Friday, September 17, 2010

Adding consumer confidence in your product

Poorly Made Coffee Cup

A quality technical manual, such as an operator's manual or parts book, can provide your consumers with an added level of confidence in your product. However, at the same time, high quality also needs to be engineered into the product. We believe that a quality manual can make the consumer realize they have purchased a high-quality product, even though they may not be able to see the quality. In most cases, the quality of a product cannot be seen from the outside. We can see the shell of the product looks good, but will it live up to the marketing sales pitch? That is where good product support literature will add value to your product. On the other hand, the best-engineered product can be perceived as poorly designed, if the product support literature is poorly done.

Over the past 20+ years of business, we have had many clients with very well-designed, well-built products. Most of these clients had poorly produced product support literature at one time. This type of literature can make consumers wonder if these manuals were done in someone's basement-basically an afterthought. So what do we, the consumer, see when we look at poorly produced product literature? We see a company that doesn't seem to care about quality. If they do not have enough pride to sell their product in their support literature, they may have that same philosophy in the design and manufacturing of the product.

Quality is something that is perceived by each individual. So, if you're going to design and manufacture quality products, why not put the same effort into designing quality product support literature.

Notice that earlier we stated, "doesn't seem to care." In defense of small businesses, of which we are one, many times the product support literature is poorly done for a variety of reasons. First, you may not see the need or the value in spending money on manuals. Sometimes manuals are considered an afterthought. They're needed, but, "no great loss if we don't have one." Secondly, you may not know how to produce a manual. Many times something is thrown together to meet the letter-of-the-law. When the manual is done, you say, "all right, now let's get back to the real work-engineering." Thirdly, you may not have the time to do the work properly. There are only so many hours in a day and when you wear your sales and marketing, engineering, human resource, accounting, personnel, and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer hats, you just don't have any time left in the day to write a manual.

That's where we come in. We are trying to make business owners aware of another alternative-using our company (tpa). We combine our knowledge of many different products into one source. Now your company can have manuals that add value to your products using our technical writers and illustrators. In the long run, the expense of creating quality manuals is cost effective because it gives you more time for internal work and we provide the resources and manpower to do the job correctly and efficiently. That's why we're here, to help you produce product support literature that will strengthen your product's image.

Steve Nichol, President and Co-founder of TPA, Inc.