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Digital Work Instructions to Empower and Train Pros

3D instruction platforms help companies maintain a modern image while improving training and delivering better product experiences. Here's what to know.

Digital Work Instructions to Empower and Train Pros

A product is only as good as the installation and assembly processes. Even the most brilliantly conceived products can fall short without a system that fully trains and supports the employees in charge of servicing the product. While paper and video instructions are still widely used, digital 3D alternatives empower employees to better understand products and deliver more efficient service calls.

The difference in these approaches can make a notable impact on both employees and customers. By investing in technology that enhances the employee experience, field techs perform more efficiently, experience higher satisfaction, and need less training to bring them up to full productivity. 

As we move further into the digital era, 3D instruction platforms help companies maintain a modern image while improving training and delivering better product experiences. By comparison, using traditional instructions can undercut training efforts and diminish confidence when it’s needed the most.

Establishing a Forward-Leaning Image with Today’s Workforce

One of the worst things a retailer can do is portray an outdated image—especially one that produces an outdated result. While that’s true on the customer-facing side of the business, that’s also the case with the employees who must install, assemble, and service their products. 

Today’s employees want to see their company prioritizing innovation and anticipating changes in the business environment. In that context, using paper instructions—even PDF versions—can appear behind the curve compared to interactive 3D technology.

This can then have an adverse effect on the morale of the workforce. Resource accessibility and career development are two of the biggest reasons that employees are leaving for other companies. In addition, outdated technology is a significant source of frustration for employees. One survey showed that 73% of employees are aware of systems that would help them do their job better. Career-focused employees are consistently evaluating their company’s technology and looking elsewhere if it’s not empowering them as well as it should.

Related: Field Technicians: How to Bridge the Skills Gap

The trend is also likely to gain more traction as younger generations become even more dominant in the workforce. Millennials and Generation Z workers are now especially comfortable with interactive digital work solutions that provide a higher level of training and troubleshooting capability. 

Companies that do not keep pace with the digital world risk being seen as behind the curve by their own employees. Instead of interactive 3D instructions that keep retailers on the leading edge, outdated models incentivize employees to look elsewhere.

The Costs of an Inadequate Support System

An outdated image and antiquated tools typically lead to more turnover and less employee engagement. Elevated turnover can be a staggering drawback for any company, although it’s especially problematic for jobs that require a high degree of technical support. 

Some estimates show that replacing an employee can cost at least half of their annual salary. In more severe instances, the cost can be as much as two times their salary, placing a significant burden on the bottom line every time an employee moves on.

The Benefits of a Hands-On Approach

The way individuals learn new skills is critically important in any business. While books and company manuals can provide an excellent knowledge base, experts consistently point to the necessity of hands-on experience. In retail, employees must successfully take products from the conceptual realm into reality. Relying on paper or video-based instructions can make this transition very difficult—especially with new employees who don’t have the experience of seasoned workers.

As companies look to give their employees an edge, 3D instructions provide a different level of access to a product’s essential components. The ability to rotate and zoom in on a product allows field techs to examine products in ways that older systems simply can’t compete with. This can simulate real-world experience before a technician is expected to perform duties onsite. The result is employees who develop a faster and more thorough connection with the products they’re expected to master.

For an employee who needs to show proficiency from their very first service call, the boost of multisensory, hands-on product training is empowering. Workers become fully productive faster and also exhibit higher levels of confidence because of the support they have at their fingertips. 

When a recently trained employee must troubleshoot onsite, they can more efficiently find a resolution because of the interactive qualities of 3D instructions. This support system creates better-trained employees who can perform like long-time workers without years of onsite experience.   

The Importance of Multisensory and Self-Directed Learning

Learning from basic text can still be helpful for many employees, but the restrictions are also felt throughout the training process. It’s known that individuals tend to learn best when there is a combination of audio, visual, and kinesthetic elements that can then be reinforced with real experience. Even the best PDF transformations of instructions allow only a narrow type of learning that often feels incomplete compared to superior digital training tools.

It’s also crucial for employees to be able to self-direct their own learning. This is a central goal for training videos, as employees (or customers) can watch demonstrations on their own in order to gain insight into a product. But videos are also very difficult to search and limit the perspective of the viewer. 

Even the best instructional videos can leave gaps in understanding, diminishing the impact of self-directed learning. 3D instructions not only create a multisensory learning experience but also improve self-directed learning beyond the scope of videos.  

