Longform content has rapidly risen in popularity. It is now the most shared content on the internet. We enjoy it so much that we’ve allowed it to seep into the workplace. Think about the length of your current documents and wiki pages, they are incredibly long and no detail is spared.
Thorough documentation is not a bad thing. Longform pieces are enjoyable because of their depth. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, defined longform as “lengthy, relaxed.” The problem is that many employees (like all of your client-facing teams) need answers now, they don't have time to search through long form content to find their answer. Unlike enjoying an interesting article while sitting on your couch, finding the correct answer to a customer question isn’t relaxed and you certainly don’t want the process to be lengthy.
Content Creators Must be Cognizant of How it Will be Consumed
Often times, people who create content forget about the jobs the people consuming it need to do. In the case of sales and support reps, there are two primary use cases for consuming content: 1) instant consumption while on the phone or in chat, or 2) For browsing and studying purposes. Guess which job long form content solves for? So while you and other sales enablement (or product marketing folks) are creating longform documents on product FAQ's or common objections, your sales reps are wondering how they will ever be able to use that content.
Allowing Sales and Support to Find the Right Answers at the Right Time
Salespeople spend up to one third of their day looking for information needed to do their job. Information is needed on demand, and the current solutions aren’t built for an on demand world. Docs and wikis force you to use Control+F to find words and then leave you to piece together the answers.
If you're chatting with a customer and need to answer a question, you don't have time to go through the current long & inefficient process to find the answer. Searching for the doc that will have the right answer, opening that doc, searching for a keyword, and after all that instead of your answer appearing you see that the word that you typed appears fifteen times. To get the proper information you have to click through all of the options, meanwhile your customer is waiting for their answer.
Now imagine a different scenario, you get a question, open up your search window, type in your keyword, and five potential answers are surfaced. You then determine the proper response based on the title alone and read the answer to the customer. This scenario is possible because the focus is on providing answers not based on keywords.
The Flexibility of Cards
Finding the right answer quickly is possible if we rethink the structure and usability of long form content. Unlike Long form content, Cards provide users the flexibility to keep all the information you need about a sub-topic in one area. Because of the cards size, they are large enough to contain an entire detailed subtopic, but small enough to be processed in real time. One of your competitors and how you differentiate yourself could be easily housed in a card. With this system you are no longer clicking through word mentions, but instead previewing an entire answer.
Instead of keeping your information in three docs with overarching themes, you have individual cards that can be organized by topic. Reps benefit from smaller amounts of information they can access when needed. Instead of thinking about knowledge bases from the creation point of view and endlessly typing into docs, let’s think about smaller segmented content and getting our team the knowledge they need.
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