In the good ol’ days before learning software, you had no choice but to read through stacks and stacks of documentation or have the pleasure of someone standing over your shoulder giving step-by-step instructions. #gross
As fun as that sounds [dripping sarcasm], it’s not a very efficient way to work these days. It really causes employees and customers a lot of stress. But when they don’t feel supported with sufficient explanation there’s a higher risk of failure.
All of this nonsense can be behind us with product walkthroughs. They help new users learn a system quickly by providing video guidance, step-by-step instructions, and easy to follow explanations. This takes the pressure off of Installers and Technicians to 1) take the time to give a thorough explanation, and 2) worry about missing something important to ensure the users understands and is satisfied.
But what are interactive walkthroughs, and how can you evolve your product strategy to include them?
In this article, we’ll discuss just that and more. Stay tuned!
What Exactly Are Product Walkthroughs?
A product walkthrough is a guided product tour, ideally led by someone in your company to leverage your brand identity. Guided walkthroughs cover all aspects of the product, from its features and functionality, to its user interface.
Product walkthroughs are an effective way to educate new or potential users about a product and can be used as a marketing tool to edutain potential buyers of your product. They can also help existing users who want to be reminded how to ‘do that thing’ or troubleshoot a problem.
Walkthroughs usually take the form of a video, although you could offer to do a live walkthrough led by a manufacturer’s rep or someone on your team (Pro tip: With a simple microphone connection and a camera, you’ve got your reusable video). No matter what approach you take with your product walkthrough, they should be clear, concise, and easy to follow.
Interested in creating an interactive walkthrough for your business?
Book a demo with us today to learn more!
Steps in Creating Your Product Walkthrough
Kind of like a toddler has to get up and try to walk his first steps, a product needs to find its balance. The key is not to give up and have someone there to guide it – in this case, that could be you! Here are the steps you need to take to create an effective product walkthrough:
Find Your Product’s “A-ha!” Moment
What is one of your product use cases or features that makes your users go, “A-ha!”? That is what you need to focus on in your walkthrough. You can always add more features later but start with the basics.
Identify the “What if?”
What if the user doesn’t understand a certain feature?
What if they get frustrated and give up?
These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself to anticipate the user’s needs.
Overall Walkthrough Design
Now that you know what to include in your walkthrough, it’s time to start thinking about the design. Here are a few tips:
- Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to sit through a long, drawn-out tutorial.
- Use images and videos. People are more likely to pay attention to visuals than text.
- Make it interactive. Don’t just give the user a bunch of information all at once– let them play around with the product and discover things for themselves.
- Test, test, test! Before launching your walkthrough to the masses, ensure you test it out on a few people first. See if they can understand everything without getting confused. If not, make some changes and try again.
Walkthrough Development and Targeting
When you’re developing a product walkthrough, it’s crucial to keep your target audience in mind. Different people will need different levels of guidance, so you’ll need to tailor the walkthrough accordingly.
If you’re targeting first-time users, your walkthrough should be comprehensive and cover all the basics. Don’t assume the user knows anything– explain everything in detail.
For example, let’s say you’re an HVAC company looking to sell more Air Scrubbers. A first-time user needs to know what an Air Scrubber is, how it works, and why they need one. They also need to know the different types of Air Scrubbers available and which one is right for their home.
So, a product walkthrough for an Air Scrubber would look like this:
- Brief introduction to your company.
- What is an Air Scrubber?
- How does an Air Scrubber work?
- The benefits of using an Air Scrubber.
- The different types of Air Scrubber available.
- Which Air Scrubber is right for my home?
- How to maintain my Air Scrubber.
By answering these questions, you’ll give the user a comprehensive understanding of your product – everything they need to know to make a purchase.
If you’re targeting experienced users, your product walkthrough can be more concise. You can also skip over the basics that the user already knows. Focus on showing them new features or advanced functionality.
