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Giving Customers What They Want: Integrating Content into the Customer LifeCycle [Noz Urbina]


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Modern product development (especially in the software industry) is a faster-paced and more iterative process than ever before. In business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, globalization puts added pressures on innovation and the ability to give specific audiences the customer experience they are after.

Using both theory and case studies, this presentation will address ways of increasing the customer experience by:

Being the user advocate in product design for a more consistent, streamlined user experience.

Ensuring your content management process can handle the future of content delivery, embedded
User Assistance (eUA) and dynamic, multi-device, mobile-ready content experiences.

Using tech comm to bridge development, support and content by soliciting and actioning customer feedback.

Structuring for success in the face of diversifying, accelerating product development requirements with topic-based authoring, structure, metadata and content management.

Published in: Business
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Giving Customers What They Want: Integrating Content into the Customer LifeCycle [Noz Urbina]

  1. 1. Giving Customers What They Want Integrating Content in the Customer Lifecycle Noz Urbina @nozurbina
  2. 2. Me & Mekon• Consultant, Trainer, Author – Content strategy, TechComms focus – Mekon 20 years, me 10 years, in content and mark- up – Small-to-medium-to-huge enterprises globally• Chairperson for Congility Events ( – Today‟s Content Needs Agility
  3. 3. TeaserThis deck contains a bat-eared fox ...with good advice for you
  4. 4. Agenda~ The TechComm raison dêtre~ LifeCycles~ Why integrate? – The future revisited – eUA~ Why not?~ Doing it
  5. 5. A TechComm Content Strategy“Making accurate, best-in-class manuals, help and tutorialsavailable to our clients in the format of their choosing.” Blech. It‟s not about manuals, single sourcing or even content“Transfer contextually relevant product knowledge to staffand customers such that we increasing customersatisfaction and drive repeat business”
  6. 6. A TechComm Content Strategy~ Increase profit margins by increased efficiency...~ Raise brand profile by publishing our content online...~ Drive revenues by streamlining access to appropriate content in the pre and post- sales phases...
  7. 7. The Pac-Man Customer (Simple)
  8. 8. Complex
  9. 9. Deliverables > Customer LifeCycle Customer Unaware Recognition Relevance Education Comparison Selection Purchase SupportProduct videoBrochureRelated productinformationCase StudiesWhitepaper /blog articlesApp noteUser manualFAQProd selectiontoolHow toProgrammingReference
  10. 10. Lifecycle
  11. 11. Thoughts~ Device manufacturers are tripping over each other to be the first to usher in the new “killer device” that changes the content consumption landscape~ It might be a new device, or a combination of devices brought together to deliver new experiences
  12. 12. Users expect more
  13. 13. eUA, EmHelp, UAP, mini-help~ Terminology seems to be evolving~ Integral part of the application – Still owned by the authors~ Minimalism is King – Limited real estate – Consumed at a glance (then back to work)~ Pop-ups are evil(?) – Scratching the surface of eUA – It‟s NOT Clippy
  14. 14. Canon Printer eUA~ When my printer errors, it asks me if it can send my data to the manufacturer to send m e the latest, greatest content from their servers – Errors link directly to the trouble-shooting task and navigate for me to the right content – I can build up „my manual‟ of my favourite topics~ (Key tasks appear with animations on the printer itself)
  15. 15. Over the consent wall
  16. 16. Ableton Live~ Ableton Live delivers two types of embedded help~ 3rd parties have built iPad interfaces, meaning you can simultaneously control Ableton‟s software from the iPad and/or the PC
  17. 17. Ableton Live
  18. 18. And so on...
  19. 19. Benefits of eUAWhy is it better than PDF, Tripane or Context sensitive Help?~ Doesn‟t break user context – Proactive in giving help – Not waiting for frustrated user~ Speed – Your software or device is to help them do their day job~ Learning tool – For users and for you!
  20. 20. SilosThe business has silos. The business is a silo.
  21. 21. Silos in the Organisation Customer Needs
  22. 22. Business Unit Silos Customer Needs
  23. 23. Silos in the SME Departments SME‟s say: “Find a good piece of content and grab it! You might never see it again!”
  24. 24. Silos Have Different...~ Budgets~ Managers~ Editing Tools~ Formats~ Repositories~ Cultures~ Countries?~ Languages? Business Units?
  25. 25. Do it~ Map the customer journey~ Map the content model and assets to the journey~ Gap analysis~ Build a (modular) model to address gaps~ Build cross-silo strategy to fill – Information architecture & taxonomy standards / process: ~ Cross-functional scrums? ~ Embedded UA? ~ Support/Training mapping etc? ~ Establish non-partisan „Content Standards Board‟ ~ Governance suffers from silos
  26. 26. Repurposing with content curationOriginal Flow
  27. 27. Content curation and reuse~ Content curation is reusing content for new aims~ Sometimes it can be automated, sometimes can be hand-curated~ If your content is intelligent, you can use existing assets to tell new stories, anywhere
  28. 28. Curation-ready content~ Must be defined and sold differently for different silos and audiences~ Content Strategy driven by formal user and task analysis and corporate goals~ Format neutral , not proprietary(DITA, XML)~ Repository that supports structured content modules~ Delivery platforms that support content queries
  29. 29. Content > Development LifeCycle M0 M1 M2 M3 M... LaunchMarketRequirementsInitialSpecificationsDevelopmentSpecificationsTest SpecsUI StringsUser ManualsSales MaterialsMarketingMaterials“Other DB”...
  30. 30. Layers of Standardisation and Reuse~ Some standards are company-wide, some are local~ Assets = – Content – Templates – Multimedia – Guidelines – (Tools?)
  31. 31. Take-aways~ There isn‟t one standard that will work for the whole enterprise~ It‟s vital to map to the internal and external process, then standardise on what‟s best for the business need – Don‟t chase the “one standard to rule them all”. Something things, like terms, should be globally standard. Other assets might be more local.~ Content needs to be tool agnostic, but each tool can then apply its formatting specifics
  32. 32. Software Process Integration~ Benefits – A variety of viewpoints integrated to make the product better – User Assistance avoided last minute surprises and ‟just before launch‟ crunches ~ Even if last-minute changes were made, UA already had the majority of the work done – Percentage of UA time spent writing went down ~ More time on reviews, but were needing to write less because the interface required less documentation
  33. 33. Software Process Integration~ “Documentation was a 2-way communication tool with customers” – Commenting on the documentation and product in the supported in contexual help~ Future plans to support: – Recorded training access – Proprietary social network access – Log support tickets (implementation status unknown)
  34. 34. Duplicated: “What is it?” “Show/Hide”- “What is it?” and/or- “Showing/hiding it” Also reused in10 other lessons+ manual 10 other lessons+ UI eUA itself + manual= 13 instances = 13 instances
  35. 35. Manual OnlyWhat is it?Show/hide Instructions(Can show image or<desc> text dependingon output context)Manual Only
  36. 36. Reuse means:- Write once- Translate once- Approve once- Pay for once
  37. 37. Final Take-Aways~ The customer doesn‟t care about the org chart – They just want their answer so they can get move on~ We are responsible for the whole CX~ Communication of knowledge is the focus, the deliverables are a means to an end – Focus on task-oriented content services and applications – Your content exists to support their tasks
  38. 38. Final Take-Aways~ The content strategist is often the consultant that aligns the planets so greatness can happen~ Our competitors are starting to work this way, even if we‟re not
  39. 39. Listen to your customers!Thank you!