Tyndale launches support services through trusted partnerships

Image credit: Work2survive, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

As specialists in technical writing, Tyndale has focussed most of its efforts over the years on creating and maintaining technical documents for its clients, and that is still very much where its expertise lies. However, there are other aspects concerned with providing technical information that need to be considered if it is to bring the maximum benefit to your business and your customers.

Just as technology is ever-changing, so the way we consume information changes, also often driven by new technology. Globalisation, even after the challenges of the pandemic, shows no sign of abating, making products that transcend national boundaries more valuable than ever. Documents to support those products need to be available to everyone who needs them, at any moment. And video, which once was such a rarity, is now ubiquitous on social media.

Recognising these facts, Tyndale is pleased to announce that it can offer clients a series of new services that it will deliver in association with trusted partners in the following areas:

  • Managing the translation of documents to ensure consistent terminology and styling.
  • Offering secure version control and distribution of critical documents to your staff and customers through an online portal.
  • Tools and support for the creation of step-by-step training guides for your staff, combining video clips and brief passages of text, all accessible via the cloud.
  • Creation of animated explainers for your products or detailed “how to” guides using professional film makers.

In all these cases, Tyndale bridges your business with the talents of its partners and at the same time adds value by providing a technical author’s-eye view of the needs of consumers of your technical information – just as it always has.

Please contact us for more information.

The ‘right to repair’ opportunity hiding in plain sight

Image credit: Haroonsami [CC-BY-SA-4.0]

In March 2021, it was widely reported that both the EU and UK would be implementing new ‘right to repair’ legislation this summer, which compels manufacturers of certain domestic appliances to support their customers in repairing these products when they go wrong. Currently, there are many obstacles to repairing even relatively small faults which often leave consumers with no option but to purchase a brand new model.

Right to repair has a number of far-reaching implications, as indicated by the prolonged battle between state governments and companies in the United States, where this approach was first introduced. The motivation there seems to have been initially based around the financial costs to consumers and the anti-competitive nature of forcing them to use authorised repair companies.

In contrast, in the EU, the legislation has been promoted as a way of reducing the amount of waste, especially electronic waste, produced each year. Among other undesirable environmental impacts, this represents a colossal loss of the critical and increasingly scarce chemical elements used in modern electronics. Even when these materials are reclaimed, the methods are often costly and energy-intensive.

Manufacturers who are concerned about potential financial losses due to extended product lifetimes and the ‘deregulation’ of their servicing businesses would do well to consider the flip side of not supporting the new legislation and effectively willing it to fail. It’s often been shown that consumers, especially in the younger demographic, are attaching more and more importance to the values of the brands they purchase. A company that demonstrates a responsible attitude to the consumption of resources and supports its customers in getting the most value out of their products is likely to benefit significantly in the long-term from the brand loyalty that this attracts.

One key way that manufacturers can demonstrate their commitment to the right to repair is by providing suitable information to help those who wish to fix devices themselves. Much of this might already exist but is usually hard to come by as it is only available to authorised partners in the form of service manuals, for example. However, not all this information will be suitable to assist the new breed of home repairers, so adapting the content to suit its new purpose would instantly confirm that the company lives by its values.

Furthermore, this information need not, and probably should not, all be in the written form. The rise of online instruction videos created by professionals and enthusiasts shows that, in many cases, people learn more readily from film than from a document. It very much depends on the nature of the task, but the creation of short, clear videos showing how to perform basic repairs and ongoing maintenance is another way that companies can nail their colours to the mast of this new approach to doing business.

Industry has been saying for years that sustainability is the way of the future. Right to repair gives them a chance to put their money where their mouth is and prove that this wasn’t empty rhetoric. Providing the right information to those who need it will be an essential and highly visible part of making the legislation a success.

Customers, past and future, will be watching…

Too much, too soon: Why software providers should guard against information overload

Technology continues to transform our lives, bringing us new and exciting ways to live and interact.

However, one consequence of our fast-paced world is that we can find ourselves suffering from information overload. We can very easily end up feeling overwhelmed and confused.

We need therefore information given to us in a way that enables us to swiftly understand it, take it in and respond.

Computer software in particular can advance very quickly, especially in its early stages. Support materials for software must therefore be produced with this in mind.

They must also guard against becoming obsolete too quickly.

Having a good product is clearly essential but, just as in the non-digital world, it isn’t the whole story. A critical step is getting new users up and running quickly with the product during their free trial period, so that they convert into paying subscribers, a process often known as onboarding.

This is where giving a bit of thought to producing materials which assist the user can pay dividends. These will depend on the nature of the software application. They can be quick and simple, such as on-screen walkthroughs and tutorials that show the software in action, or more detailed guides on how to configure settings or personalise an application to suit a specific way of working.

The secret, to borrow a term frequently associated with software development, is to be agile, and start with lightweight documents that hold the user’s hands just long enough to get them going.

That way, they won’t resort to calling your support desk (which stretches your limited resources) or worse, give up and look for the next provider!

If your software team is too preoccupied with development to provide this clarity, why not bring in a technical writer to assess your product from the user’s perspective and produce a suitable guide, to show it off to its full potential?

A professional technical writer will help your user move from confused to confident.

Image used under license from Freestock.com

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory


Imagine the dream scenario.

Your company has a popular existing product to which you’ve added a new feature.

As well as its intended purpose, this feature is found to be unexpectedly useful in a completely new application. It really captures the zeitgeist, and everybody want to use it, but it needs enabling and configuring – and no-one outside your company knows how to do this.

So people start calling your technical support desk… all day, every day.

But your tech support staff can’t keep up. They are swamped with enquiries. Customers have to queue as it’s hard to get through to a person.

Your workers spend all day answering the same questions, and dealing with increasingly irate customers. They work extended shifts but they still can’t meet the demand. They get fed up and demotivated, call in sick and start looking for other jobs.

The customers also become fed up. They begin to lose faith in the product and your company, but such is the demand for this new feature, that they still keep calling…

Then a rival product is launched to capitalise on the demand for the new application.

Sales in your product begin to drop and then dry up altogether. Existing customers return their products because they can’t access the new feature. They buy the rival product instead. Wholesalers demand their money back. The support calls stop coming.

Before you know it, your company is in financial trouble, and the dream has turned into a nightmare.

All because you didn’t produce a user’s guide. All because the customer had no way of discovering for themselves how to get the most out of your product.

OK, you say, but this is an exaggerated and extreme example, right? It surely couldn’t happen like that in real life. A company wouldn’t fail just because it doesn’t support its customers properly, would it?


Tyndale supports non-profit COVID-19 project in Germany

Together , we are stronger (4) (1)

Tyndale has recently lent its support to Covid-Data.info, a student-led project which is seeking to collect data on how COVID-19 develops before and after hospital treatment is needed. This addresses a critical gap in the data currently available and should help with prioritising the use of healthcare resources and developing new treatments for the condition. Covid-Data.info is based at the leading business school ESMT Berlin, and an article about the project was written by Tyndale director Robert Pallant and posted on the school’s website this week.