Enough said about the importance of technical documentation in a product’s lifecycle. Tonnes of written help material accompanies every product purchase, but is it helping? There is a straight forward way to measure how good your documentation is.
Product adoption or the effectiveness with which a product reaches its intended users is one the key indicators of the product documentation quality. A company might have come out with a super duper product but if its users don’t figure out how to use it from the help, then that’s as good as a failed product!
At present, the industry statistics on product adoption tell a rather sad story. The industry average on successful adoption of any software purchased is a dismal 15% in the first year of purchase!
View this from the perspective of large corporations who invest on several B2B software products for their CRM, Human Capital Management or Learning & Development functions. Poor adoption simply means massive financial investment resulting in no immediate benefit.
Next let’s think about B2C product adoption at the end user premises. Again, a user shells out hard cash on software, but is unable to use it right away. The longer it takes for him to figure out how it works, the poorer his satisfaction with the product.
Now as a tech writer, what can you do to accelerate product adoption? We recommend you try out Whatfix. We guarantee that you will do away with all other tools and utilities presently used in the documentation design and development process in your organization!
Whatfix is an online help tool that offers a completely different approach to technical documentation. It creates tooltips that popup within the product itself and guides the user through a product function with a step by step walkthrough. Since Whatfix is enmeshed within the product itself, the user doesn’t have to refer to an external help document.
Creating help for customizable software is a challenge as these products morph into different views for different business use cases. So generating a generic set of help documentation won’t work. Whatfix shows contextual help pop-ups, specific to the current screen that the user is on. Also, help content varies based on the user’s expertise levels, location and language! A novice user gets different help compared to an expert user. Now, that’s a big relief for tech writers who are always fighting the challenge of reaching users with varying degrees of product knowledge.
To get information on how to use a particular feature, constant flipping between the product page and an external help page is done away with. Now, the help appears right in the middle of the feature itself. Neatly embedded and unobtrusive.
It’s very tough for a tech writer to visualize all possible places inside the product where a user might get stuck and look for help. If only the help could be interactive, respond to user’s specific queries in the middle of his work. Now, that’s exactly what Whatfix does. Its interactive documentation takes care of the exact query the user has in mind.
One of the banes of the life of a tech writer is to decide what skills to possess – focus on manual content writing or learn to use automation tools. But what if you can create help content without either headache? With Whatfix, you can focus on the only thing that matters – product knowledge from the user’s perspective. Just key in this information in concise and crisp information snippets using the Whatfix work flows.
Whatfix has already collaborated with several top rung software products in the major domains of CRM, HCM, L&D, ERP. So pre-defined templates are supported for creating flows in most of the key domains. All that a tech writer needs to do is pick the appropriate template and fit in your product specific content.
If you are working on an entirely new product and have just chosen Whatfix, then you can be assured that your product help will be up and running in a few weeks flat. Whatfix support professionals will work with you to get things going. Not that you really need support. Its intuitive and coding free interface makes doing things on your own quite simple!
Any tech writer will vouch for the fact that there is a lot of content duplication that that goes around. Simply because different target users need to be presented the same information in different visual formats. Some might prefer an interactive session, some want video demos, yet another would need written documentation for offline reference.
Whatfix takes this load off your head. Just create your content snippets within the Whatfix interface. Converting it into various output formats is done automatically. Saves massive amount of non-productive effort, during creation and also during modification.
Product adoption is not a one-time process. That’s because product features are constantly undergoing enhancements. So tech writers need to be constantly on their toes making sure their documentation is in sync with the updated product features. Many a time, urgent feature releases don’t carry relevant document updates with them. This mismatch causes lot of trouble for users.
With Whatfix, you can forget your version management troubles! Here, help content is embedded into the product itself. So if there is a feature change, the corresponding help update becomes a natural consequence. There is never a risk of delivering a product to the user without up-to-date documentation.
Information in enterprise applications and knowledge bases (KBs) is often inaccessible because it is buried under layers of complexity. Help content generally offers limited personalization, making it tough for users to find information relevant to them.
To automatically extract information from these KBs, Whatfix employs a proprietary crawling technique called Whatfix Smart Assist. First, a deep search is conducted for the most relevant help to the given context. Then the discovered information is shown to the user within the product function. This smart assist technique greatly minimizes turn-around time and boosts productivity. The number of support tickets gets drastically reduced with this self-service mechanism of finding information.
As a tech writer, your role in accelerating product adoption is critical. To succeed in this, first equip yourself with in-depth product knowledge. There is no substitute to knowing your product in and out. Put yourself in the shoes of the prospective user and then design the help content. Empower yourself with a good help authoring tool. Whatfix can serve as an able partner in rendering your help documentation effectively. Achieve quick and effortless help deployment. You are on the road to product success and high customer satisfaction!