How can companies be proactive about communication issues?Jun 11, 2019
Katy Cesarotti | Gallery Design Studio Editor + Copywriter
Seventy percent of employees report feeling stressed or overwhelmed because of fragmented communication processes. When need-to-know information only lives in a manager’s head, they become a bottleneck that chokes off productivity.
How can companies be proactive about communication issues?
A standardized how-to guide can walk a client or team member through an unfamiliar task, smoothing out the process and eliminating delays, slowdowns, or stressors. With the right information in their hands, clients or team members are empowered to get more done, more efficiently.
Efficient Onboarding for Amazing Productivity
A new study in the New York Post reports that 80% of employees feel stressed due to ineffective company communication, a 30% leap from 2018. With clear and direct step-by-step instructions, you can access higher team efficiency and also improve team morale.
How-to guides can lay out the process for common tasks or anticipate frequent questions. Team members can contribute value more quickly and take confidence in their skill while avoiding expensive rework on projects.
Help Clients Master and Adopt New Features
How-to guides empower customers to get the most out of features and tools, especially for companies that are constantly growing, developing, and adapting their services. An effective guide can be a selling tool to existing customers that raises awareness of new features as you roll them out.
If your company deals with complex topics or clients who love research, a how-to guide creates a valuable point of connection. By predicting client questions or pain points, you can avoid potential frustrations and provide them the answers they’re looking for.
Solve Industry Problems
Establish your company as a dependable resource and subject matter expert on related topics. By helping to address common problems your clients face, you’ll reinforce your brands’ expertise and create an effective lead magnet to attract high-quality potential clients.
For example, companies with marketing automation software might offer in-depth resources on related marketing issues, like generating leads or evaluating the user experience. Clients who download relevant how-to guides are more likely to be a better fit for the services you offer than a random user who sees an untargeted ad.
Creating a How-To Guide
- Create a structure. Clear organization makes it easier for users to search for the information they need. An intuitive, replicable hierarchy also allows you to add new steps or explanations as your company continues to evolve. When you roll out a new update or service offering, a structured template can simplify the process of sharing the information with current and future clients.
Use strategic layouts and to draw the reader’s eye to the most important details. Separate additional information (tips, further information, FAQs, etc.) with icons.
- Craft relevant, user-centric content. A how-to guide should make experiences easier for the user — whether that means helping team members use internal systems or helping clients succeed with your service.
Beyond the process, clearly explain the “why” in a way that connects to a customer’s purpose and values. Why should they learn how to use this feature or care about this industry issue? While the technical details are important, so is the ultimate value you provide to customers.
Instructions should be engaging, to the point, and in the active voice without any unnecessary fluff.
- Use visuals to decipher complex processes. Flow diagrams and animations can show how concepts connect. With a well-organized and beautiful how-to guide, users will stay engaged and perhaps even enjoy the experience.
Strategic visuals can help illustrate key steps, or walk the user through required processes or clickpaths.
- Share it digitally. When your guide lives online, it becomes easier to update, search, and disseminate. Online how-to guides can also go beyond text and static images to incorporate motion graphics or videos to illustrate online tasks.
Downloadable resources allow clients to refer to the document later and get more utility. Offer the how-to guide in contextually relevant locations on your website or platform, giving answers where and when customers would be interested in the topic.
When your clients and team members feel confident about what they’re doing, you encourage retention and loyalty.
Well-designed how-to guides can help answer questions that come up again and again, and improve the efficiency of common processes. Make it easy—even fun—to learn more about your services.
About Gallery Design Studio
We're passionate about helping B2B businesses with their ongoing marketing communication design needs. We help our clients transmit complex information clearly, concisely and in a visually engaging way. Relentlessly curious, we're inspired by experimentation, and always looking for better ways to serve our clients.
We’ve collaborated with transformational businesses, both startups and more established companies such as Townes Wireless, Questback and CIT Bank.
- Communication and Marketing Design
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About the Writer
Katy Cesarotti is a copywriter at Gallery Design Studio. Katy believes that, with clear and concise copy, innovators can spark emotion and drive action in their readers. She’s written for magazines, blogs and cutting-edge startups.