Many support teams make the mistake of trying to combine customer support and customer training resources into the same article. To understand the difference between customer support and customer training, read here.
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:
Do you ever get tickets in Zendesk that ask three or more questions in the same ticket? They can be a real pain to manage because you can lose track of which question is answered and which is still unresolved.
Feeling overwhelmed with work is an awful sensation. It's that same feeling I got when I had a huge project at school due the next day, and I was just getting started the night before. Kind of sick to my stomach, light headed, ready to cry at any moment, etc. But there's a huge difference between feeling overwhelmed at work and feeling overwhelmed when you were in school - in school you had to push forward and do all your work yourself until it was done. Now - you can just pay somebody else to do your work for you! So why don't you? Not only will you feel a huge sense of relief once you begin offloading jobs to somebody else, but you'll be able to focus on doing the jobs that only you can do! And that's the key to growing your business - handing off the mechanics so that you can focus on the core of your business.
This last month we added a third person to the Blue Mango team, Jonathan (Ja) DeVore, our new Director of Marketing. You might notice some commonality among the names here. Trevor and I are brothers and have been business partners since 2003. Ja is our younger, but taller brother. He comes to Blue Mango after several years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, so he has some legit experience behind him. Ja is an incredibly creative person, but had very little experience with many of the tools that we use here. He comes from a corporate environment and is used to corporate tools. We are a small business so we use a lot of web applications to get our work done each day. The list of tools we use is getting pretty extensive, and training someone on all of them can seem overwhelming. But Ja was productive from day one. In fact, for his first three days I was in Boston on a trip with my 9 year-old. How did Ja hit the ground running? Though he's pretty smart, he's not smart enough to instantly know how to use all of the software applications we use. The key was that we had documentation that was optimized for delegation.
I have written before on this blog about how much we love Wistia. To me, Wistia is to business video publishing what ScreenSteps is to online documentation. Just like ScreenSteps takes the headache out of creating documentation, Wistia removes all of the headaches associated with publishing and distributing online video. You don't have to encode the video in 500 different formats. You don't have an ugly YouTube player with ads on it. You don't have to worry about what device your audience is viewing the video on. You just upload the video and Wistia takes care of the rest. Wistia just posted a video showcasing all of the pain they can remove from online video. It's called "Why Web Video Sucks". When I watched it yesterday I cracked up laughing. Check it out below:
As you have probably already heard there were some problems with ScreenSteps Live and ScreenSteps.me over the past 36 hours. ScreenSteps Live is hosted on an Amazon Cloud infrastructure and Amazon had some major problems yesterday which are still going on as I write this. The problems they had affected a lot of sites, including Reddit, Quora and Foursquare just to name a few.
In our recent webinar, Video, Screencasts and Still Images - Using the Right Tool at the Right Time, we spent a brief amount of time on the concept of Scope vs. Detail in your customer interactions. What do we mean when we talk about scope vs. detail? All communications have a naturally or arbitrarily enforced time/length constraint. The communication may be limited by several factors: The time the person is willing to devote to the communication The time the person is able to devote to the communication The attention the person is able to give the communication By being aware of these constraints you can adjust the scope and detail of your communications so that each communication can be "completed" in the available amount of time depending on willingness, availability and attention span.
This is a follow up to the post from last week about pasting adjustments in Screenflow. A tricky situation can arise if you are pasting adjustments from a clip that has a video action on it. 3 Different Pan/Zoom Settings Here we have two clips but there are actually three pan and zoom settings. There is the initial pan and zoom setting of the first clip. This consists of the x/y coordinate of the video and the zoom setting. Next we have a video action. All a video action does is allow you to set a new x/y coordinate and zoom setting for the clip. The video action then animates the transition between the original pan/zoom setting and the new pan/zoom setting to create the pan/zoom visual effect. The new clip has its own pan (x/y coordinate) and zoom setting. Let's say that we want to copy the zoom settings from clip 1 to clip 2. At the beginning of the clip (1) the zoom is set to 100%. At the end of the clip, after the video action the zoom is set to 300%. At the beginning of the 2nd clip (3) the zoom is set to 100%. What we want is to change the zoom setting of the 2nd clip (3) to 300%. The Wrong Approach Here I have placed the playhead at the end of clip 1. What I will see on the screen is a zoom of 300% because I have the playhead placed after the video action. So I might think that I am copying a zoom setting of 300%. BUT I AM NOT. The Edit > Copy command copies what is selected, not what is under the playhead. If I copy right now I will be copying a zoom setting of 100%. The Right Way Now I have the video action selected. If I select Edit > Copy I will be copying a zoom setting of 300%. Finish Now just select the 2nd clip and choose Edit > Paste Adjustments > Video and you will be applying the 300% zoom to the 2nd clip. Improve Your Customer Commnunication