Second Street Media Solutions works with more than 1200 organizations – from the Los Angeles Times to the Boston Herald and everywhere in between – to publish photos and videos online and allow users to purchase photos as one of hundreds of products. They do this through their suite of myCapture tools.
Todd’s job was to support users of the myCapture suite, answer their questions and help them be successful with the product.
When customer support requests came in Todd would often respond by attaching a link to their PDF manual that was more than 100 pages long. Though the manual was comprehensive, many users were overwhelmed with the bulk of information. Some customers would get lost, and contact Todd a second time just to ask, “What page is the answer on again?”
Responding to questions that weren’t covered in the manual was even more laborious. Todd would use a variety of applications to create a tutorial, then export it as a PDF and finally send the result to a customer. Keeping track of the resulting files for reuse was proving problematic.
Then Todd stumbled upon ScreenSteps and decided to give it a try. He signed up for the free trial. How long did it take him to get up and running?
I was linking people to articles on day one. Even when I was using a trial version of ScreenSteps, I felt comfortable enough with the software and product that I sent out links immediately. I was seeing results right away.
We asked him what his customers' response was:
Nothing!- which, if you think about it, is the best response. They take the article and, it answers their question and they are able to get done what they need to without asking additional questions. That is much better then before.
How did Todd Get Results So Fast?
There were two keys to Todd’s success, the right tools and the right method.
Todd followed the “No Plan” method for documentation to scope out his articles quickly. The “No Plan” method means you don’t spend time planning what you are going to cover in your manual. You just answer real questions that users are asking. If a customers asks, “How do I ______,” you’ve just discovered your first article. This approach allows the manual to develop over time and to be focused on the customer’s needs by approaching questions from their perspective. All he had to do was write down the questions he was already receiving and he knew exactly what tutorials to create.
ScreenSteps’ simple methodology makes it easy to write the manual and then point people to the answers they need. You see those questions coming in all the time and you know exactly what articles you need to add to your manual.
The integration between ScreenSteps desktop authoring tool and the wep application was key to getting Todd’s manual published quickly. Once he had answered a few questions he was able to instantly publish the manual with 1 click to ScreenSteps.
I like that I can upload whole manuals at once. This was a big step up from what I was doing before. Having everything integrated into a single tool just made it so easy.
And how has it gone since that first day of using ScreenSteps?
Customer support requests have dropped significantly.
When requests come in Todd follows a simple method. If he has already created an article that answers the question he just sends the customer a link.
I’m starting to build up a library of links, so that whenever I am sending email responses, I don’t even need to have the manual open. I can just link the user right the article they need.
If he hasn’t answered the question yet he creates a ScreenSteps article, adds it to his manual and sends out the link, all in just a few minutes.
Why Was it So Easy for Second Street Media to Adopt ScreenSteps?
Two other features made it really easy for Second Street Media to adopt ScreenSteps.
Todd was easily able to use ScreenSteps' templating system to make his ScreenSteps site look exactly the myCapture admin area. This helped his customers feel at home and let them keep their consistent branding.
The branding aspect of ScreenSteps is a great way for it to be adapted to white label clientele. We do this for all of our clients, so this fit right in with what we are trying to do for them. Setting up the template was very easy.
A Cross Platform Tool
Having the ScreenSteps desktop authoring tool available as a cross-platform tool was a big deal for Second Street Media.
Being a Mac user, it’s a tough sell to have Mac only programs, because one of my bosses is a PC user. Being cross platform is big in my industry. The cross platform nature of the software allows us to run with it.
ScreenSteps had everything Todd needed to instantly decrease his support requests. He is now better able to answer customer questions which helps them use more of the myCapture product.
I have a method down now that makes it really easy for me to support my customers and that makes everyone happier.