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How Client-Facing Technical Writing Affects Customer Relationships

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Technical documents are pivotal when managing client relationships. Of course, most organizations—especially firms working in technical areas—often don’t think of their written documents in this way. But given that written documents are often the customer’s most common way of interfacing with your organization, the quality of those documents plays a huge role in determining the clients’ satisfaction with (and impression of) your organization. This is why we argue that the documents you produce are your true deliverable.

What are technical documents aimed at clients and their uses?

First, let’s clarify what we’re talking about here. Technical documents aimed at clients usually include user manuals, project documentation, system requirements documents, and maintenance guides, among others. These documents serve as a bridge between the technical complexities of a product or service and the practical understanding required by the client. Their primary use is to provide clear and accurate information that assists clients in understanding, using, or maintaining a product or service effectively.

Why must these client-facing documents be high quality?

The quality of client-facing technical documents directly influences the client’s perception of the company and its products. High-quality documents are indicative of a company’s professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction. They ensure that information is accessible and understandable, reducing confusion and potential misuse, which can lead to increased support costs and damaged client relationships. Plus, well-crafted documents simply enhance the customer’s overall experience by:

  • Empowering clients to maximize the value of their purchases.
  • Ensuring proper operation of your products, services, or systems.
  • Minimizing downtime or other problems due to errors or misunderstandings.

How can improving documentation foster better relationships?

It’s worth understanding the actual impact of quality writing on customers. We’re not talking about abstract or incremental effects. Technical documents are substantive forms of content that have real impacts on the readers who consume them. Poorly written, they can cause problems for your customers. Well written, they can yield a cornucopia of positive outcomes:

  1. Enhanced Clarity and Understanding. High-quality written documents are clear, concise, and well-structured, making them easier for customers to understand. When clients can easily comprehend technical details, guidelines, or service descriptions, confusion and potential misunderstandings are minimized. This clarity helps reduce the frequency of errors and the need for clients to reach out for clarification, leading to a smoother, more efficient client experience.
  • Increased Trust and Credibility. “You want to be as impressive in writing as you are in person,” says Barbara Wallraff, author and former senior editor at The Atlantic. Professional and polished documents reflect the expertise and reliability of an organization (and its teams). When documents such as proposals, reports, and manuals are well-written and error-free, they convey professionalism that enhances the organization’s credibility. Customers are more likely to trust a company that communicates clearly and effectively, perceiving it as more competent and capable of meeting their needs.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty. Quality documentation ensures that clients have all the information they need to effectively use a product or service. For example, a comprehensive and easy-to-understand user manual can enhance the user experience, reducing frustration and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and even brand advocates. “The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy,” says Dharmesh Shah, CTO at content marketing and CRM platform HubSpot.
  • Stronger Competitive Advantage. In industries where products and services are complex, the quality of documentation can even become a competitive differentiator. Clear and helpful documents can make it easier for customers to choose your product over competing options that may be accompanied by less clear or useful information. This competitive edge can be crucial in markets where products and services are technically similar.

Whatever you do, don’t shortchange the documents that your organization writes. They carry real weight with customers and deserve to be treated with the same gravity that you reserve for your actual products and services.

To learn more – and pick up more strategies for improving technical documents at your organization – contact Hurley Write for a custom, no-obligation consultation or check out our full portfolio of technical writing courses.

How Client-Facing Technical Writing Affects Customer Relationships

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

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