Mashable recently published a post on “5 Reasons Your Product Documentation is a Marketing Asset.” As a documentation specialist, I was intrigued by the cross between Marketing material vs. Process material, as typically the two are very different. However, after reading the article, I now see the benefits of having great process documentation from a marketing standpoint.
While marketing lingo can help draw in a potential customer, good documentation will give them a better look at your product’s features and all that you offer. Marketing copy and Product Documentation should not read the same, but they can go hand in hand when trying to sell your product to potential customers. Check out the tips here:
In running a small business, you have to ensure you make the right moves if you want to be successful. Author, Anna Lindow, provides her 4 tips on providing great customer service and building a personalized business when you’re a small organization.
This article ties in nicely with yesterday’s post on handling difficult customers, because Lindow’s tips allow you to be proactive in building good relationships with your clients. She describes how getting ahead of complaints, adding a personal touch, pointing people in the right direction, and going to the source for feedback are all actions that can all help you to improve the lines of communication with your customers and ensure your business hits the ground running. Check out the article here!
Dealing with Difficult Customers
Handling a difficult customer is never easy, but in the customer service industry, often times you must grin and bear it, and make the best of the situation. There are a few pointers that you can employ to improve your interactions with customers and overall satisfaction with your organization.
Understand their Use Case and Business Objectives
Often times, when interacting with a client, it can become frustrating to fully understand why they might be upset over an issue that is considered minor to your organization. Begin and work on learning more about what their use case might be, or what their business needs are. Understanding what they are trying to achieve will allow you to better serve them. It also helps your organization understand what your customers’ needs are and improve your product in the long term. Though you can’t please every client, you can certainly learn about what would make their lives easier.
Build Healthy Client Relationships
Getting to know your customers is a great way to build their trust, and building their trust means they will be more patient with you when you’re working on a solution for them. Read More
Guy Nirpaz, of Mashable.com, posted an article yesterday on his “5 Tips for Converting Trial Users Into Paying Customers
.” He points out the fact that SaaS solutions often times need free trials to help draw in potential clientele. Nirpaz’s tactics of generating customers out of trial users can be easily employed. Some of the tips include monitoring contacts and understanding the end user to improve your product.
One thing that I might add to this list, for instance, is providing your customers with enough of the features in the trial that you actually have in your product. Read More
Writer, Christopher Elliot, recently wrote an article for BNET on his 5 tips for earning your customers’ trust. You can find the full article here.
As Elliot recommends setting forth these practices in a customer setting, he notes that these same practices should be reflected internally as well. His tips focus on the aspect of being truthful in building trust. For instance, a couple of his tips include “Do what you say” and “Don’t Hide.” Elliot’s commentary is forward, but honest.
Regardless of whether or not you’re already practicing these guidelines, they serve as a great refresher to the art of customer service. Often times, it is easy to forget there are different ways to successfully communicate in this industry. Building relationships with customers is a huge part of earning business, and Elliot’s “5 Ways to Earn a Customer’s Trust” ties in perfectly with this important understanding. Again, you can check out the article here:
As Parature’s Technical Writer, I receive negative feedback alerts when someone leaves feedback on a knowledgebase article. There are multiple types of feedback that I receive and I can categorize them into four different groups. The following are some scenarios I have encountered and provided is some tips on how to deal with these types of feedback:
Why doesn’t your product offer “x”? I want it to offer “x”.
Often times, customers may use a knowledgebase article feedback link to offer how they feel about your product. For instance, an article may answer their question about a feature, but it may not be the desired feature the customer would like to see in the product. The feedback box serves as a platform for their feature suggestion even if it is not the proper location to share an idea to your organization. The best way to handle this scenario is to suggest the idea to your product management team or point them in the proper location to submit an idea. At Parature, the customer can use our Share Ideas site (https://shareideas.parature.com/) to submit a feature suggestion, as well as vote on other ideas. In this case, I would reach out to the client and point them in the direction of Share Ideas. Read More
Engagement in Social Media
In a Parature blog post from yesterday, we pointed out some key points in engaging in social media and further presented Parature’s most recent white paper on this topic. An article titled “Worst Practices: 3 Ways Business Fail at Social CRM” was posted today on crmbuyer.com. The solutions stated to the “worst practices” tie in nicely with yesterday’s engagement article. Author, Christopher J. Bucholtz, discusses the issues with employing Social CRM with an underdeveloped strategy. One of his most enticing key points is being overly enthusiastic in responding to your customers and then allowing this enthusiasm to fizzle out. In addition to this, Bucholtz points out that you must be ready for how you’re going to engage with customers, depending on the issue. The responder in your organization will need to be prepared to respond efficiently and with the correct material, as to not frustrate a customer further.
Bucholtz’s article goes on to talk about the meaning of personalized content versus canned responses and the art of commitment to social media channels. Check it out here!
Integration of Social Media in Existing Support Infrastructure
In one of our most recent white papers, the discussion includes the idea of five different trends in response management and customer engagement in social media. Each of these trends encompasses what it means to engage and interact with your customers through the social media realm. Below you will find a couple of the trends that I thought really stood out in creating your social strategy. Get my take on them below; you can also check out the rest of these at our white paper, Five Trends in Social Media for Response Management and Customer Engagement.
Get Responsiveness Right
As Leon mentioned in a previous post, you’re not really engaging until you start responding to your customers. But how do you get this responsiveness right? A point that the white paper makes is that “businesses must be capable of hyper-responsiveness.” This means that regardless of the message posted, your organization needs to be on top of a post/email/chat, etc., as soon as possible. Make sure you are aware of all your channels and are active in all of them at the same time. As soon as a customer writes to you, posts on your Facebook, Tweets something about your company, you want to be ready to respond and interact with them. This is especially important if you get a lot of traffic to your pages. Customers could be giving positive feedback, complaining about a product, writing an objective post, or simply asking a question-whichever it is, be prepared to answer their inquiry quickly and efficiently. Read More
Blue Mango Learning, the creators of ScreenSteps, has teamed up with Parature to make the Knowledgebase article creation and editing process simpler. ScreenSteps allows you to capture images, creating a visual document in the background where you can then insert text and callouts. From that point, the user has the ability to export this data in multiple formats.
So, how is this different from other screen capture programs like Cropper and SnagIt? While other programs allow you to grab and edit screenshots, they simply save each screenshot as a file, leaving you to copy and paste each image into the desired output. ScreenSteps saves each image as a file, but creates a document with all your images in it, providing you the ability to edit all captures, add text, export material, and utilize multiple annotation tools to help improve lessons. So, let’s walk through an example of how this works:
Let’s say I want to give you instructions on how to navigate to your Parature Roles and Permissions. Typical instructions would be as follow:
1. Navigate to your Parature Service Desk and log in
2. Click “My Settings”
3. Edit CSR Permissions
4. Click “Save” Read More
Christopher Elliot of BNET recently posted an article titled “Do You Know How to Serve Customer 2.0?” in which he discussed the age of call centers and the possibility of phone customer service disappearing all together at some point. Elliot brings up points that the new generation prefers to use email and social media for communication, whereas the older generation typically uses the phone to get their problems solved. The points made in his article are to question the existence of call centers and whether or not they will be obsolete at some point.
Elliot argues that although call centers may eventually be out of business, there is still a need for them until everyone moves towards email and social media. Today’s generation is brought up with new technology, making them the “Customer 2.0″, but there is still a need to take care of customers that prefer to use the phone to contact your organization. Eventually, however, call centers may become extinct and the phone could be a thing of the past. What are your thoughts on this technology movement? Check out Elliot’s article here: