User Guides as Part of the Customer Experience
Picture Megan. She bought one of your washing machines six months back, but this morning the door won’t open. The user manual is nowhere to be found and Megan wonders if she’ll try calling customer services, but this usually results in a long waiting time and she is already late for work. Then she cheers up and picks up her phone and scans the QR code on the machine. She knows you provide digital user guides for exactly these situations. Now she’s just a few swipes away from unloading her washer and getting to work.
Do you want to connect with end users beyond the moment of purchase? Differentiate by really delivering on pre-purchase promises and meeting consumers’ elevated expectations? Digital user guides provide interactive product support on demand. Find out how they can help you improve your customer experience (CX) strategy, reducing costs while increasing customer loyalty.
A good customer experience pays off
We all know that building brand loyalty and creating peer-to-peer ambassadors is all about delivering on the promise of your pre-sale campaign. And that is crucial in today’s experience economy. Not only will 86% of customers pay more for a positive customer experience, McKinsey found that companies delivering good CX have lower customer acquisition costs, lower service costs and less churn.
Ironic then that the main after-sales touch points between a brand and the end user are prompted by negative situations. It won’t switch on, what now? What does error code F4 mean? Where is the user manual? In fact, printed instruction booklets don’t meet customer’s needs. Research indicates that over a third of people throw them away with the packaging. They are much more at ease with intuitively trying things out – which may lead them to damage the item by mistake. Or they turn to Google, which is most likely to lead them to PDFs of the instruction booklet (just as drab as the traditional version), or hard-to-follow video instructions. Failing those, they tie up your service desk with calls or texts.
Digital user guides offer another way. You can create a guide for each stage in a product’s lifecycle – from pre-purchase orientation through cleaning and troubleshooting to recycling. The guides offer pared-down instructions, divided into steps that are easy to follow. Written information is kept to a minimum. Instead, images, audio, gifs and short bursts of video facilitate the learning process. The guides allow the end user to determine the pace of the instruction – he or she simply swipes to the next slide when they are ready.
On-demand, interactive tools like digital user guides are the solutions of choice for consumers who are time-poor and take digitalization for granted. And they will want to access the information they need where and when they need it, 24/7. That’s why the guides should be available through a variety of devices. Consider publishing them via smart mobile and web apps, as part of a native app, on tablets, via a direct link, NFC tag, QR code or embedded on your website.
It’s all in the data
So, you’ve built a portfolio of guides that are a pleasure to use and you’re delivering them consistently. Is it enough to achieve lasting differentiation? No, you’ve got to keep driving for further improvement, of course. The technology underlying digital user guides gathers valuable data on end-user traffic and feedback. The insights gained indicate how to fine-tune existing and future guides.
Research on the customer-centric instructional design approach together with the University of Twente has been applied to our software. We offer a range of instruction solutions that are surprisingly affordable and easy to use. They allow you to provide Megan and customers like her with touchpoints for an effortless customer experience.