Alex Fiedler from Torq discusses the role of documentation in customer acquisition
Last updated on Dec 30, 2022
Alex Fiedler, Director of Knowledge Experience at Torq joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas Podcast and discusses documentation strategies for customer acquisition.
- Alex’s LinkedIn
- He is the head of Knowledge Experience at Torq, a no-code security automation platform headquartered in Portland and R&D in Tel Aviv, Israel
- He moved to Israel about 17 years ago and thought of becoming a lawyer. During that time someone suggested he would be good at technical writing as he has a writing background (an English literature degree for a bachelor’s, followed by a master’s degree) and gave a shot at technical writing.
- He got his first internship at VMware and learned on the job very quickly. He picked up technical writing and single-source documentation all at once.
- He says, he loved every aspect of technical writing, everything from the research to the writing, to the psychology of working with developers and customers.
- In larger organizations, a knowledge-based team might be separate from technical writing, UX writing, etc, which are a part of the product team or design team. When you separate these knowledge artifacts from the user journey, then it becomes a broken experience.
- Speaking of the term “Knowledge experience” (KE), he says “It is a journey. And KE analyze every aspect of the user journey, i.e., from the moment they come to the website all the way through, onboarding customers and support users several years down the line. KE encapsulates all those touch points.”
- The documentation process that they have initiated at Torq is treating content creation as the product itself. In that way, documentation is not just a line item on someone else’s task. Plus, it gives visibility into how much a technical writing team is doing.
- One thing that Alex is focused on while creating documentation is customers. It all comes down to what is going to bring value to the customer.
- To make sure customers benefit from what we are producing, Alex explains that data-driven prioritization is crucial. He further adds that they use the data available to build dashboards. It helps them to understand what users are doing and prioritize accordingly.
- According to him, the role of documentation in the customer acquisition process shows a growing trend. With that in mind, technical writers need to ask these questions all the time, like who’s the user, what is their level of knowledge, and why are they coming here? How do they get here? What are they hoping to get out of it?
- In addition, they need to know exactly who the audience they speaking to is. The first and foremost thing to consider while developing documentation is to define who is this for. Is this for someone who might be coming because our documentation is public? Or for our user trying to troubleshoot? Or for someone who is going to read and learn it?
- The documentation team should keep the sales team up to date on what the new features are and how they should be used. Documentation teams are the ones that have visibility across the entire product and updates released.
- Also, the way documentation is consumed keeps changing very often these days. Nowadays, people like to get a very quick stack overflow-type answer to the question they have. “I recently asked someone from the industry about how they access information and they mentioned that they have dyslexia and do not like reading and prefer having a video for just about everything.”
- “It is always good to give users a lot of different options to consume a specific piece of the knowledge thereby helping them use a product.”, he quips.
Rapid fire with Alex
His first manager at VMware, Kim. She is an incredible writer and manager
Highly recommended resource
Docker’s onboarding tutorial – a great resource, easy to understand, even if you are not a developer
A piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old self
“Keep it simple and make sure you’re answering the needs of your users”
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