Increasing Productivity by Limiting Errors

Errors are frustrating for customers but just as frustrating for employees, as they can require major schedule adjustments and lead to employee dissatisfaction. On the flip side, employees who can use technology to reduce errors are more confident and content in their employment—not to mention more valuable to the business.

The top 3D instruction platforms are designed with this dilemma in mind. Backed by an immersive visual-learning experience, technicians learn products from the ground up via intuitive step-by-step directions. This helps new techs prepare for their first jobs and makes it easier for veteran technicians to review and understand the latest products and updates. With the elevated sense of confidence dynamic instructions provide, techs get the job done faster and spend less time troubleshooting.

And when issues do inevitably arise during a service call, rooting out the problem is more efficient. In many installations and assemblies, mobile technology that allows users to zoom in, spin the product, shift perspective, and review instructions—-all on the device they carry with them anyway—helps technicians pinpoint the problem with speed and precision. The quick troubleshooting that dynamic 3D instructions provide gets technicians right back on schedule and helps maintain customer satisfaction.

Supporting Field Techs After Initial Training

One of the shortest routes to increasing turnover is failing to fully support employees. One survey showed that 96% of employees are dissatisfied with the tools they have to do their job. When workers are responsible for making sure products are functioning correctly, this support is even more critical. Modern, easy-to-use instructions are essential for giving employees access to all the critical information they need.

Correspondingly, field techs working with traditional instructional systems often feel they lack the foundation required to flourish in their role. Some side effects of not fully supporting workers include:

  • An erosion of trust between employees and managers
  • More incentive to work for a competitor
  • Employees who don’t feel autonomous in their positions
  • A diminished sense of career opportunities
  • Drops in productivity

Meanwhile, companies that have a strong support system cultivate more loyalty and confidence among employees. Converting paper instructions to manuals that use advanced technology for better field tech support sends a clear message to workers who are often skeptical about their level of technical support. 

Related: Upskilling the Next Generation of Tradesmen and Field Service Technicians

The functionality immediately helps them do their job better but it also demonstrates that a company is willing to upgrade the toolkit to better fit the work environment. Workers not only experience fewer daily frustrations but also develop more confidence in the management team.

Enhancing Mobility

Mobility has been one of the major advancements of the digital age. Remote teams can now access data with or without internet/cell service, as long as they have the right infrastructure in place. With digital 3D instructions, field techs can plan ahead by downloading instructions that can be accessed from anywhere. This allows them to retain full functionality on the go, eliminating the headache of a service interruption.

With pre-downloading so easy to incorporate into their routine, techs avoid one of the biggest problems that can occur while on a service call. Instead of a frustrating delay that dings customer satisfaction, service continues as planned. For a world that is increasingly mobile, being able to maintain access to the digital toolkit at all times is paramount.

Staying Up to Date and Maintaining Accuracy

Employees can become discouraged when they receive inaccurate or outdated information and are expected to complete their jobs with those instructions. To counter such potential missteps, 3D instructions bring one of the most important advancements of the digital age: the ability to effortlessly perform updates. 

When there are new models or additions to assembly steps, digital instructions allow for quick updates that get teams right back on track. Compared to the hassle of updating paper or video instructions and then communicating the change, 3D instructions save time and money every time new information needs to be incorporated.

Retailers also have full confidence that products will be illuminated under the best possible light. While paper options are limited, digital alternatives provide much more advanced access to the critical features of a product. This gives product designers confidence that essential information will be disseminated and understood by the technicians on the other end of the process. Instead of steps being muddled or even lost in the translation from design to installation, confidence is fostered from idea to implementation.

Revolutionize the Way Your Company Trains and Supports Employees

Every company is looking for an advantage in improving morale, productivity, and all-around satisfaction with the business. One of the most important ways for retailers to increase the outlook of the company is to improve the tools that employees rely upon. While many companies do this by upgrading system-wide tech support, upgrading to 3D instructions is a cost-effective solution that delivers significant value without disruptions.

By investing directly in the tools that employees will use every day, companies showcase their commitment to the field techs responsible for taking the critical final steps of a customer purchase. At BILT, we specialize in converting outdated manuals to dynamic digital 3D instructions that provide a new level of employee support. Our immersive platform is easy to use, effortless to search, and empowers employees from training through assembly. Contact our team for more on how BILT can improve employee performance.  

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