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A third less likely to buy products if instructions are difficult to understand, says survey

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A third of consumers are less likely to buy a product if they find out the instruction manuals are difficult to understand, according to research from Xerox.

So-called ‘product rage’ is caused by badly written or confusing instruction manuals and can even cause household arguments and product damage in some instances.

The survey, of 2,000, found 21 per cent of people find instructions difficult to understand with the same percentage believing they’re not detailed enough.

And reports that the UK is a nation of 4G using and tech-savvy consumers could prove unfounded as more than one in five (21 per cent) admit they don’t fully understand how to use their mobile phones while a quarter don’t fully grasp how their computer works.

And the frustration of understanding instructions proves too much for some, with one in twenty even breaking the product after being confused by instruction documents.

“Having confusing instructions is like having a keyboard without the letters printed on – you can muddle through but it will take you a lot longer and cause lots of irritation,” said Julie Hesselgrove, Group President, Xerox Communication and Marketing Services.

Consumers over the age of 55 are the most intolerant of bad instructions with nearly half (46 per cent) factoring the quality of product instructions when choosing to buy.

“Offering your customers the tools to understand your product in an interactive and interesting way makes a difference to brand loyalty and repeat business,” added Hesselgrove. “Newer channels, such as via online videos, interactive, web support and apps offer better ways to make instructions comprehensive and easy to follow.”

Published on Monday 28 October by Editorial Assistant

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