Turning a technical document into a conversation piece
When you specialise in professional and technical services, it often happens that the bleeding obvious is staring you right in the face.
You create a vast number of technical documents for backing up your recommendations and decisions. They are usually data-driven, both practical and analytical. You methodically go through a process of risk and opportunity, all the while balancing to reach a strong recommendation.
The document in question is provided to the clients as evidence, but in actuality, it has a chance of being so much more.
While working with a client recently, we were commissioned to do a project where we called their key clients. It gave us a chance to see how their clients perceive their service and thus be on the lookout for improvement areas and future opportunities. The clients we called were initially sceptical about their ability to contribute, but their feedback turned out to be pure gold.
What we found was that all of the technical documentation provided by the firm to their clients was only seen as the technical background and analysis. Simply by sucking out the key findings and recommendations, and then changing the format into a more digestible document, we could transform this technical information to become more useful and productive.
Now these technical documents are far more than background analysis. They are now summarised into easy reference guides, client facing ‘how to’ guides, blogs and staff education materials – all from the one document source!
Now, from the technical documents, we have been able to deliver far greater value to their clients.
Using technical documents to shape the conversation
Turning a technical document into a conversation piece is all about simplification and practicality – changing the format and summarising the key points and recommendations so that it can be easily digested and understood by the reader. So, the first step to take is to identify who your reader will be. In the example above, we identified a number of readers, so amended the documents to suit each type. The first reader we identified were other technical support staff in the end client’s office. They needed to better understand the services that my client offered them, so we adapted the technical document as a training resource. Another reader we identified was our client’s client. They needed the technical document translated into a benefit driven piece that explained the back end services that my client had delivered.
Ensuring that you take into account the reader is the first step. The next step is ensuring your new piece is written by a trained copywriter or marketer that knows how to communicate with each reader. It’s essential to be an excellent communicator, and from that, the rest will quickly follow.
Being able to communicate clearly helps shape the conversation through introducing new ideas to develop a dialogue. There’s no need to be promotional – you only need to work towards providing value for your clients.
Turning a boring technical document into a conversation piece is a simple, yet essential, part of being a client driven service provider.
You don’t have to be alone in this though, contact us to find how we can help you achieve it.