Archive by Author

May the True “You” Shine Through

Two-Faced. Double-Dealing. Duplicitous. These are the terms we have for people who say one thing when they are around us and another when we’re gone. It’s an age-old complaint: Universally deplored. Why, then, have so many business learned to not only tolerate this behavior but to actually encourage it? There is an invisible line between […]

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Lose Some “Wait”

Nothing says “DISRESPECT” quite like forcing someone else to wait. And yet, that is exactly what so many brands do daily to the very customers they claim to value! It’s conventionally accepted that the customer (who NEEDS something) should be willing wait for the service provider (who HAS what they NEED.) However, somewhere along the […]

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Net Promoter Score: The Ultimate Question

I swiped my debit card and stared at the tiny screen… I expected a prompt for my PIN. Instead, the monitor read, “How likely are you to recommend K-Mart to a friend”?” This caught me off guard. K-Mart wants to know if I LIKE them? Not only that, they want to know if I like […]

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Seek or Go Hide

“Hide and Seek” had screeched to a halt! My 11 year-old son had outsmarted his younger sisters by hiding BEHIND the dryer! My poor daughters had looked every place they knew. They were now wailing that he’d run away from home. It was time for Dad to get involved. With a loud shout, I commanded […]

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Why We Matter

I didn’t even KNOW I was a Technical Writer. You see, back in 1995, I’d been brought on as a TEMP to answer merger-related email for a bank. When the bank’s Online Customer Service department suddenly faced an external audit, they asked me to document all the internal procedures. A few weeks later, as that […]

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A Technical Writer’s Christmas List

I saw Santa in the mall this weekend. The line was long, but I THOUGHT about it. I know I’m too old. I know he would NOT appreciate me on his lap. I get all that. But I WANT stuff. I want Technical Documentation stuff. Not products, mind you: I want FUNCTIONALITY! I know the […]

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6 Ways to “Be The One” in 2011

The shriek shatters your daydream, causing your fists to clench. You spin, seeking the sound’s source. There, just 100 yards away, a helpless person is in danger! You’ll help, right? You’ll at least GET help, right? Of course you will … Right? Apparently, it’s not that simple. The answer shouldn’t depend on how many other […]

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Documentation as a Support Channel

The technical communication profession collectively peers through a window of opportunity. I work at the intersection of technical communication and customer service. My digital strategy tasks focus on the efficient delivery of effective content. So when I see someone who truly understands how valuable quality content can be to a customer, I jump for joy. […]

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Renewable Service in Disposable Industries

“Please state your date of birth.” A few feet in front of me, an elderly woman looked up at a young cashier. Stunned and flustered, the elegant matron asked “Why do you need to know my date of birth?” The cashier deadpanned, “Halo 3 is rated M for Mature: I can’t sell it to you […]

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Planned Inconvenience

The Customer Service revolution is OVERDUE. This week, I called my bank to close an extra business account that I no longer needed. What happened next was stunning. Before the bank finally closed the account: I spoke with five different humans I was read a formal apology sentence by all five I was authenticated four […]

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