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Why 3D Interactive Instruction Technology Should Be in Your Budget

3D interactive instruction technology lets retailers upgrade their manuals for today's tech-savvy consumer. Here's why you should make the change.

Retailers need to do everything they can to spark confidence in their customers. While excellent product instructions facilitate a positive relationship with a brand, difficult-to-use tutorials encourage shoppers to order from a competitor and abandon customer loyalty. Instead of a new customer who might lead to new business and positive word-of-mouth, retailers are left with costly returns and negative reviews. In today’s world of rapid-fire reviews and intense competition, businesses simply can’t afford inferior instructions.

But there are also some excellent ways to update old systems with minimal cost. With 3D interactive instruction technology, retailers can effortlessly upgrade their manuals for today’s tech-savvy consumer. Even those less technologically advanced quickly see the upside of dynamic 3D instructions

Backed by immersive, step-by-step instructions, customers experience less frustration, enjoy their products sooner, and are incentivized to pass along positive reviews of the company. For most retailers today, not having 3D instructions in the budget can be a costly mistake.

Focusing on User-Friendly Experiences with 3D Interactive Instruction Technology

We now live in an experience-dominated economy. Customers swiftly share brand reviews with their entire social circle (and beyond) within an ever-growing web of social media channels. This creates a superhighway to exploring alternative brands when products fall short of expectations. Some estimates show that up to 61% of customers are ready to jump ship after one bad experience.

To compete in this stark reality, retailers must anticipate the needs and frustrations of their customers. While formal customer service is critical as well, instruction manuals are themselves extensions of a brand’s customer service. 

Old-fashioned paper manuals that provide only one POV simply cannot compete with dynamic, visually based 3D models. With today’s best tech solutions, customers end up installing or assembling products much faster and also end up with a better understanding of the product itself. How? 3D interactive instruction technology provides end users with manuals that take full advantage of advanced technology. 

Both print and video-only models come with strict limitations and outdated elements, but 3D instructions allow customers to rotate images for different perspectives, search for key terms, and painlessly zoom in on their product’s technical details. This helps customers move rapidly from product excitement to enjoyment, creating a foundation that allows loyalty to grow into future business.


While 3D instructions have an inherent advantage in speed and exactitude, they also provide a much better setup for troubleshooting. A customer’s ability to successfully troubleshoot can promptly alleviate frustration and guide them back toward a positive experience.

Related: Why Instructions Matter: A Metrics-Based Review of How Instructions Impact Consumers and Brands

3D instructions are designed to ensure that assemblers and installers—whether customers or field techs—can use their preferred learning techniques to understand the product and resolve issues themselves. Tools like re-playable animations and a diverse slate of interactive components help brands cater to the widest possible customer base. This versatility and customer empowerment can be a key driver of enhanced experiences and positive customer reviews.

Converting Good Experiences into New Business

We know the negative consequences of a bad experience with product assembly, but how about brands that consistently deliver above-average experiences? The butterfly effect of a great experience is hard to overstate, as nearly all customers turn to reviews and ratings before even considering a new product. One survey even showed that up to 77% of customers consider the customer experience as important as product quality.

Other trends that have been linked to excellent customer experiences include:

  • Customers paying more when they are confident of a good experience.
  • More recurrent customers and lower churn rates.
  • Customers valuing experience over price.
  • Customers widely sharing good experiences with family and social circles.

Sharing positive experiences is also just the starting point for recurring business. Even the best marketers in the world don’t inspire the same brand trust as close friends and family members. When customers hear of a superb product experience from someone they know personally, they are much more likely to make a purchase than with a well-placed ad.

This relationship is even more important for products that require assembly and installation. Customer confidence grows as they hear friends who were able to install a product with ease—without time-consuming customer service calls. Instead of a barrier to a purchase, customers start building expectations and give new brands a chance. Without exceptional instruction manuals that help customers reach these expectations, generating positive buzz and making sales conversions can become an uphill battle.

The True Cost of Returns

Returns are now an immovable part of today’s customer-oriented world. One important retail data point showed that about 16.5% of online sales are returned, with dissatisfied customers now accustomed to effortless returns and refunds. For products that require assembly, there is significant pressure on companies to deliver accessible instructions that will fully support the customer.

