Re: Customer Expectations

Subject: Re: Customer Expectations
From: "Damien Braniff" <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 09:04:11 -0000

Customers' expectations vary greatly, depending on past experience:

If they've had TWers before then they may well have a 'level' that
they expect - note that this may be high or low and your aim is to match
it at least!

If they've had no previous experience of TWers then their
expectations could be anything - again these could be high or low

Part of your job when first called in is to set realistic expectations -
for the given job, time and resources you can expect to get...

As Barbara said, they generally expect you to hit the ground running,
know the tools and produce quality documentation that will enhance their
product. From a business point of view, if you meet or exceed their
expectations then the chance of more work in the future from them is
greatly increased.

As to when and why you're approached - it depends. It may be that the
company realizes that the documentation could be better and decide to
call in a professional, it could be it's a large project and they need
some extra effort, it could be a new 'small' project where it's not
worth hiring full time staff to do, etc. The when depends on the company
and their experience. If they have their own TWers or have used TWers in
the past they may well know the benefit of early contact. If not, as
Barbara said, it could be the week before release.

As to how they approach you - could be via your web site, marketing
material you've produced, recommendation etc. Customer behaviour is
again dependent on their experience (good or bad) - from simply letting
you get on with it to micro-managing everything.

It may also be worth at the Intecom site has a
Code of Practice though it's more to do with the Writer-user than the
custome. ISTC also has a Code of Conduct which covers such things as
Professionalism/competence, confidentiality, legal/ethical obligations
etc that members are expected to adhere to in relations with customers.

Damien Braniff | Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com

Technical Communications
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Belfast, N. Ireland BT1 3LR
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