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How to Impress with Your Technical Writing #1: Understanding the Impact on Clients

Table of Contents

Posted June 11, 2024

From proposals to reports, every document your team produces reflects on your organization’s professionalism and competence. In other words, the quality of your team’s written documents can make or break a client’s impression of your business. This is especially true for technical, scientific, and engineering writing where conveying expertise and knowledge is key to generating successful client relationships and desirable business outcomes.

To ensure your team’s written communications leave a positive and lasting impression, it’s crucial to understand what can damage a client’s perception and what can instead exceed client expectations.

1: What Will Damage a Client’s Impressions

While we know that grammar isn’t the crux of what makes writing great, documents with grammar and spelling errors can hurt any business. As one study, published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, found: “In all, results suggest that readers perceive stories with grammatical errors to be lower in quality, credibility, and informativeness.” Another survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents refuse to work with a business whose written documents include grammar and/or spelling errors.

Another major pitfall is writing for the wrong reader. Failing to understand your reader can lead to using language that is too technical or simplistic. Messages that don’t resonate with clients or fail to address their specific needs and concerns will disappoint or even outright alienate them. A client who feels misunderstood will lose confidence in your ability to meet their requirements.

And damaging client impressions through bad writing isn’t just an annoyance; it imposes a real business cost on both your readers and your organization.

Poor communication loses workers 7.47 hours every week; that implies a sunk cost of $25,012 per year for the average worker. This loss of time isn’t paid by the writer; it’s paid by the reader who has to spend extra time trying to understand what they’re reading or deal with technical or business problems left unresolved or made worse.

Here’s a real-world example of that phenomenon: prior to improving their writing, the U.S. Navy wrote memos that were difficult and time-consuming to read. After changing how they approached that writing, officers were able to read the memos as much as 27% faster, saving up $37 million annually just in time savings.

2: What Will Exceed Expectations and Create a Lasting Impression

While avoiding mistakes and ensuring clarity will prevent a negative impression, it won’t necessarily build credibility or advance your organizational goals. To truly impress a client, your documents need to go beyond the basics.

  • First, your writing should be targeted specifically to the client. This means understanding their pain points and tailoring your content to address those issues. Provide solutions and insights that are directly relevant to their business challenges. Show that you understand their industry, market, and specific needs.
  • Second, the structure and presentation of your document should go above-and-beyond. Plain pages filled with blocks of text are unimpressive. Instead, use professional formatting, including consistent fonts, headings, and spacing. Visual elements such as charts, graphs, and images can help convey complex information more effectively and make your documents more readable. Ensure that these visuals are relevant and add value to the content.
  • Third, to make your documents stand out, focus on making the content engaging. Even technical writing should tell a story. Weaving informative content into a compelling narrative will capture attention and make the document more comprehensible and
  • Fourth, and most importantly, ensure your written documents directly address client pain points. We’ve written about technical writing as problem-solving, but it bears repeating: your written documents should help your clients. The better you can help them, the more impressed they will be with the quality of your expertise and service.


3: Real-World Impact

Impressive writing is worth more—way more—than just bragging rights. Better writing generates better outcomes by almost any measure, including in terms of business results. In one study, researchers found that articles with “more positive writing components” also earned more citations and links. This is only a proxy measure of the impact of high-quality writing, but other research supports the conclusion that better writing leads to better business results. Another study, from consultancy group Willis Towers Watson, found that companies with effective communication practices have 47% higher total returns to shareholders over five years compared to firms with less effective communication practices.

Just remember, impressing a client with your business’s written documents requires more than just meeting minimum expectations. It involves a deep understanding of the client, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By producing documents that are correct and clear and engaging and highly relevant, you can create a lasting positive impression and build stronger client relationships.

 Is your team ready to enhance their technical writing skills? Our experienced experts specialize in technical writing classes and courses that can address your specific writing challenges. Contact Hurley Write for a no-obligation consultation and discover the perfect course to help your team achieve their goals. Is your team ready to build the writing skills that will leave a lasting impression? Our team of experts can assess your situation, diagnose your writing challenges, and prescribe the perfect course to help you achieve your goals. Contact Hurley Write for a no-obligation consultation.




How to Impress with Your Technical Writing #1: Understanding the Impact on Clients

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Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483
Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483

(172 Reviews)