Many folks in technical communication relish the role of user’s advocate, putting themselves into their customer’s shoes and walking around a bit before dashing off to create the greatest online help system, ebook or video tutorial ever. Take one step back, and think about your experiences as a consumer (business consumer or just the average member of the public consumer). Now you’re ready to think about and vote in this week’s technical communication poll (OK, this week, it’s a consumer poll).
You can choose to make contact with a company that offers a product or service in any number of ways, and often in a combination of them. Before, during and after you’ve purchased that product from Acme Widget Big Box Conglomerate Inc. Our question focuses on one key communications channel, the company blog(s), and the reasons you visited or continue to visit the website and its blog(s). Consumer behavior experts note that in general, consumers rely on company or brand blogs more than social media networks (except when it comes to sharing experiences with other consumers).
That makes us curious, as to whether the folks who put together content to help consumers with purchasing or using a product act like those consumers when they make contact with companies. A little relief from buyers’ remorse, or avid interest in using the product to its full advantage? Perhaps the kind of product you’ve purchased (or plan to purchase) has an impact on your choice to visit the company blog. Does what you want from your digital contact depend on whether you’re planning to try out a new energy bar or buy a new big screen HDTV? Does it matter if you’re saddled with a new tool or equipment purchase at your office, or something for you’ve bought for your own personal use?
If you’ve ever been contacted for a consumer survey, often the poll-taker asks whether you or a member of your family works in advertising or the media, because these professionals skew the results. We’re pretty sure that our unscientific, totally anecdotal poll question won’t show technical communicators and other content creators bias, but we think it’s still worthwhile to look at the reasons why you go to a website to consume that corporate content. So take a look at the options, select the ones that apply to you, and post a comment about why, or anything we might have missed. Or head over to the email discussion list and start a new thread there. And remember, at TechWhirl you are valued customer and we appreciate your business.