Training Documentation for the Alternative Energy Industry
Whether you deliver solar panels to homeowners or sell wind turbines to government agencies, cities, or farmers, consumers of alternative energy seek more than just your product: they need and expect support including training documentation and learning opportunities. The alternative energy industry continues to grow, which means your organization has to keep up with strategic developments, safety, and more to ensure sustained customer satisfaction. Understanding the current industry trajectory and meeting these users’ needs will help you to be more competitive in your field and build an informed, enduring client base.
Growth in the Alternative Energy Field
In the past 20 years, the alternative energy industry has seen quite a bit of growth. In fact, between 2000 and 2018, it was the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, increasing by 100% in the 18-year period. In 2016 alone, 24% of electricity generation was from renewables. And that growth is projected to continue; C2ES sees solar generation going from 11% of the country’s renewable generation to 48% by 2050.
With this boost in the alternative energy industry continuing through the foreseeable future, your organization needs to be prepared for the growth. What strategies do you have in place for your newest products? A company’s reputation does just extend to the point of sale—you need to think about the customer experience after the purchase has been made, and how using your product affects their lives in the years that follow. Framing the right plan and practices now will help ensure growth for your business by increasing customer retention and recommendations.
How Training Documentation Can Help Your Alternative Energy Company
Still New To Many
Although the alternative energy industry is growing at a rapid pace, the benefits of the technology are still new to many. Many homeowners, cities, agencies, and businesses are just starting to become more aware of the savings that can be delivered from solutions like hydro power, solar energy, biofuel, and more. Your customers rely on the extra education, training, and documentation to ensure they’re getting the most out of their products.
Helps You Stand out Among the Competition
With industry growth comes competition. It doesn’t matter if you were first in the industry or how established you currently are, new competition will always be on your heels: it is essential to stay ahead of the game. Offering training documentation can help ensure you’re offering your customers the tools they need to succeed. If you’re not offering any assistance after the sale, you can be sure your competition is.
Helps Your Customer Better Understand Their Investment
Articles about the benefits of alternative energy are everywhere, yet customers may still have trouble identifying those benefits once your products are in use. Further, mistakes and errors due to lack of training could bring down the value your customer sees in your product. Training documentation tools help them better identify exactly where those savings are coming through and how to best use their equipment to achieve those benefits.
Reduces the Chance of User Error and Improves Safety
Most importantly, manuals and training can provide safety guidelines to ensure your customers are not taking unnecessary risks with their equipment or products. Energy generation, in any form, must be handled methodically with proper respect given to potential electrical, mechanical, chemical, and thermal hazards. It is critical that customers understand the proper use and limitations of your technologies to protect their own health and avoid damage to the products or surrounding property.
Why You Need a Professional Technical Writer and Strong Training Program
Knowing the benefits of training programs and manuals for your alternative energy products, it’s time to engage professional writers, designers, and trainers to meet your needs.
Your training program should cover all the bases, from how to use the fundamental features of your product to more complex operations and troubleshooting. The program should be tailored to your product, and working with an experienced company ensures that you’re meeting or exceeding the learning requirements for your customers’ needs.
After training is complete, your customers should be able to refer to support documentation to address any follow-up questions or forgotten information. A manual needs to be written with language that is concise, clear, and relevant to your product’s user base. Professional technical writers can assist with:
- Communication: Proper communication is essential when it comes to technical writing and training documentation to ensure safety concerns, benefits, and facts are translated to the customer. Tone, style, length, voice, and organization all play major roles here.
- Engaging and Relevant Content: You don’t want a document so bland that it is never read, but you also don’t want an informal manual that doesn’t get any real information across. Using professionals from outside your organization can help replicate a client’s perspective, and thereby help you scope the content according to their needs.
- Readability: One factor many writers fail to recognize in their work is readability. You want to ensure your manual matches your customers’ level of comprehension, and is appropriate for the environment where the manual will be used. Users will need more detail than a picture book, but less than an unadulterated specification sheet, and professional writers can help guide you to that balance of optimum readability.
As the industry grows, your alternative energy company needs a strong plan for customer retention and engagement even after the sale. Not only do training and written documentation optimize your product and improve the customer experience, they help inform the customer of the details and practices that will protect their health and safety.
Is it time to write a manual for a brand new product, or review your training program for an existing product? If so, Shea Writing and Training Solutions, Inc. can assist with both. Reach out to us here.