Importance of Product Knowledge in Customer Service

Product Knowledge in customer service

Photo by Sora Shimazaki 

In the realm of customer service, the importance of product knowledge cannot be understated. Unless there is a complete and all-around understanding of the products and or services offered, it will be unlikely that you will be able to veer your customer’s decision towards buying or even considering your offerings. Product knowledge will make your customer service team sound confident, competent, and efficient. Their conviction in the company’s offering is reflected when they interact with the customer.

This leads to a higher possibility of a sale and customer satisfaction. Knowing all there is to know about the offerings of the company makes it easier to make recommendations to customers. It also provides customized solutions based on their needs. To provide training to your customer service team, you can use the interactive decision trees software.

Helps to understand company offerings

Product knowledge is one of the key responsibility areas for the customer service teams. It is the aptitude for understanding the company’s offerings, thereby enhancing the prowess of the customer service role. We would go as far as saying that all employees must have a basic understanding of their company’s product or service. However, the customer service team along with other front-end teams must have thorough product knowledge. The more you know, the better you get at delivering customer service excellence.

“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” – Kevin Stirtz

It is given that customer service staff should be skilled. Having product knowledge is one such mandatory skill. Knowledgeable staff members are naturally enthusiastic. As humans, we are more easily convinced by happiness and enthusiasm. Customers are happier to interact with a staff that is passionate and eager to divulge details about the products or services and how these will benefit the business of the customer. This passion is a positive reflection on the company as a whole allowing customers to trust the company with an investment. It is for this reason that companies and their leaders have become famous and enjoy the trust of their customers.

“We will ensure that associates continue to possess unsurpassed product knowledge and maintain their dedication to customer service and respect for their colleagues and for the communities in which they work and live.” – Arthur Blank

Product Knowledge Improves Customer Experience

The main aim of customer service is to make every customer experience memorable and positive. Great customer service builds and enhances the customer’s relationship with the company. Superlative customer service comes from the staff with a positive attitude, an empathetic outlook, and politeness. It’s strengthened by knowing exactly what their company does and has to offer. Remaining updated on all the aspects of the product or service allows you to answer most of the inquiries at the first instance. Product knowledge helps you refrain from using jargon and assist in explaining to the customer as lucidly and coherently as possible.

Customers rely on customer service to understand the product or service and appreciate every help you can offer. Be honest and upright. Don’t hesitate to admit that you don’t know something, which may happen if the product is extremely technical. Tell your clients that you will find out and revert or get an expert to respond. Make sure either of these things happens within the time frame provided. Customers will appreciate your effort and respect you more. They do not expect you to be an authority on everything. They only need to know that you value them and are willing to resolve their problems. Product knowledge is an asset and will help you stand out from the competition.

How to maintain product knowledge for customer service teams

Gaining and upgrading the knowledge of the product may not be easy for the non-sales customer service staff. Consider giving time and training your customer service staff to expertly respond to any product or service-related queries. Here’s how you can approach this:

– By applying previous knowledge or personal experience of a product or service
– Read the material available such as brochures, promotional communication, and catalogs
– Attend training conducted by the internal sales teams
– Looking up information available on various media on the products or services offered

These are some of the ways to acquire product knowledge to service your customers with a high level of expertise. You can explore other possibilities and methods that customer service can utilize to acquire product knowledge. It becomes effortless to present the features as vital and useful to the customer when you know well the offering of your company.

How To Demonstrate Product Knowledge

You display product knowledge when you know what the product does, what it can’t do, its USP, its competency compared to a competitor’s offering, the benefits gained by other customers after using a product or service, and the advantage for the customer’s business. These are some of the basics of product knowledge. They could go a long way in engaging a customer to get them interested in your product or service.

Displaying a lack of knowledge just makes the customer feel that the company as a whole is incompetent and is dealing with blockheads. This can easily turn off a prospective customer. Customers are now smarter than before and will easily see through the sham of trying to fake knowledge and will not hesitate to tell you so. With loads of information now available at the click of a button, customers are better informed, sophisticated, and discerning. You shouldn’t think of fooling them with a pretense.

Why Product Knowledge is Important

Product knowledge can help raise the current level of customer service provided by your company. Equipped with product knowledge, customer service staff will see a noticeable rise in:

1. Communication abilities – when you understand a subject and have an in-depth knowledge of it, you can convey the knowledge to anyone. Irrespective of language command and the kind of customer, the passion and enthusiasm to deliver are evident and help to influence the person listening.

2. Excitement amongst buying circles for the offering. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to buy after hearing a happy and passionate knowledge display? It clears customers’ doubts about the product. Enthusiasm is infectious and you can pass it on to your customer through product knowledge.

3. Develops confidence in the company and its offerings. A confident front-end team will seal the deal and easily overcome the first obstacle of a customer’s initial anxiety.

4. Allow you to skillfully clear any doubts a customer may have. Customers will continue to probe and ask pointed questions about the product or service. With superior product knowledge, you can answer the questions immediately and to their complete satisfaction. Being able to articulate the benefits and high points of the offering clearly will serve to satisfy the customer.

Gaining product knowledge is time and energy well-spent. It plays a big role in making the customer service staff great at what they do. The training and knowledge required for front-end staff are different from your other staff members. They need specialized training to deal with all kinds of customers and their varied questions. Managing the balance between product knowledge and other skills must be a key deliverable for the supervisory and manager-level staff members.

The Verdict

We have learned from our experience that a good attitude, people skills, communication skills, and product knowledge work together. Mastering all of these provides your customer service staff with the necessary tools to ensure customer satisfaction. They also serve to enhance the company’s reputation, increase sales, reduce complaints and issues, and provide growth stability to the company.

“There is a problem when you think there is a contradiction between sales and service, when they are inextricably linked. The fact is, if you are consistently making money, it is almost always a sure sign that you are adding value to the other person, to the buyer.” – Spencer Johnson & Larry Wilson

Develop interactive decision trees for troubleshooting, cold calling scripts, medical appointments, or process automation. Enhance sales performance and customer retention across your call centers. Lower costs with customer self-service.

Interactive Decision Tree