Proactive Tech Comm

Traditionally tech comm ended when the product was released to manufacturing. We are slowly moving away from that outdated approach and towards an approach that supports the product throughout it life cycle, especially through forums and other social media.

But even when we do this, the pattern tends to be reactive. We wait for a customer to ask a question and then we answer it. But I received something in my email today that takes it one step further. It answered a question before it was asked. It was proactive tech comm.

Specifically, it was an email from Intuit warning me that the provincial sales tax in Quebec was going up from 9.5% to 9.975%. It then provided instructions on how to change the rate in Quick Books:

If you already use pre-configured Québec tax rates in your QuickBooks desktop software or are a new user setting up Québec taxes, please follow the links below to our self-help instructions. These instructions will help you properly configure QuickBooks to track the new QST rate.

Now, there are a couple of problems here. The first is that my business is not located in Quebec and never was, and the second is that I have not used Quicken or Quick Books in years, not since they started using the automatic update feature to disable the ability to download transactions from my online banking, as a way to try to force me to upgrade.

I didn’t upgrade. I bought Simply Accounting instead.

Nonetheless, I have to applaud the initiative. They are getting out ahead of their user’s needs and providing crucial information just at the right time, as well as notifying their customers of an issue they might not even have been aware of.

Proactive tech comm is clearly a good thing, as well as a great way to keep in touch with your customers. It is something we should all be considering as we move away from the books in boxes paradigm.

Anyone seen any other examples of proactive tech comm? Anyone doing it or planning on doing it soon?

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One Response to Proactive Tech Comm

  1. Craig 2012/12/22 at 08:38 #

    I do it in my own way where I work. I try to visit people in their offices and ask if I can help write any docs for them. I also ask what works best for them, Word, PDF, or WebHelp. Things like that. I try to ferret out needs ahead of time.