Product knowledge is a vital skill each customer support agent and sales manager should have. It means that an employee is highly knowledgeable about a product’s features and can clearly explain its benefits to a customer.

In this article, we’ll consider the importance of this skill, review its benefits and types, and provide some tips to increase your team’s product knowledge.

Why is it important to have product knowledge?

Try to recall any situation when you contacted a company’s sales department or customer support team. You’ve definitely wanted these people to help you with a problem or buy something. Would you buy their product if they failed to present its benefits to you? Most probably not.

If an employee doesn’t understand how their company’s product helps solve this or that problem, they won’t be able to consult clients appropriately. Hence, they’ll fail to persuade them to buy. Product knowledge helps turn your staff into enthusiastic experts who know how and whom to sell your product.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages your company can reap if your employees have high product knowledge.

Product Knowledge Benefits

Despite the fact that some benefits are intangible, they have a massive impact on your brand reputation in the long run.

  • Provides your employees with confidence. Each customer care agent or sales rep is afraid of not finding an answer to a customer’s question. Therefore, learning your product from A to Z makes them excellent experts, which provides them with enough enthusiasm and confidence to successfully deal with clients.
  • Helps your employees handle objections better. It doesn’t matter what is the subject of your customers’ complaints — whether it’s your price or product quality. If your team is aware of the situation on the market and your competitor’s products, they will manage to explain why your product is the best choice.
  • Allows your employees to analyze the competition. As it follows from the previous paragraph, understanding your competitors is very important since it enables you to realize how your product outperforms your opponents’ alternatives— whether in terms of pricing, quality, target audience, or core value. As a result, your staff will be competent enough to explain these issues to your clients.
  • Enhances your employees’ communication skills. Knowing all the peculiarities of your product, your staff can adapt to every situation without following your sales script since this knowledge allows them to combine several techniques and choose the best one for this or that client.
  • Boosts sales. Having a complete understanding of your product lets your staff effectively communicate with customers and present the benefits of your products the way your clients need them. Hence, this approach turns into a customer-oriented one and helps increase sales.
  • Improves customer retention. If your clients get the necessary help and receive the answers once they need them, they won’t change the provider since it’s a stressful task. Furthermore, each business knows that it is simpler to retain clients than to acquire new ones.

Now that you know the benefits of having high product knowledge, it’s time to consider its types.

Product Knowledge Types

There are several types of product knowledge each employee should have. Check them out below.

  1. Customer. This type of knowledge allows your sales reps to analyze the needs and wants of your clients to offer them the best solution.
  2. Competition. With the information about your competitors’ products, your staff can explain why your goods beat their solutions in terms of price, quality, or value.
  3. Industry. This type of knowledge means that an employee should be aware of the industry’s latest trends and be able to speak the same language as other professionals.
  4. Brand. Employees should understand the positioning of your brand, its mission, and its vision. This knowledge will help them move towards achieving your global goal.
  5. Customer experience. Having data about user experience makes it possible to adapt to different segments of your target audience, take into account their previous experience of using your product, and improve your customer support.
  6. Complementary products. These goods support the main product, often bringing little to nothing value alone, for example, a case for a mobile device, petrol for cars, or bullets for guns. If your staff is knowledgeable about your complementary products, they can provide the best user experience.
  7. Use. We’ll also include configuration, customization, and specifications in this category since all these terms are focused on the effective use of a product. Your staff should know how to install your product and be aware of different product uses.
  8. Troubleshooting. The name speaks for itself. Your customer support agents need to know how to explain to users how to fix their problems both online and offline.
  9. Policies and procedures. This type of knowledge requires employees to be fully aware of exchange, warranty, and refund policies.

These are the main types of product knowledge since everything depends on your type of business. In the next section, we’ll share the tips that will help you improve your team’s product knowledge.

How to Improve Product Knowledge

We’ll provide some recommendations that will help both effectively educate your new hires and increase sales.

  1. Let your new employees solve particular problems. Certainly, you can use the opposite approach — teach your newcomers how to solve as many issues as possible. The only problem is that they won’t think but passively absorb information, which is worse since people remember experiences better. Give them some problem-solving tasks and ask how they could cope with them from the customer’s point of view. This will develop both logical and creative thinking and let them test your product on their own.
  2. Let them find the necessary answers by themselves. Ask your new hires to look through your entire site, including your resources and knowledge base, to find the necessary information. It will take more time, but they will remember this forever since they have to experience this on their own. Besides, this way, you’ll get some valuable insights on how to structure all your information logically.
  3. Assess the knowledge of your staff regularly. This will help you keep them on their toes and refresh their knowledge from time to time. Give them a test where they need to answer some common questions from your customers. Consider avoiding multiple-choice tests and adding your rarely asked questions. If you find some gaps in their knowledge, run your regular training.
  4. Allow them to find gaps in your knowledge base. Let your staff read your previous chats and call transcripts to look for questions that have no answers in your knowledge base. After that, ask them to provide some answers for your copywriting team to produce an article.
  5. Stimulate them to sell more. To achieve this goal, your staff should know the different uses of the same product and its target audience. You can create a “Product of the week” contest to reward a sales rep who will sell the most items.

Congrats, now you realize why it’s essential to enhance your product knowledge and have some effective tips at hand.

References

  1. This article covers the meaning, importance, and types of product knowledge.
  2. This article explains how to develop product knowledge training for your business.
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