The Instruction Manual is the first step in the customer experience
Whenever you buy something in the store and have to do any type of work with the product it comes with a booklet known as an Instruction Manual. Sometimes those booklets are in a totally different language or make little to no sense when reading them.
There are many different types of manuals, including some really good ones and really bad ones. Our experiences with them have all influenced us with how we buy similar products moving forward. A good instruction manual improves the customer’s experience and builds brand loyalty.
Different Types Of Manuals
There are so many different types of instruction manuals that you may encounter.
- There are policy manuals which serve to provide policies from a workplace to an entertainment venue you may go to.
- Procedure policies are along the same lines as policy manuals, but they will lay out the procedures to be used when the policy needs to be used. It could be for things such as a fire drill even down to how to load a vending machine correctly.
- Operations manuals are another type of instruction manual which is used. It could detail the know-all for any business. This includes things such as what are the different roles employees have, who holds responsibility in the company, what the plan of action is in case of an emergency, etc.
- User and operators’ manuals are one of the most vital types of manuals out there. End-product customers need to understand how the product works in order to use it correctly. If products do not come with this type of manual the percentage in which the end user breaks the product goes up.
- Another common manual is a service and maintenance manual. Have you ever taken your car to the dealership to get the brakes changed? Well, if you have, then the technician who did the service followed one of those manuals. The automotive industry is just one example of those that require maintenance manuals. Even your at home coffee brewer may have a maintenance schedule to it.
- Training manuals are also one of the most used instruction manuals. If you have ever taken a new job, then you have read or listened to one of them. It is an essential part of any company to get their new hires up to speed and integrated into their workforce.
Good vs. Bad Manuals
When it comes to reading a manual, some are good, and some are bad. If you’ve ever bought furniture that needed to be put together, then you have probably gotten frustrated with the instructions.
A good manual versus a bad one can make or break your customer’s experience. The difference can be a stark contrast.
Some things that make up a good instruction manual:
- Having step by step detailed instructions
- Including an overview picture of the product
- Having an index to direct readers right to where they want to go
Some things that make up a bad instruction manual:
- Vague instructions and pictures
- Having too basic of instructions
- Having only pictures and no text instructions included
Why It Is Important to Include an Instruction Manual
The industry you are in determines how important it is to include a manual with your product. For something such as a piece of furniture bought off Amazon, you need to have one so the customer can know how to put it together.
The most important reason you want to include an instruction manual is to ensure that the end-user is using the product correctly and safely.
What Objectives You Want To Reach
When it comes to writing a good instruction manual, it is important to have a set list of objectives you want to achieve. However, there are two main objectives all instruction manuals should achieve:
- Familiarize the end-user with the product
- Walk the end-user through the steps to complete a task.
If you can ship your products with manuals that accomplish either of those objectives, you will have started down the path of having a good instruction manual.
Why You Should Offer An Electronic Instruction Manual
In this day and age with everything being done online, it is important for your product and company information to be able to be seen online as well as the product they buy.
A lot of things are lost to time or just get lost in general. When buying a used car, it is a 50/50 chance that the owner’s manual is in there with the maintenance schedule. Being able to look up your car’s make and model to be able to find the manual can help some customers make the decision on when to change fluids in the vehicle.
The automotive industry is just one example of the manuals you can find online, however, the importance of having a larger online presence in 2022 is more important than at any other time in history.
Why You Should Include Photo References
Photo references are good for those who get stuck with a particular step in a manual. You can ship an instruction manual that you feel was worded well and will direct the end-user correctly; however, sometimes that is not the case. A photo can help move along the process, even to make sure something is put together facing the right direction such as furniture.
How an Instruction Manual Will Improve Customer Service
If you provide a good instruction manual with any products or services you provide, it will improve the customer’s experience and help reduce customer service traffic.
Customers are less likely to call and complain about how bad the manual is when they have a problem and will be more open to suggestions you can make to solve the problem they have.
Improving relations between the customer service agents and the customer will help in the long term for retaining the customers’ business. The public is more likely to buy a product again if the instructions from your company the last time were clear, concise, and it was an overall good experience.
However, a bad instruction manual starts the process of using and/or building your product on the wrong foot, as the first thing most people look for when opening a new product is the instruction manual.
The ability to use the right references when shipping an instruction manual is the key to a successful first impression on the customer. It can make or break the likelihood of a customer becoming a repeat customer. From putting furniture together to trying to navigate the menus on a Nikon Camera, everyone needs instructions in everyday life and a good manual is the first step to improving the customer service experience. A positive customer experience builds brand loyalty.
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or email@example.com
Written by Dylan Friebel