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How much do your user manuals cost you?

December 2, 2022

We've all had the experience of not understanding an instruction manual, calling the service department and hearing, "Did you remember to turn it off and on again? (sigh)" After that, we all said to ourselves that this was the last time we would buy from this brand.

While this type of event may seem on the fringes, it actually has great consequences for a brand. It has its roots in the user manual which is often not well thought out, and can end up costing your company a lot of money.

The Pimster team will explain in detail where the costs of your user manuals lie 👉

Writing the user manual

When calculating the cost of the instructions for use, the first thing that comes to mind is obviously the cost of writing them! Writing an instruction manual involves many steps, and you can see our latest article on this subject (LIEN ARTICLE).

Indeed, an instruction manual requires time and resources, as you need to be able to make your customer understand the product. While there is rarely one person in a company officially responsible for writing user manuals, the work is usually distributed among the product team. It can take a lot of energy and people in your company, especially if you want to create a quality user manual.

In addition, the cost of translation is not negligible and can be found at several levels:

  1. If you take care of your translation and decide to have your manual translated by a professional translator, the costs vary between €0.10 and €0.20 per word translated.
  2. If you decide to rush the translation, what may seem like a good deal at first may in fact be the most expensive solution. Indeed, a poor translation can lead to your readers not understanding your product. In the best case they will contact your (also expensive) after-sales services, or in the worst case, your customer relationship will be severely impacted and you may lose a customer.

If you want to know more, we have written an article listing the best translation tools and their costs .

Finally, you can also opt for a technical writer who will write your manual for you, for an average of €100 per page of manual.

Updates to user manuals

User manuals are never static and often need to be updated. Whether it is to improve user understanding (after feedback from your customers, for example) or to comply with regulations, updating your user manuals is necessary but never really a pleasure.

Indeed, before being able to modify an instruction manual, a quest begins to find the document used to write the manual and also the data related to the product. Without a dedicated platform, this is frequently laborious and time-consuming, especially as several user manuals must be continually modified at the same time (particularly in the event of legal and technical updates).

After-sales service

Did you know that 30% of after-sales tickets are actually answered in the instructions for use?

Consumers often shy away from user manuals because of their indigestible format: very long paper format (more than 100 pages), no pictures... However, it is a shame that your customers miss out on information simply because of the form. We have therefore listed some tools that will help you save time in writing and transform your instructions efficiently to make sure they are read.

A neglected user manual represents an additional cost for your service departments, which then lose money, time and resources. After all, a service ticket costs your company an average of €6!

Product returns

67% of consumers say they would return a product that was difficult to use, according to a 2019 survey by TechSee. Yet customer returns represent exorbitant costs for businesses, as the product often cannot be put back on sale and must be stored until it can be resold second-hand.

Moreover, a customer who returns a product because he or she did not know how to handle it, is rarely someone who will return to buy from your brand. But "retaining a customer can cost up to five times less than winning over new ones. A loyalty programme would increase the attribution rate by 8% and an increase in customer retention of 5% per year would double profits ", according to Dawkins and Reichheld in "Customer Loyalty as a Competitive Weapon" (1990). A bad manual involving a product return therefore results in significant future revenue losses.

Paradoxically, if you do not invest in a quality manual and think you are saving money, it will cost you much more later.

A damaged customer relationship and brand image

As mentioned above, a user manual that does not allow you to handle your product correctly has consequences on customer loyalty towards your brand.

When you know that 88% of consumers expect companies to provide self-service customer support, the user manual is no longer an option, but a requirement if you do not want to see your brand's reputation diminish.

How to reduce your costs?

1. Take care of the writing

As you've been shown, if you don't write your user manual properly because you don't have enough time or resources, you're putting off problems until later.

2. Make your manuals easily accessible

Your customers use your manuals to learn how to use your products, but also when they have a question about a function or when they have a breakdown. It is therefore important to make your manuals accessible via QR codes on your products for example. In this way, you will avoid cluttering up your after-sales service with questions that are answered in the manual.

3. Use customer data

You can use data to improve and analyse your customers' feedback and opinions. Don't hesitate to survey your customers to find out what they think of your operating instructions and how you can improve them.

Reduce your costs permanently with Pimster

Ready to revolutionise your manuals and take your post-purchase customer experience to the next level?

With Pimster, you have access to a platform that centralises your product data and allows you to write your user manuals in collaboration with your entire team. You can then benefit from everyone's expertise, and halve the time spent on translation and writing.

Besides, you can find your data related to your manuals and products on the same platform, no need to search for hours for the right information.

But Pimster is also a way to create premium digital instructions in stories format that allow your customers to get to grips with your product efficiently and in no time. It is therefore the best tool to impress your users, improve your brand image and reduce your user manual costs.

What does this mean for you in concrete terms?

  • Your cost of writing and updating operating instructions minimised
  • Your improved brand image after purchase
  • Your reduced service costs

Do you want to transform your customer experience with instructions for use? Come and try Pimster.