Re: An interview question

Subject: Re: An interview question
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Lynne Wright" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:52:18 -0400

Indeed, this is the point I would like to discover from the question. Does the company see documentation as a necessary evil at best? Or is there at least a slight realization that the activity improves the bottom line? Again, the amount of time and effort taken to answer can reveal how well-considered their belief is.

I once worked at a company where the (printed) manuals were recognized both a direct source of revenue and as a sales tool. Customers frequently remarked that the manuals were far better than the competition's.

At another company where I interviewed, the publications manager told me how proud he was that his writers worked together with the (software) customer-service staff to solve customer problems.

Treating docs as a cost rather than a profit center has its advantages for the writer--there's no pressure to "show a profit or else." And indeed, trying to track profit in documentation precisely is really artificial and possibly stupid.

On Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:00:00 -0400, Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com> wrote:

I think that the correct answer is that although a company might not see a direct monetary return on the cost of documentation, well-written, comprehensive manuals and on-line help can increase customer satisfaction (or at least reduce frustration), and reduce calls to technical support.
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References:
An interview question: From: Peter Neilson
Re: An interview question: From: Keith Hood
RE: An interview question: From: Lynne Wright

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