Welcome back for episode number 18, listeners – yes, we love puns. You can listen below or on your favourite podcatcher, where you can search “Support Breakfast” or follow one of these clickable links: Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music.
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This week we’re talking about the documentation that you provide.
We are missing Nomad Sarah this week, who is busy racing.
- Dave had a fruit smoothie (based on Josef’s feedback on us needing healthier breakfasts – thanks Josef!
- Kiwi Sarah had Huel with coffee.
- Lisa had Weetabix (Do you remember the Robin Hood Weetabix ad? So good.)
- Conor had cold, leftover vegan spaghetti. Leftovers are great.
Dave chatted all about his experience of helping a customer live and in-person to make the smart decision to use Buffer. We also chat about the pay-it-forward model in Canvas Cafe in London, and “the Pizza Post-It Place” (aka Rosa’s Fresh Pizza) in Philadelphia.
Now on to our topic – documenting your product. But first, which of us came up with the “What’s Up Doc?” reference?
Some important nuggets straight from the coalface of this week’s episode:
- Plan for ongoing changes and updates – documentation is alive!
- Kiwi Sarah highly recommends this Intercom blog post on creating better help content
- This Getting Started Guide from Tim Boucher on Writing Quality Help Center Content was published recently and is wonderful 🙂
- Lisa seems to be missing a Wistia tshirt!
Lisa wrangles this topic, and starts us off asking the question “Why should you have documentation?”. Dave suggests that documentation acts as another support channel, and allows people to self-select into the group of customer who want to solve problems themselves.
I will very often reference our support documentation when I’m having conversations with customers… here is a way to remind yourself in the future, when you go to do this next time you don’t have to ask me for the same answer… so that they don’t have to remember anything themselves – Conor
We then talk through the various public and internal documentation that we have. You know, when you list it out, it is amazing how much documentation exists for a single company.
By the way, Moz’s internal docs are called the Helpteamnomicon. Great, right?
So, here’s a key question: what’s the most important goal of your documentation?
Ultimately, the goal is to scale our support without needing to add human resources to support customers – Kiwi Sarah
A shout-out from Conor to Katie from Expensify for migrating their support docs from a SquareSpace site to Intercom Educate, which rocks because it helps route customers who still need help back to other support channels, and also reports back on the keywords used for searches which aren’t finding answers. These things are really handy!
We talked about what to avoid when it comes to your support documentation. Conor shared that hours of work can be lost making videos, when your product changes. Ouch! He also recommends Wistia’s top tips for using video for help content. Lisa’s top reminder is to remove tools and features from documentation, when you remove them from the product (aka sunsetting features, aka Killing Your Darlings, yes we’ve got a podcast episode all about that!).
WHAT ARE OUR DOCS?
- Expensify ‘s help docs and API docs
- Buffer’s FAQ and also API docs as well as their Open, Social and Developer-centric blogs, Uservoice, Public Product Roadmap, and Academy
- Timely’s Timely TV and Guides
- Moz’s Help Hub
- Work for Expensify! https://we.are.expensify.com/uk-success-coach or email email@example.com
- Watch Killjoys on Netflix because Lisa really wants other people to talk to about it
You can leave us a review on iTunes, preferably with 5 stars (and a recipe for your favorite breakfast food but we will love it even if it does not include this information).
As ever, our intro (and outro!) music is the brilliant Drops of H2O (The Filtered Water Treatment) by J.Lang (c) copyright 2012 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Airtone. It is not Drops of Jupiter by Train, but if you like that song, you can listen to it here.