E-Commerce & WebAR

How Canadian Tire leveraged user manuals to reduce customer service cost

May 13, 2024

In this article, we explain how high-quality user manuals can reduce service and after sales costs.

As for most retailers, delivering superior customer service is critical for Canadian Tire, one of Canada’s leading retail chains. Facing steep competition from e-commerce players and brick and mortar rivals alike, a high touch service value proposition is an important differentiator for Canadian Tire. However, offering great customer service is challenging as Canadian Tire sells complex technical products. Canadian Tire’s in-home installation services are available for 13 product categories, including TVs, window air conditioning units and electric fireplaces. Four additional product categories, including furniture assembly, will be added to the list within 2019. This indicates that the brand is further bolstering the customer service component of its value proposition.

The Cost of Great Customer Service

According to data from LinkedIn, Canadian Tire employs some 3,700 customer service managers all over Canada. Although Canadian Tire has built this impressive customer service team that is spread across some 500 stores all across Canada, the catchment area of a specific store can be quite large. The brand’s most northernmost store in Fort McMurray, Alberta covers a radius greater than 100 km. The effort and cost required to visit a customer at home can thus be substantial. According to Glassdoor, customer service representatives earn around CA$12 per hour (the specialized staff probably more). Considering the cost of gasoline, material cost, and the opportunity cost of dispatching a service truck with two highly skilled customer service reps to a remote location will easily cost the brand more than CA$100.

Better User Manuals = Better Customer Experience = Lower Service Costs

Back in 2012 Canadian Tire reached out to us asking to help improve the quality of their user manuals. The retailer had learned that many shoppers reached out to customer services because they were struggling to follow Canadian Tire’s existing product manuals. This did not only affect customer satisfaction but also led to product returns and avoidable service costs.

Leveraging our expertise in technical writing, we revamped more than 60 manuals covering product categories such as power generators, air compressors, and power tools within just 6 months.  We believe that this is a great showcase that demonstrates what the benefits of clear and concise manuals are, both to consumers and brands alike.

To learn more about Impala’s technical writing services, please click here .