There are many good reasons to outsource documentation, technical editing, and specialty research that have genuine, real-world benefits like reduced tech support calls, increased repeat sales, and a higher sales closure rate. Here are just a few:
A professional technical communicator has invested time, energy, and money in becoming trained in the art and craft of writing and editing. A professional will produce better documentation (and results) than someone who has a completely different set of skills, like the software developer who might usually get the assignment (but most likely would rather be coding).
Documentation and information are value-added services. Users want (and in fact, often demand) good documentation with a product, whether that be a software program, or a new stereo. Background research also adds value to your product or service by increasing its depth and flexibility. High-quality, professional information, whether in the form of online help, courseware, or printed material, is essential to ensuring customer satisfaction and maximum return on investment.
In many organisations, there are impediments to producing high-quality information outputs. Some may be small, and not able to afford an in-house communications professional. Lone developers may find themselves having to write their own documentation, and not wanting to. (One of my clients once said, "Writing help files destroys your soul") Still others may need assistance with information development and management. Outsourcing to a technical communicator can put good product information easily within reach, without the hassles of hiring and retaining an employee.
Outsourcing to a professional technical communicator means that assistance with documentation, editing, and research is available "just in time," when you need it, and for only as long as you need it. After the professional communicator does a needs analysis and a carefully-prepared project specification, you can carry on with your important work, knowing that the information will be there when required.