Better Writing Better Service with Caity Cronkhite

Better Writing for Better Service experiences for your small business customers with Caity Cronkhite.

Caity Cronkhite - Entrepreneur

How can better writing, particularly the technical writing (which can include training content, customer support documents, and even consumer product instructions) that we rely on internally and in communicating and supporting our customers or clients, help us improve the productivity and customer experience of our small business – and as a result our profitability? Caity shares her entrepreneur journey and tips and advice on how better writing means better service.

Caity Cronkhite is the Founder and CEO of Good Words LLC, an elite technical communications firm based in Seattle, Washington. Caity is passionate about the intersection of communication and technology. At Good Words, her and her team specialize in producing, editing, and delivering the highest quality communications content for their clients, from Fortune 500 companies to startups. They’ve produced it all, from user interface text and instructional videos to developer guides for new programming languages.
Caity is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University, where she received her degree in Technical Writing and Communication. When she’s not running her company, you can find her in the gym, in her garden, writing for personal projects, and advocating for rural and labor policy reform.

Caity lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

Better Writing Better Service with Caity Cronkhite – topics and questions covered on this episode include:

⦁ When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in writing? Why technical writing in particular?
⦁ What led to you starting your own consulting business?
⦁ When did you know you wanted to be your own boss? Who were early entrepreneurial influences?
⦁ Why are you a business owner? What does it provide you? What is Technical Writing?

  • “…from the training and development documents that you disseminate to your sales and customer support teams, to the user guides and in-app user assistance your customers rely on after purchasing your products or services.” – Caity Cronkhite
  • “…must be clear, concise, and accurate. It should be written in such a way that the target audience will find it easy-to-understand and actionable. It makes even the most complex of concepts accessible for the people who’ll benefit from the information.” – Caity Cronkhite

⦁ How is it the same or different from marketing content or copy writing? (“Technical writing is not the same as marketing.” – Caity Cronkhite)
⦁ Technical writing is used to communicate internally and externally.
How does poor technical writing impact customer service for a small business?

  • More customer service calls than anticipated or desired.
  • Product returns.
  • Frustrated or Dissatisfied customers.

⦁ Not all engineers, developers, owners are good writers.
⦁ Why is technical writing often so poor?

The solution includes:
⦁ Well-crafted product instructions.
⦁ FAQs or quick-start directions written by specialists trained in technical writing.
⦁ Effective online help and in-app user assistance.
⦁ Focus on documenting the 80% – focus on the major use cases.
⦁ Developer documentation.
⦁ Documentation best practices training.

⦁ How do I find (what do I look for and where) a great technical writer? Can I afford them with my small business budgets?
⦁ What’s one thing (technique or approach) that I can easily implement to improve the technical writing at my small business?

Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.

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