Thursday, January 31, 2013

Owners Manual as Sales and Marketing Opportunity

Since practically nobody's doing it, promoting your product in the Owners, Users, Operation, or Instruction Manual can be an easy way to gain competitive avantage.

Use your Owners Manual to boost customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, upsell, cross-sell, and word of mouth advertising from happy fans.

Owners Manuals, almost without exception, miss a terrific opportunity to increase sales and overcome buyer's remorse. Right after the purchase of an expensive item, many people have second thoughts, feel anxiety and guilt, and question the wisdom of their investment.

Most owners manuals, almost all that I have seen, start off with Precautions, Warnings, and Disclaimers. Then they proceed into the nuts and bolts of setting up the gadget. They tend to end with Safety Statements, Copyright Information, and Service Announcements.

None of which inspire much confidence or joy in the purchased product.

Owners Manuals, User Guides, and Operating Instructions should start with a Congratulations message that reminds customers of what a smart decision they made. Listing the benefits of the product and what distinguishes it from the competition. Reminding the customer as to the good reasons for owning the product.

Give the customer bragging rights talking points, which can lead to word of mouth promotions and increased sales.

Here is the most fantastic opportunity for sales and marketing messaging.

The customer is excited. You've got them in the palm of your hand. They are unwrapping and unboxing the product like it was a Christmas gift. They can't wait to feel the product, get it going, do something with it, and  experience the thrill of the new.

Customer enthusiasm and delight are at the highest pitch that they will probably ever be, unless the product keeps wowing them into a feverish ecstasy as they use it to solve problems, meet needs, or enhance a lifestyle.

So you'd expect companies to use this period of infatuation to drive home the sales message, reinforce the marketing, and beef up the customer retention values. But how often does this happen? Almost never.

Here we are again, on the territory of Customer Relations, the worst aspect of almost every business in America. Very rarely does any company act like they sincerely value the customer. They seem more interested in kicking you to the curb, once they've got your cash, and rushing on to the next sucker.

If you manufacture or market a product, keep in mind this golden opportunity to secure a competitive advantage.

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