Since the goal of a how-to guide is to allow customers to help themselves, most businesses only think of documentation in terms of how it will impact their customer support.
But your how-to guides and documentation can also communciate a lot about your business.
Whenever I am getting ready to start using a new product or service, I instantly look at the company's help site. Granted, I develop online documentation software, so I am probably a bit more aware of this than others, but a company's help/documentation site can tell me a lot about what it will be like to work with them.
Here are three things I know about you if you have a great documentation site:
1. You are organized
I have never seen a disorganized company put together a great documentation site. A great documentation site sends a clear signal about how organized your company is.
A great example of this is the Van Halen Brown M&M's. Van Halen used to have a rider in their contract that required the promoters to provide a bowl of M&M's with all of the brown ones removed. A lot of people thought this was just them being divas. But Snopes explains the real reason: