The Power of Product Documentation: Understanding Its Impact on Customer Relations and Beyond

In a Documentation group, someone recently asked “how product documentation influences customer relations with the product.” I answered the question but wanted to expand in my own post by describing several ways in which product documentation is used.

Product user documentation is used as:

• Instructional material so users can learn about the product and how to complete tasks.
• Troubleshooting material so can users resolve product issues which can reduce support calls and escalations.
• Reference material so users can find detailed product information.
• Installation material so implementation professionals can install and configure the product. 
• Compliance material to showcase how the product meets regulatory requirements.
• Marketing material to describe the product’s features and benefits, which is often useful during sales cycles and partner negotiations.

This list doesn’t include system documentation such as requirements and API documentation and internal documentation.

It’s amazing that product documentation has so many uses. It can make or break customer confidence in a product. Yet, it is often an overlooked and/or understaffed area of the team. Those of us with a passion for documentation must continue to advocate for it.

See the post on LinkedIn.

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