What is product knowledge?
Definition: Product knowledge is a deep understanding of products or services offered by a company, including features, functionality, benefits, pricing, target customers, industry policies, and special offers.
It isn’t restricted to the product itself but includes information on external factors such as industry trends, brand values, competitors, and customer experience that influence the customers' final decision.
Product knowledge is essential for delivering high-quality customer service, and it enables customer service representatives, sales agents, and marketers to communicate product offers effectively and answer inquiries.
Employees usually go through product knowledge training to learn how to answer customer doubts and questions and assure them the product/service is the best solution to their needs.
Types of product knowledge
- Customer needs
This type of product knowledge refers to understanding and being able to express customer pain points and needs. Before pitching the product to the customer, employees know the buying behavior, interests, problems, and solutions their customers need.
- Customer experience
Customer experience is a subtype of product knowledge and refers to how the product is perceived and experienced by the customers.
This information is important for achieving successful sales and creating a good marketing strategy. Employees use the target audience's words and experiences to help future customers better understand and visualize using the product.
Competition knowledge is important for understanding, positioning, and differentiating the company’s product from its competitors. Knowing competitor products' features, pricing, pros, and cons helps highlight the company’s product as the best solution.
Understanding the trends, market conditions, and regulations of the industry the product is in helps position the product better. The regulatory environment and market trends influence major decisions regarding promotion and development.
Knowing the brand’s mission and vision helps the customer interact with the brand more. It is crucial for a customer to pick one brand over the other.
- Use and configuration
This type of product knowledge refers to the staff showing customers how to use, configure and personalize the product independently.
In-depth knowledge on this topic positions the brand as an expert and promotes the product's ease of use.
- Troubleshooting and policies
Employees need to know how to answer customer questions, resolve issues and explain warranty & refund policies.
A well-informed customer support agent resolves issues fast or knows how to direct the customers toward a solution.
- Complementary products and special offers
The result of employees knowing about complementary products, and special offers is a good customer experience.
Employees use this information to win over customers or make them feel valued and appreciated.
How different teams benefit from product knowledge
Sales - A better understanding of the product and the target audience results in better pitches to customers
Customer support - Strong product knowledge helps answer questions and concerns more precisely and quickly
Technical support - Easier and faster diagnosis and resolution of a technical problem
Marketing - Knowing the product and the customers in and out helps create effective, clear and targeted campaigns and messages
Stakeholders - A deep understanding of the product and terminology helps avoid misunderstandings and confusions in communication
Management - A better understanding of the product helps the team make strategic and informed decisions about the future
Product development - Knowledge of the current product and the customer’s evolving needs helps identify areas of improvement, and better position the product in the industry
What is product knowledge training?
Product knowledge training is a type of employee training with the aim of giving employees more information and a better understanding of the product’s latest features, benefits, policies, or customer insight.
The outcome of the product knowledge training is different for various departments. The sales team uses the information to form the main talking points, while the customer support team gets the answers to FAQs and possible solutions.
The most effective product knowledge-sharing training has:
- Real-life examples
- Rewards and bonuses
- Experts for various teams involved
- Product usage and testing
- Visual aids
Product knowledge training ideas and strategies
- Team presentations
Knowledge sharing from peers increases engagement, promotes active listening & learning, and encourages collaboration. Different teams share their unique point of view with others, leaving room for feedback, questions, and clarifications.
- The sales team puts together and presents the FAQs they receive from customers, and the sales team uses that information for their talking points.
- Each team member switches to another team for the session and learns more about the team’s view on the product, customer journey, or the latest features.
- Interactive role-playing
A highly effective knowledge training idea because it provides a safe learning environment, promotes teamwork and builds confidence. This technique is useful for customer support, technical support, and the sales department.
The customer support representative initiates the role play with the development team and practices explaining complicated tech terms to customers.
- Reading Testimonials
A good product knowledge training idea because it helps the teams identify common customer needs and pain points, highlight unique features from the customer perspective, and provide ready-to-use social proof.
The marketing team reads the testimonials with the sales team to get social proof for their pitches and ads.
- Information handouts
An easily accessible resource that is used on product knowledge training to educate and share the latest industry or internal insights. Employees refer back to the handout and update it if it’s virtual.
The marketing team creates and shares a marketing literature handout with industry-related blogs, trends, and the latest insights.