Improving And Integrating Technical Writing
Let’s start by focusing on what technical writing is, and how you can integrate it into your organization in a way that improves your customer experience. Technical writing could refer to a few different applications, but they all have the same goal: conveying a technical idea to a specific audience.
For example, you might try to explain how your software works to a teammate or to an end consumer, or you might write an FAQ or help guide using a tool like ClickHelp for people unfamiliar with how your product works.
So how do you learn technical writing, or teach it to your employees? There are a few different potential approaches, but one of the most valuable strategies is to start with classwork. You can find technical writing courses at most universities, from private individuals, and even online thanks to free resources like Coursera.
From there, it’s a matter of polishing and refining your skills as they relate to your industry and your product; this is typically a matter of practice and paying attention to feedback. In other words, pay close attention to your writing, write frequently, and get opinions from readers about what you could do to improve that writing.
Technical Writing In Marketing And Advertising
For customers who have never used your product before, the product may seem confusing. People might not understand exactly how it’s supposed to work, or what problem it’s trying to solve. If you get too caught up in the blunt technical details, like the performance specs or the chemical formulas, it’s going to go over people’s heads, and your target audience won’t be closer to understanding why they should buy this particular product.
Skilled technical writers can introduce your products in a way that makes sense for a non-technical audience, or articulately provide the technical details to a technical audience. Either way, you’ll improve your brand’s visibility and land more sales.
Technical Writing In Tutorials, Help, And Customer Support
Just as importantly, you’ll need to integrate technical writing into your ongoing customer support—retaining your current audience, securing better reviews, and hopefully attracting even more people to your brand.
This is the application most people consider when they talk about technical writing. It usually involves the creation of one or more help guides for customers, walking them through the points of confusion or problems that most users encounter, and describing the product in a way that makes it much easier to understand. This is a feature that should evolve over time, with new articles being added and previous writing being updated as needed.
Other Benefits Of Technical Writing
Technical writing can also improve your CX indirectly, by supporting or improving other departments or areas of your business. For example:
- Internal process documentation. Technical writing is highly beneficial for process documentation, the practice of formally recording the procedures your employees are meant to follow in the course of an average workday. This can lead to more solid internal processes, and a more efficient organization.
- Training and development. It’s also important for training your employees and helping them develop. For example, your customer service team can learn the ins and outs of your product more efficiently and be able to communicate that with your customers directly. It’s also useful for orientation of new people who may not fully understand your product.
- Understanding and problem-solving. For software developers and other roles responsible for solving problems related to your product, technical writing can help them think in new ways—and discover problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. New forms of communication allow your mind to see things in a new light.
CX is vital to the success of any new startup, and technical writing is vital for a solid CX strategy. It’s an underrated skill, and one we call upon more frequently than we typically imagine. Learning how to tap into the power of technical writing, and learning how to consistently improve it, is one of the best things you can do for your business.
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