by Michele Marques, Manager, Information Design and Development (IDD)
When I first started writing documentation, the only time I had a chance to talk to customers was at the occasional user conference.
Things have changed, and now as an information developer (technical communicator), you have a lot more opportunity to speak with customers - at least online.
Forums and online communities
Information developers at BMC are fortunate that our BMC Communities are active. Every day customers are asking questions about our products and sharing tips.
If you spend some time in the community, you can find out what's important to customers and what they are trying to do. You can update documentation, so that it answers their questions. You can prioritize the important areas of documentation to focus on.
Customer conversations in forums and communities typically focuses on the product itself. You can provide channels for customers to give you feedback specifically about the documentation. With web-based documentation, you can let customers leave comments on documentation topics, and can link to a contact form. If you provide PDFs or print documentation, you can provide an email address for feedback.
Your customers might be on Twitter, FaceBook, or other social media talking about your product. If your company has an official Twitter account or FaceBook page, you can follow it and see how customers respond. Try doing a Twitter search for your product to see what people are saying. However, before you start responding, check your company's social media policies.
The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.