Last week I was lucky enough to swim accross the Sea of Galilee on behalf of Team Tech-Tav for Swim4Sadna. Togther with 300 other women from around the world, we raised enough money to build a new animal therapy center for special needs children and young adults.
(photo credit: rjstreets.com)
(THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY and SUPPORT!)
A few weeks ago, one of our customers called to tell me he had bought his TT writer a mini iPad as a thank you gift for meeting a particularly difficult challenge. He even engraved a case for her with his overflowing thanks.
(THANK YOU HERMON LABS!)
For Passover, one of my favorite customers sent me this awesome emergency supply of chocolate. Come to think of it, did I remember to email them and say thank you for the awesome gift? Uh-oh....
(THANK YOU SKYBOX SECURITY!)
I keep telling myself I should print out bumper stickers that read:
Have you hugged your technical writer today?
Been telling myself to do it for years, but somehow, they never get done.
We are all spinning through the day, balancing many more tasks than we ever have before. They say the amount of news and information we are exposed to on a daily basis is equivalent to an entire year of information provided to most folks in 1975. As a documentation manager, I can confirm that we are producing at least twice as much content per month using the same number of writers as were were 5 years ago. Back then, we had slower tools and our processes weren’t as refined.
With all that, we know that people need reviews and feedback. We know that humans respond better to humans and want to throw up their arms in frustration when they hit a phone tree or a customer support line with endless loops.
Yesterday, I met with a team still working in individual Word files looking to move to a new tool. We talked candidly about how 10 years ago, everything about documentation focused on the writer, and many of our content decisions were selfish. We used lots of hyperlinks because we didn’t want to make our files too large by putting all the information needed to complete a task in one place. We documented according to screens because it brought us order and was easy (as writers) to understand but it was useless for the end customer.
(THANKS FOR GIVING UP YOUR CHAIR FOR ME!)
Today we recognize we need to think and imagine and anticipate the customer. Their workflow, their needs, their frustrations and their purpose. We understand our customers better when we engage with them and encourage dialog. That human connection is priceless.
I recently put out an open tool RFP. Many companies responded, while some just ignored me. The ones that ignored me and my repeated attempts to contact them have totally destroyed any chance of working with this potential customer (a Fortune 500 company). Their failure to respond to an open invite was perceived as a personal rejection by the company I posted for. I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would do that. (If you have ideas, please comment below!)
While I continue to wonder about their silence, let me thank the folks who make it all possible.
THANK YOU to everyone who supported our swim, THANK YOU for all of the lovely gifts and tokens of appreciation you give to your Tech-Tav writers (and I) throughout the year, THANK YOU to our customers who demand more until satisfied and constantly push us to do better, THANK YOU to the friends and colleagues who teach us, share with us and make us better people and better professionals and finally, THANK YOU to the entire Tech-Tav staff for constantly giving everything of themselves, every day to the best of their ability to move forward the needs of their customers and end users.
TEAM Tech-Tav before the swim
(I'll thank myself here for not posting bathing suit pics on a professional blog...)
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