Technical, Business, and Nonprofit Communication Just Got Clearer

Karen CarrollUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Did you know you could be losing money simply because your documentation doesn’t tell your customers what they need to know? A recent survey revealed that 72% of people who called customer support for help with a product said they called because the product’s user guide was not clear. That’s a call your customers should never have to make.

72% of people who call customer support for help with a product say they call because the product’s user guide is not clear.

And that’s why I founded ClearPoint Technical Communication—to help companies communicate more effectively with customers, saving them money in the process.

So how can I help you?

  • I’m a technical writer, editor, and communicator. I develop and write product help content and technical specifications that are clear, concise, and complete.
  • I’m a writing trainer. I train technical, business, and nonprofit writers to make their documentation clear, concise, and complete, too.

What’s my secret? It’s called plain language.

The plain language secret

Plain language is a writing style that makes complex information easy to digest. Studies have shown that even technical information is easier for customers to read, understand, and use when it’s written in plain language.

Here’s what that means for you:

  • For product manufacturers and software companies, that means fewer calls to customer support.
  • For businesses and marketing professionals, that means more sales—and better customer loyalty.
  • For nonprofits, that means grants that get more funding and bylaws that help the organization run more smoothly.

ClearPoint’s technical communication services: Transforming complex information into plain language

In my 20-year career, I’ve worked for companies such as Qualcomm, Intuit, and Credco. I’ve managed documentation projects for everything from product user guides and online help content to API and XML specifications. And I’ve learned a lot–about products, about technical communication, about business. But I’ve learned something else: Any technical writer can tell users how a product behaves or how a system works, but few can show users how to apply that information to the job at hand.

That’s how I save my clients time and money. I write documentation that includes only the information users need. I won’t describe every product feature in tortured detail. Instead, I’ll explain tasks that help users meet their goals.

My writing and editing services include product documentation, including user guides, online help content, and embedded assistance

  • Product documentation, including user guides, online help content, and embedded assistance
  • Technical specifications, including API and XML specifications
  • Grants, bylaws, and all forms of business communication

My services are available on a per-hour or per-project basis

So how can I help you communicate better with your customers? Contact me today to find out.

Or, if you’d like ClearPoint to train your writing staff to use plain language in your documentation, read on!

Plain language training for technical, business, and nonprofit writers

Regardless of their job titles, many people write on the job. Business professionals write project plans, requirement specifications, and marketing materials. Technical writers write everything from user guides to engineering change requests. Nonprofit writers write grants and bylaws.

But few of these otherwise-skilled professionals appreciate the value of communicating clearly with customers. That’s why we offer customizable training programs for writers in almost every professional field.

Customizable programs that produce measurable results

We customize our training programs so that your staff spends its valuable time learning only what they need to know.
Here’s how our process works:

  1. Pre-training assessment: Each program begins with a pre-training assessment of participants’ writing abilities. We analyze your company’s existing documentation to determine where participants need a little extra guidance to write clearly.
  2. Training design: Once we know participants’ strengths and weaknesses, we design a training curriculum that focuses on building up their weaker areas.
  3. Scheduling: Working with your timeframe and available facilities, we schedule the training, book the room, and provide the training materials.
  4. On-site training: Training  lasts 1-3 days, depending on the level of instruction the participants need.
  5. Post-training assessments:
    • At the end of the training, we conduct a simple test to assess what participants have learned and whether they’re ready to apply it.
    • In six months, we conduct a second post-training assessment to make sure participants have continued to apply what they’ve learned to their work.
  6. Individual coaching available as needed: After the training, we offer individual coaching on a per-hour basis for participants who need a little extra guidance.

Which program is right for your team?

For technical writers

  • Beyond the Bulleted List teaches technical writers to write any content more clearly.
  • Trash the Tech Talk helps technical writers sidestep jargon in technical and product documentation.

For nonprofit writers

  • Shun the Shalls: Better Bylaws Using Plain Language shows your team how to write bylaws that express your organization’s purpose and governing principles both legally and clearly.
  • Granted! Your Key to Grantwriting Success teaches grantwriters to communicate their ideas—and win funding—effectively.

For business professionals

  • Ditch the Sales Pitch teaches business and marketing writers to sell their ideas and products without clouding their message with gobbledygook.

Get started with your plain language education today

Are you ready to learn more about plain language but unsure where to begin? Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or the Clear Points blog to get weekly plain-language tips and techniques.