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Session 603: Writing Is a "Hard Skill" All Support Professionals Need

Thursday, April 11 at 4:00 PM

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Most support professionals know they have to keep their technical or "hard" skills sharp and up-to-date. But too many support professionals think the hard skills are more important than the dismissively named "soft" skills. However, technical skills don't exist in a vacuum. If you can't use words to explain technical topics, populate your knowledge base, write documentation, and answer users' questions, you can't help anyone. If you can't write clearly about technical topics, you simply cannot provide support. This session will explain why you must avoid elitist thinking about "hard skills" and help your team become great writers and speakers.

In this workshop, attendees will learn:

  • Why a dismissive attitude about "soft skills" can prevent you from recruiting well-rounded people--from a variety of backgrounds--to join your support teamHow to develop your support teams' writing skills
  • Why the term "soft skills" should be permanently replaced with "communication skills"
  • How to tell whether a job applicant has the writing skills needed to do the job
  • Which writing skills are essential for support professionals

Leslie O'Flahavan


Leslie O'Flahavan has helped thousands of people learn to write well for online readers. She's a problem-solver for all writing-related challenges, and she's delivered customized writing courses for customer service agents, social media managers, and support desk staff. Leslie helps organizations train their teams to write excellent emails, measure the quality of their emails to customers, and rewrite and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Recently, she completed a complete overhaul of customer service writing for a global airline's domestic and international contact centers. Leslie is a author of three courses: "Technical Writing: How to Write a Quickstart Guide," "How to Write Customer Service Email," and "Customer Service: Writing for Social Media." Leslie is also the coauthor of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.