For example, an experienced user of your HVAC company’s website knows what an Air Scrubber is and how it works. They just need help finding the right product for their specific situation. So, targeting experienced clients for AC installation, your product walkthrough might look something like this:
- Introduction to your company.
- A brief overview of Air Scrubbers.
- The different types of Air Scrubbers.
- How to choose the right Air Scrubber for your home.
- Why your company is the best choice for installation.
- FAQs about Air Scrubber installation.
You’ll want to set up your product walkthrough this way for experienced users because they already know the basics. By starting with a high-level overview of your company and products, you can quickly get them up to speed on what you have to offer without overwhelming them with too much information.
What Products Should Make Use of Walkthroughs?
When you’re designing a new product, it can be helpful to think about whether or not a walkthrough would be beneficial. In general, anything new or complex can benefit from a walkthrough. That said, here are a few specific examples:
- A new Air Quality Monitoring App with more advanced functions.
- A website with features or a landing page for the Air Scrubber example above.
- A complicated piece of software like Service Titan.
- A physical product with multiple elements.
- An online course.
Here are three of the best app walkthrough examples:
GoToWebinar is a webinar platform that makes it easy to host and attend live events. The company offers a free trial to try out the service before committing to a paid plan.
The perks of using the platform for a walkthrough include:
- The ability to see the presenter’s screen and any accompanying materials in real-time.
- A chat feature that allows you to ask questions and get help from the presenter or other attendees.
- Download-optional recording of the event so you can review it later or share it with others.
To host or attend a GoToWebinar event, you’ll need to create a free account. Once you’ve done that, you can start using the service’s features.
The Trainual platform is designed to help businesses train their employees on company procedures and processes. Its new and improved interface is awesome for the online training space, having been restructured just last year (2021).
It’s sort of like an intranet on steroids, with a library of training materials that employees can access at any time. Trainual is a platform best for training because it:
- Is designed specifically for small to mid-sized businesses to train their employees.
- Offers a flexible, modular approach to training content. This means you can easily customize training programs to fit your specific needs.
- Has a central repository for all your training materials, so employees can easily find what they need.
The Trainual platform offers a free trial so you can try out the service before committing to a paid plan. The paid plans start at $29 per month for up to 10 users, and they go up from there. Try Trainual here.
BambooHR is an online HR software service that helps businesses manage employee data. The company was founded in 2008 and has since raised $44 million in funding.
BambooHR’s flagship product is its online HR platform, which benefits include helping businesses:
- Manage employee data.
- Onboard new hires.
- Keep track of time off and vacation days.
BambooHR also offers a free trial and its paid plans start at $5 per employee/user, per month, with discounts for larger teams.
A Powerful Method to Educate Customers
Walkthroughs for your product or service are an excellent way to edutain customers about your product or service. By taking them through a step-by-step process, you can ensure that they understand how to use your product and what its features are.
And you want them to know as much as you can get them to know about your product so they can use it to its fullest potential.
Not only that, but product walkthroughs are also a great way to build trust with your customers. They can see that you’re an expert on your product and confident in its abilities.
To give you another example… You’re an HVAC company, and you want to show people how you provide a better solution for capacitors in their units. You want to make sure that your customers know what the solution is, and why your solution is the best option.
Creating a product walkthrough is a great solution.
Product walkthroughs are your business’s gallant knight riding up on horseback. They’re there to protect your investment, keep customers happy, and ensure that everyone is using your product to its fullest potential.
Now that you know all this, it’s time to start creating your own product walkthroughs. When creating one, there are four essential steps that you need to follow:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Use clear and concise language.
- Be knowledgeable about your product.
- Build trust with your customers.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to create an effective product walkthrough that will educate your customers and help them get the most out of your product.
And if you feel like you haven’t yet built up that shining, protective armor (or if you want to keep your product walkthroughs even more polished), enlist the help of an aide such as Wizard of Sales®.
We can help you every step of the way to create product walkthroughs that educate and engage your customers. Drive-up your sales – Start your selling revolution today. Book a demo.