Your content is responsible for first impressions and second impressions — oh, and third impressions, too.

If your company offers a product, a core aspect of your success is customers’ ability to actually use the product.

Your work doesn’t end with a sale. In fact, the user’s experience after the purchase is what separates the great companies from the rest. In order to turn buyers into confident, effective users, you need a content strategy.

Your content must educate them, answer their questions, and hold their attention. If your content isn’t doing these things, it can reflect poorly on your product, brand, and business.

Some will complain, but most customers will simply avoid your brand going forward because poor content results in poor customer experience. Don’t believe me? Let’s check out three common ways your content is killing customer experience.

Your Answers Are Hidden — Can’t Find It, Can’t Search It

When your customers have questions about your product, they want the answer-finding process in two steps:

  • Ask questions
  • Find answers

Now, you can make it easy for them to do this or you can make it annoying. The first annoying part is not being able to locate your help content. If you’ve buried your help content deep within your website’s structure so it’s not easy to find, it’s frustrating and makes your help content less helpful.

Helpful content is, first and foremost, easy to locate.

After findability is searchability.

Your product is complex and your content library is large. If your content library is easy to find but has no search functionality, that’s also annoying. If you give someone hundreds of pages of “useful” content but they can’t readily search for and find answers specific to their needs, is it really that useful?

Findability and searchability are crucial to content storage. If you’re doing it in a way that isn’t explicit for users to navigate, it leaves a bad taste.

Your Content Isn’t On Your Customers’ Preferred Channels

Yes, channels. The key is to meet your customers where they are and that probably means more than just a PDF download. Considering the media diversity of customer experience. Having your help content in one section of your website — even if it’s easily findable and searchable — isn’t as helpful as it could be.

The number of devices, formats, and platforms people use in a given day is only growing. It’s important for your content to be available on the ones that your customers use. I know it’s not possible to have your content everywhere, but with a little user research, it’s not difficult to find out where most of your user traffic is coming from.

It can be tough to publish to all these places, which is why having a content management platform that’s built to handle the task of multi-channel publishing at enterprise scale is an important consideration. Build your content with multi-channel deployment in mind, then expanding to new channels will be exciting instead of terrifying: How To Nail Single-Source Publishing

Your Content Doesn’t Consider Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Voice of the customer is more prevalent than ever. Your customers can tweet, DM, review, post, and comment on any social platform. Don’t view these platforms as a problem, it’s an opportunity to glean valuable feedback. Be receptive and be responsive, because it doesn’t take customers long to figure out that businesses don’t care about what they have to say. Why have corporate social media accounts if you ignore your own followers?

When most customers say something — privately or publicly — about your product or service, their voices shouldn’t be ignored. This is valuable information that you can use to inform content development.

Analyze VoC for common pain points, complaints, wish lists, and even the “impossibilities.” How cool would it be if instead of seeing a customer wish as ridiculous, you used their commentary to develop a new product feature that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of?

Content development should be a two-way street where an organization develops a relationship with customers where both parties learn from each other.

Content Experience Is Always Changing

Nothing remains in stasis. Even if you never change your product, your customer base and their experience with your product will change with time. Ensure that your content development reflects this evolution. Create content that educates, answers, and entertains your readers and you’ll ultimately have confident, effective users. That’s how you deliver a great customer experience.