“If in doubt, read the instructions.”
Most of us have struggled to follow an instruction manual at some time, particularly if it is supplied by a manufacturer who – at best – has English as a second language. Constructing ‘easy-to-assemble’ flatpack furniture, installing an appliance or trying to fix a broken photocopier can quickly lead to frayed tempers and hours of wasted time.
Good Manuals Add Product Value
Imported goods are generally supplied with some form of instruction sheet or booklet and in most cases, these at least meet the legal requirements. But if you are reselling, what are they doing to your brand?
Competitively-sourced products can massively increase their perceived value simply by having a clearly written, well-presented manual, and while you’re improving the instructions, adding your own brand identity will cost little extra.
Digital printing and advances in output quality from office printers now mean that traditional printing is no longer required to produce a professional-looking manual. Another more recent development is to apply an inexpensive label with a QR code to the product. The code is scanned and the instructions are right there on a smartphone – no searching for the manual when something needs attention!
Good Manuals Make Good Business Sense
In this age of social media, dissatisfied consumers are quick to post negative reviews if the manual is hard to follow. On the other hand, a well written and easily understood manual can be the key to positive reviews, word of mouth endorsements and repeat orders.
Making manuals easy to follow also reduces the volume of aftersales issues, returned and damaged goods, engineer callouts, warranty claims and scrappage. All these cost money and affect profitability.
Are Your Manuals Easy to Follow?
If we are familiar with how a product is assembled, installed or operated, we may even think that instructions are an inconvenient necessity. To put this to the test, we recommend you ask someone with minimal product knowledge to read the instructions and give you their opinion. You may be surprised.
At The Write Company, we have had extensive experience in rewriting technical manuals from Far East and Eastern European suppliers, in which sometimes even the English is almost incomprehensible. We have also reworded highly technical content into plain English, identified and corrected ambiguous instructions, and standardised technical specification data across a wider range of documents.
If you’re wanting to put your manuals into overdrive, complete the following fields and we will be in touch.