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What is an Instruction Manual?

An instruction manual is an online document that assists customers in installing, setting up, and using a product. With how-to articles, step-by-step instructions, and troubleshooting tips explained in a structured way, the document plays a critical role in familiarizing customers with a product and helping them solve problems on their own. It is the most referenced document that provides a helping hand whenever customers get stuck with the product they are using.

What is an Instruction Manual

Why is an Instruction Manual Important for Your Business?

Regardless of how excellent your product is, it is of no value to your customers if they can’t understand and use it. That’s where the instruction manual comes into the picture. Besides familiarizing customers with the ins and outs of the product, it helps you in a lot of other ways, such as:

Reduces Customer Support Tickets
Reduces Customer Support Tickets

With the web-based instructions manual always available at their fingertips, customers don’t have to take the trouble to raise tickets for every other issue. They can simply refer to the manual and fix problems on their own. This reduces the volume of support tickets reaching your customer support team.

24x7 Self-Service Support

Customers want minimum hassles and maximum convenience while using a product. An instruction manual promises just that. As an online information resource, the manual can be accessed by customers 24x7 - anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Problem-solving is now just a click away!

24x7 Self-Service Support
Protects You From Legal Troubles
Protects You From Legal Troubles

Without the right guidance, there is a high chance of customers misusing a product and harming themselves in the process. An instruction manual lays down the step-by-step procedure of installing and using the product, leaving no scope of confusion or misunderstanding. This saves you from any kind of legal problems arising due to product misuse.

Boosts Sales

An instruction manual is a platform where you can highlight the best aspects of your product. Your sales staff can use this as a reference document to guide prospects about product features and functions and help them make an informed purchase decision. This eventually boosts your product sales.

Boosts Sales

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What to Include in the Instruction Manual?

An instruction manual should cover every information customers might need to navigate through your product and fix problems as they occur.Ideally, an instruction manual must include:

What to Include in the Instruction Manual

About This Template

Our instructions manual template is carefully created and diligently designed to simplify the process of creating content. The best part? It looks beautiful across devices, and you can customize it to your specific requirements. Creating an instructions manual is so much easier when you have a template with a table of contents and product categories ready. It cuts off the additional time and effort that otherwise goes into setting up the structure of the manual. This free instructions manual template is incredibly easy to use and can get your manual up and running in no time.

About this Template

How to Create an Instruction Manual

An online instructions manual is not just about how-to content related to a product. It's much more than that. It decides how easy or challenging it would be for customers to work with your product, and that's why it's important to take every step carefully while building the instructions manual.These steps will bring you on the right path.

Have a Clear Objective
Step 1: Have a Clear Objective

Setting a goal is the first thing you need to do before plunging into the process of creating an instructions manual. You should have complete clarity of the ultimate objective you want to achieve before you begin with the writing process.

Think From Customers' Perspective
Step 2: Think From Customers' Perspective

While writing an instructions manual, it's crucial to step into your customers' shoes and think from their perspective. You know your product in and out, but the customers who will be using it for the first time don't. Identify who your customers are and their knowledge level. This will help you develop appropriate content that customers are bound to find useful.

Decide What You are Going to Cover
Step 3: Decide What You are Going to Cover

Too much and too little information - both can be disastrous for your instruction manual. For the manual to be successful, it should have the right amount of information that customers need to be successful with your product. Compile all the essential information in the manual but do not go overboard. Add everything that's necessary for customers to know.

Let Your Team Collaborate
Step 4: Let Your Team Collaborate

No points for guessing that building an information-packed document such as an instruction manual is not an easy feat to achieve. Therefore, the collective effort of your team members is key to speed up and streamline the process. While some of the employees can take charge of writing, others can review what's written, and the rest can take the role of administrators.

Review & Publish
Step 5: Review & Publish

Customers count on you for reliable information. Don't disappoint them. Enable writers to set workflow status for each article and get them reviewed by multiple people so that errors can be found and fixed on time before the manual goes live. Once the content is reviewed, publish it with a click on both web and mobile.

How to Use This Template

This instructions manual template is simple yet powerful. It can lift half of the burden of building the manual from your shoulders. You get a ready-made structure with a predefined table of contents and content categories. Just add your company’s logo and brand name. Delete all dummy content and start adding useful information, images, and videos to the template.

How to Use This Template

Best Practices for Creating an Instructions Manual

Follow these actionable tips to take your instructions manual from good to great.
Keep it Simple & Straightforward
Keep it Simple & Straightforward

Nothing is more worrying for customers than a manual they cannot understand properly. Instead of solving, it aggravates the problem even more. Keeping the language and the overall flow of the manual as simple as possible is key to helping customers understand your product better and solve problems faster.

Add Visuals for Higher Engagement
Add Visuals for Higher Engagement

Showing how something is done is way better than just telling. Use images and videos to explain your point, demonstrate how your product works, and show how specific issues can be fixed. Visuals also give customers a break from reading those large blocks of text that can feel overwhelming at times.

Give it a Smooth Structure & Flow
Give it a Smooth Structure & Flow

How your manual looks is as important as what information it contains. There should be a logical structure and flow to the content so that customers can navigate through your manual effortlessly. A table of contents with topics divided into broad categories and subcategories, a related articles section at the bottom of the page, and an easy to advanced content hierarchy can give your manual a smooth structure.

Design Your Manual
Design Your Manual

Customers should want to use your manual, and that’s possible only when it looks good and feels great. Leave some white space after long paragraphs to make the process of learning and problem solving less overwhelming. Ensure that the fonts, colors, and themes match your company’s branding and strike the right chords with customers.

Ask for Feedback
Ask for Feedback

If you are one of those organizations striving for constant improvement, taking customer feedback can set you on the right path. Discover what customers like and what they don’t by adding feedback forms to the manual. You can also use surveys to ask customers about their experience and find areas for improvement.

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