If you work in software development, you likely already know what release notes are and why they’re essential. For those who don’t work in the field, release notes are documents that outline the changes made in a given software update. They can include new features, bug fixes, and anything relevant to users.
While release notes might seem relatively small, they can significantly impact your business. Properly written release notes can improve customer satisfaction, reduce support costs, and increase revenue. Here’s a closer look at each of these benefits:
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Anyone who has worked on a software development team knows that there is always a delicate balance between delivering features quickly and ensuring that those features are high quality.
On one hand, customers want new features, and they want them now. On the other hand, developers don’t want to release buggy code that will have to be fixed later.
Release notes are one way to help strike that balance. Release notes offer transparency into the development process and let customers know their feedback is being heard. Customers appreciate this transparency, and it leads to increased satisfaction.
Many customers say that they’re more likely to do business with a company that is transparent about its product development process.
Let’s take a closer look at how release notes can improve customer satisfaction.
Release Notes Offer Transparency Into the Development Process
As we mentioned before, release notes offer transparency into the development process. Customers appreciate knowing what features are being worked on and when they can expect those features to be delivered. This transparency builds trust between the customer and the company.
Release Notes Help Customers Feel Heard
Another benefit of release notes is that they help customers feel heard. Customers who see their suggestions implemented are more likely to be satisfied with the product. They’ll also be more likely to continue providing feedback in the future because they’ll know that it’s being considered.
Release Notes Keep Customers Informed About New Features
Finally, release notes keep customers informed about new features as they become available. Customers don’t always have time to check in on every update, so releasing information through release notes is an effective way to ensure everyone is kept in the loop.
Reduced Support Costs
Companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs in today’s business climate. One area where companies can save money is customer support. Release notes can help reduce support costs in two ways.
Preventing Questions with Release Notes
The first way release notes can help reduce support costs is by preventing questions from being asked in the first place. When customers have all the information they need upfront, they are less likely to have questions down the road. This is because they will already know the answers to their questions.
For example, if a customer knows that a new feature is coming in the next release, they will not need to contact support to ask when it will be available. Likewise, if a customer knows that a bug has been fixed in the latest release, they will not need to contact support to ask for help troubleshooting the issue.
In both cases, providing this information upfront via release notes prevents support issues from arising in the first place.
Answering Questions with Release Notes
Release notes can also help reduce support costs by providing answers directly to customers or giving support staff a head start on finding the answer.
For example, let’s say a customer contacts support because they are having trouble using a new feature. The first thing the support staff member will do is check the release notes to see if there are any known issues with the feature. If there are no known issues, then the staff member can use the release notes to troubleshoot the issue directly with the customer.
In many cases, this will resolve the issue without escalating it to engineering or product management. However, even if the problem cannot be resolved immediately, the release notes can give support staff members a head start on finding a resolution by providing them with background information on the feature and any known issues.
Release notes can also lead to increased revenue for your business. How? By helping you communicate the value of your product more effectively. When customers know what’s new and coming down the pipeline, they’re more likely to stick around and continue using your product. This reduces customer churn and can increase upgrade revenue and cross-selling opportunities.
In short, reliable release notes software like releasepad.io are a powerful tool every business should take advantage of. But how do you write release notes that drive results?
The following are some tips on how to write release notes that will help you drive increased revenue for your business:
- Keep them short and sweet: Nobody wants to read a novel when all they’re looking for is a quick overview of what’s new. So, when writing your release notes, keep them short and sweet. Get to the point quickly and use simple language that everyone can understand.
- Highlight the benefits, not just the features: Another essential thing to remember when writing release notes is to highlight the benefits of your product update, not just the features. For example, if you’ve added a new feature that allows users to save time on data entry, highlight how that will benefit them (i.e., they’ll be able to get their work done faster).
- Use images and videos sparingly: Words are usually sufficient when releasing notes. However, there are times when an image or video can help drive home a point or showcase a new feature more effectively than words alone could ever hope to do. Make sure not to overdo it; one or two images or videos per release should suffice.
- Make them easily accessible: Make sure your release notes are accessible by including them in your product documentation or on your website (if you have one). This will ensure that anyone interested can quickly and easily find them without searching high and low for them online.
And there you have it! These are just a few tips on writing release notes to help drive increased revenue for your business.
As you can see, there are many benefits to properly written release notes. If you’re not already using release notes software, now is the time to start! Doing so will improve customer satisfaction, reduce support costs, and increase revenue for your business.