Good product knowledge is invaluable to a company due to it being a contributor to the growth and sustainability of an organisation. Product knowledge is an important sales skill and equates to higher profits and revenues as knowledgeable employees are able to build stronger relationships with customers through their accuracy of specific products, therefore gaining their trust. Customers respond well to passionate employees, which also creates a positive image of the company and generates more sales.
Meanwhile, employees with poor product knowledge can be detrimental to a company. A lack of product knowledge has a direct effect on the customer’s experience – For example, if staff members in a retail store were unable to answer queries about a specific product. It was found, in some instances, that 35% of consumers chose not to buy from any outlet following
a bad experience with disinterested service providers who lacked product knowledge and communication skills.
It is important to invest in training and look for new, innovative ways to improve product knowledge training for the benefit of both the company and its employees. One way to do this is to implement an e-learning programme that uses microlearning. Employees are able to retain much more product knowledge when it is presented as bite-sized chunks of information, as opposed to countless LMS modules and videos that demonstrate product features.
E-learning also advocates ‘just in time’ learning where small pieces of information are presented to you when you need to learn it, most commonly on a mobile for accessibility. This is an effective alternative to traditional training methods, as a study by Brandon Hall shows that e-learning takes only 40-60% of the time that a traditional class would require.
This is how Wranx works. We make learning consistent and quick with daily drills that take 2-3 minutes a day. It proved effective for The North Face®, who used Wranx for product knowledge and customer service training across Europe. Statistics showed that a large proportion of employees accessed their Wranx training in-store, with almost half of logins taking place on mobile devices.
Online learning typically allows for the storage of resources that employees can refer back to. This might include videos, external links or articles that relate back to the product. These resources are essential for product knowledge training as they can be accessed by employees when convenient to refresh their knowledge, making training a continual process.
An additional way to quickly improve product knowledge training is by making it fun! Gamification allows employees to repeatedly engage with information that needs to be learned and apply it in different situations. Incentives can also be used to further promote engagement within a team. Friendly competition created through employee leaderboards and incentives for performance will encourage more participation.
Encouraging a more unified learning culture within specific teams is an even quicker and cheaper training method. Employees can learn a lot from each other, particularly new hires communicating with more experienced sales team members. They may learn things that they might not have learnt from e-learning or a classroom session. Employees working together can create roleplay scenarios where staff are put on the spot to demonstrate their product knowledge to an educated ‘customer’ who asks in-depth questions. These exercises have proven to be valuable for employees as it mimics a real-life situation while allowing them to gain feedback from more experienced colleagues.
In order to improve product knowledge, training can be taken online and made more interactive for employees. Online mobile training is accessible and enables microlearning while providing a space for revision materials to be stored. Employees will appreciate being able to take control of their own learning when suitable for them, rather than being pulled from daily duties to attend classroom training sessions.
Mixing this with fun, interactive training exercises that are incentivised promotes higher participation and results in more important information being retained. Associate training and empowerment is key to improving store sales and engagement, as new research shows more knowledgeable employees sell 87% more on the sales floor. Implementing these quick (and cost-effective) ways of improving product knowledge training can help to improve performance and profits.