Tag Archives: use cases

The Case of the FAQ

Tech support follows the Pareto Principle: 80% of the support requests involve just 20% of the questions that users have. These frequently asked questions tie up resources that could be used on other problems.

The tech support manager can see that his techs are answering the same small set of questions over and over, but the problem isn’t a support issue. Rather it’s a documentation issue: If users come up with the same problems consistently then chances are those issues aren’t addressed, or aren’t addressed adequately, in the user docs.

A technical writer can help free up the support department’s resources. The writer can work with the support techs and review their ticket tracker to identify the most common questions and learn how the techs usually address them. Then the writer can survey the existing user documentation, identify trouble spots, and create new content to help users get the help they need without a call to tech support.

Now your techs have more time to deal with the truly difficult problems. They can reduce escalation to more expensive support levels or even begin to develop a knowledge base to improve the support process overall.

The result is a more effective, more efficient technical support process.

The Case of The Unwary Salesperson

This is the first in a series of posts about how good documentation solves business problems.

It is not uncommon for sales teams to over-promise. Either because your salespeople don’t know the current feature set, or because they don’t recognize the limits of customization, they may sell your customers more than you can easily deliver.

The executive in charge of sales feels the pain in the form of lost sales and irate customers, when it turns out that what they’re getting is not what they thought they were buying. The Director of Engineering (hardware or software) feels the pain when he or she gets a brush fire in the form of a customization order for a client that simply can’t be left unsatisfied.

Both scenarios – lost sales and cost overruns for customization – hurt the company’s bottom line. Unhappy customers hurt your company’s reputation and reduce future revenue.

The solution is better documentation. Sales training materials can keep the sales team up to date on the latest feature set and when new features are expected to roll out. Reference cards can keep the information ready to hand on sales calls. A technical writer can bring the sales team and product development team together in ways that help keep everyone happy.