Product and service knowledge is an important skill for employees to have across all industries, especially for those dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis. It is an important component of delivering high-quality customer service, as having more knowledge allows employees to meet customer needs to a greater extent. It also contributes to an employee’s understanding of the market and of your competition – knowing your product’s important features means employees can better explain how it differs to competitors.
Although impressive product and service knowledge is beneficial to
an organisation as a whole, it also positively impacts employees as individuals. An effective training technique to enhance product knowledge is to get employees to work together and practice how they would sell a product to different customers. This in turn
improves their communication skills. Roleplay exercises create a
more thorough understanding about the product and can show employees how to adjust their communication for different types of customers. This is great practice for real-life customer interactions.
There’s nothing worse than being in a situation with a customer and not being able to provide an answer to a question. Using Spaced Repetition as a learning method can help to prevent this because repeated exposure to information aids knowledge retention. It also helps improve active recall, which is when your brain retrieves information from the long-term memory.
Having a deeper understanding of the products or services they are selling also improves the confidence of employees. Being able to answer customer queries about features or applying it to their specific needs makes employees appear more professional and engaged. This is great for sales, as customers are less likely to purchase from an unassertive, shy sales associate who can’t show enthusiasm about their own product.
In addition to this, becoming educated about a product helps employees overcome objections from difficult customers as they can be prepared for any question that comes their way. This includes when customers compare your product to those of competitors. This isn’t so employees can correct customers, but to point out the value in their product and what sets it apart from others in the market. Being armed with the right product knowledge gives a sense of accomplishment to employees – they’ll enjoy being an expert in their role and this confidence will reflect in their performance.
Finally, a confident, knowledgeable employee appeals more to a customer and creates a strong relationship between the two, as the customer relies on the employee’s knowledge. An impressive performance in work and creating more sales will also impress managers, which could mean great opportunities for the employee.
There’s no doubt that good product knowledge training is beneficial for organisations. One study found that employees who participated in training and educational programs and completed one module or other form of training sold 69% more than those who didn’t. Associates who completed six or more modules, meanwhile, sold 123% more than those who didn’t participate in any training.
Alongside boosting sales and business, product knowledge helps to create happy, confident employees with good communication skills and the expertise to win over customers. Even though information about products is widely available on the internet, customers still seek personal opinions and information from educated store associates, which effective product knowledge training can help employees to provide.