3D interactive instruction technology gives customers the best possible chance of success, while outdated instructions are an invitation to return a product. Elevated return levels are tied to a bevy of disheartening statistics, such as:  

  • Returned products costing companies as much as two-thirds of the retail price.
  • Companies having to add staff just to handle returns.
  • Retailers losing hundreds of billions of dollars every year in the U.S. on returns.

No company can completely avoid returns in today’s environment, but companies can focus on delivering an exceptional assembly or installation experience with every purchase. 3D instructions that offer intuitive steps and next-level troubleshooting provide ample incentive for customers to complete the assembly. Every time a company avoids a return they trim operating costs, keep a customer from trying another brand, and take a positive step toward creating a loyal customer.

Other Costs of Poor Instructions

Generating a poor customer experience is costly, but there are other costs lurking behind unproductive instructions. Near the top of the list is the pressure that inferior manuals place on customer service departments. With difficult-to-use instructions and limited troubleshooting capability, frustrated customers are quick to reach out to customer service. Companies may need to expand their service department to keep up with the phone calls and emails, leading to fresh costs and decreasing customer satisfaction.

There’s also the trickle effect that comes with more service calls. When customer service reps are overtasked, there is a natural eroding of service quality when companies can least afford it. Customers are usually trending toward dissatisfaction as soon as they reach out to customer service. All this adds up to increased labor costs and negative customer experiences.

Reissuing Instructions Can Be Expensive and Cumbersome

One of the biggest advantages of 3D instructions becomes clear whenever a company has to update its instructions. For paper-only instructions, this means editing the original document and taking on the costs of reprinting. Disseminating revised instructions to customers is also more difficult. In a best-case scenario, customers can access a difficult-to-navigate PDF version of the updated instructions.

Related: Reducing Installation Technician Training with Better Instructions

The complications can be even more challenging when instructions are video-based. Even the most basic videos can be expensive to produce while providing sharp limitations of perspective and few troubleshooting options. And when there’s a model update or shift in assembly instructions, it’s typically not practical to incorporate the changes in a reshoot. Even with a decent edit or addendum, an updated instructional video can seem incohesive and difficult to understand.

Demonstrating Commitment to Today’s Customer  

Customers love nostalgia in brand marketing, but they also don’t want to see companies stuck in the past. Using older instructional models makes a brand seem outdated and out of touch with today’s customers, particularly those from tech-proficient younger generations. 3D instructions work organically with our digital world and immerse us in interactive visual demonstrations that provide better access to crucial information. A paper manual, by comparison, is an analog tool that simply can’t illuminate the product in the same way.

The result of superior instructions is a user-friendly approach that shows a company is investing directly in customer satisfaction. Beyond the digital toolkit 3D interactive instruction technology brings, the ability to download instructions provides another layer of convenience—all while countering the possibility of bad internet service. 

While videos that require streaming are vulnerable to poor cell and internet signals, the best 3D digital instructions allow another level of mobility. For the ultra-mobile modern customer, pre-downloaded 3D instructions are reliable and efficient, allowing them to assemble anywhere and begin building a connection with the product.

An Easy Transition for Those Used to Paper Instructions

Abandoning paper instructions can be a challenge for some, but today’s next-generation 3D manuals make for a seamless shift. Searching for key terms or being able to change the product POV lets customers save considerable time, helping them see the upside of new approaches. And once they recognize the value and ease of use, going back to paper can seem like bringing back flip phones.

Companies also no longer have to worry about tech barriers the way they did even a decade ago. The explosion of smartphone sales across all generations has made a profound impact on digital literacy. Being able to zoom and rotate an image on a digital screen is now a nearly ubiquitous skill. Unlike when interactive digital tech was in its earliest phase, customers are fully prepared to use 3D instructions for the easiest and fastest possible assembly.

Revolutionizing User Experiences Through 3D Instructions

Companies are under constant pressure to keep costs in check, which can lead to maintaining legacy models of instructional manuals—despite the costs these methods themselves can incur. But in a world where the user experience is the key to future business and suppressing returned-item costs, finding an economical way to support the customer is critical. 3D interactive instruction technology can have a potent and immediate impact on the customer experience, making it one of the most cost-effective ways to build confidence with customers.

At BILT, our interactive 3D interactive instruction technology helps customers get through assembly with ease. With a fully immersive app, customers are empowered with a full suite of multisensory digital features that cater to the user experience. With critical assistance where customers need it most, companies can enjoy better reviews and fewer customer service interactions. To see how BILT can improve your brand’s user experiences, contact our team to get started.

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