Is your content overhead or a customer delight?
Delight is the difference between what you and your team cost, and the revenue you directly (or indirectly) produce (or protect). This concept is as important to charities as hedge funds.
You may not think that “delighting” customers is part of your content creation responsibilities. But when customer delight is defined in terms of revenue and costs, it suddenly becomes a critical part of your job.
Determining whether your content is merely overhead or a customer delight may seem like a losing fight: it’s too subjective! However, there are questions you can ask to measure how delightful your content is, including:
- Does the support team repeatedly answer questions addressed in the content? If customers are contacting support with queries that are (or should be) addressed in content, your content doesn’t explain things well, is hard to find, or both.
- Where does your publicly available content show up in search engine results? If your content is not at the top of the search results, that means someone else’s content is getting all the attention. Your content probably needs an SEO tuneup. (I know some companies cannot open up their content on the web for competitive and security reasons. Even so, those companies may need a web page to direct users to an official resource, such as a customer-only portal.)
- What do web analytics show? Web stats can show what content is popular and what isn’t getting any attention. If content isn’t getting read, can you do something to make it more useful, or should you refocus your efforts on the content customers are reading?
- Do you have a customer feedback loop? Is there a way customers can send comments and questions about specific content? The mechanism can be as basic as a link to an email address that sends the comments to particular content creators. If you do a formal analysis of your content, be sure to include customers as part of the discovery process. Interviews with customers can be very illuminating, particularly when done by a third-party consultant (like me!) who may elicit more candid responses.
- How do your partners or resellers use your content? If they are writing their own “cheat sheet” versions of official content for their customers (or are translating it because your company does not), your content is failing. You also lose control over how your product/service is being presented.
Measuring content use—and customers’ satisfaction with that content—is critical in how you prove delight. Without that customer delight, your job as a content creator is expendable overhead.