The role of technical communication in customer experience

Attracting and maintaining customers has traditionally been the task of marketing and sales departments. Will the shift towards customer experience redefine the role of technical communication? What new responsibilities and opportunities lie ahead?

Text by Sarah O’Keefe


The role of technical communication in customer experience

An emphasis on customer experience is about to transform the practice of technical communication. “Just get it out the door” is no longer a viable strategy, if it ever has been. Bad technical communication leads to a bad customer experience.

Understanding the hierarchy of content needs

Like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we can develop a hierarchy of content needs, as shown in Figure 1. Technical communicators must assess their practices across the entire hierarchy of content needs starting from the bottom of the pyramid.

To create truly outstanding technical information, your content must meet all of the criteria shown in the pyramid. Minimum viable content satisfies the bottom three criteria: it is available, accurate, and appropriate.

Figure 1: Hierarchy of content needs


Available content means that information exists, and that the person who needs the content has ...