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A Leading Paint Brand

A customer asks why the paint on their radiator is bubbling off and you look it up on the system. But the answer is a mess. You can’t use this. You don’t have time to rewrite it. And you definitely don’t have time to look up those complicated jargon words you’re struggling to read at the moment. So you copy and paste and hope for the best. We all know that’s not good enough.

The challenge

This company are experts in paint. A lot of their collective knowledge is stored in an online database that customer service staff use to answer questions. But many of the articles were out of date, overly complicated, or just plain incomprehensible. The thousands of topics ranged from 25 words describing a type of glue to 7500 words on why paint flakes.

What we did

Set the goals

We worked with the Knowledge Manager to put some realistic targets in place. As she needed to review each piece, we decided on 25 articles a week. She identified some of the questions that came up most frequently and we set a timeline to work through them.

Cut, cut and cut again

The main problem with the existing copy was the length. Many of the articles went into too much detail or repeated points unnecessarily. We ruthlessly cut out anything that wasn’t useful.

Improved readability

Staff needed to quickly scan articles for the right advice. And customers want to receive straightforward answers to their questions. We made the copy easier for everyone to understand.

The original copy was often formal, and full of jargon and irrelevant internal memos. But the team were talking to real customers, so friendly and informative was the new order of the day.

A more appropriate tone


‘Flocs' are where pigment has collected on the surface of the paint in clusters or where fine stripes of colour run along contours left by the brush and may be described as patchiness or streakiness. Collectively, these scenarios are referred to as ‘flocculation’, and whilst fine artists working in oils may utilise this deliberately, in Decorative Paints it is not normally wanted and the paint or tinter recipe may require an adjustment to find a combination of tinters that incorporate more evenly into the body of the paint film. Gloss paints are more prone to this than other finishes.

The results

The team are thrilled. They have straightforward answers they can use as they are, or as a starting point for their own writing. Now when a customer asks a tricky question, there’s a friendly, easy-to-understand answer just waiting to be used.

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