If you're not already prioritizing product knowledge, it's time. Learning how to improve product knowledge is one of the best steps toward creating a happier customer base, a more engaged workforce and more successful partners.
Product knowledge doesn’t just mean your customers and employees understand how to operate your product on a technical level (although that’s one part of it). True product knowledge refers to a comprehensive understanding of the product on every level, including how it operates on a fundamental level and how to realize its total value.
Let’s explore the topic of product knowledge and discuss how online training programs can help increase — and maintain — it.
What's Product Knowledge?
Product knowledge is a concept that describes what happens when your product's users understand everything there is to know about the product. Product knowledge applies to several audiences, including customers, workforces and partners, helping each of them realize the full value of a product.
Customer Product Knowledge
Product knowledge in the context of customer education helps increase product adoption, retention, customer lifetime value (CLTV) and more. Product knowledge training for your customers plays a role in the onboarding process, ensuring they realize value quickly, but it also helps them keep pace with product updates, navigate challenges and more.
Workforce Product Knowledge
Workforce product knowledge training refers primarily to gig and real estate companies. For gig companies, product knowledge training helps them accelerate onboarding, retain their workforce and help them deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
For real estate companies, product knowledge training helps them increase tool adoption, empower agents, help them earn more and recruit more top-tier talent.
Partner Product Knowledge
Product knowledge training for partners helps companies maintain partner compliance, ensure alignment and ultimately make sure that partners have the proper knowledge and resources necessary to sell the product.
The Importance of Product Knowledge
Whether you’re training your customers, workforce or partners, the definition of product knowledge is pretty straightforward.
The most critical question is: What are the benefits of product knowledge? When your users know about your products, it opens the door for significant business advantages.
Here are a few of the best examples that demonstrate product knowledge's importance.
Better product knowledge:
When your sales reps know the product inside and out, it’s easier for them to sell effectively. Imagine what would happen if your sales reps never updated their product knowledge. They would be unaware of many factors that could improve their selling abilities. When customers want to know how products will suit their specific needs, your sales reps need to have the product knowledge to answer confidently and comprehensively.
Less Reliance on Support
Why is product knowledge important in customer service? Your customer support reps can’t help customers solve product issues if your representatives don’t understand them. Your customer success team needs to be armed with ample product knowledge so that customers who contact them receive fast and effective service. Not to mention, it looks bad for your brand image if your support reps are not as knowledgeable about your products as they could be.
Creates Power Users
When customers are knowledgeable about your products, it reduces their need to use support resources. Product knowledge is the key to creating a self-sufficient customer base that gets the most out of the product without drawing upon the customer support team’s bandwidth.
Once you have a self-sufficient user base, it's only a matter of time before you start accumulating brand champions. These customers are so familiar with and benefit from your product that they spread the word about it throughout their network. It’s unlikely for a customer to get to this point without a lot of product knowledge.
Increases Product Engagement
Product knowledge also leads to better engagement. When customers fully understand everything about your product, they're more likely to get more out of it, leading to higher satisfaction and better retention rates.
Product Knowledge Training Ideas
There are a lot of different ways to approach product knowledge training.
Here are some product knowledge training ideas you can use to ensure the people relying on your product can benefit from it.
Before customers can use your product for anything, they need to be provided resources showing them how it works. Your customers are most likely to be successful with your products if you give them plenty of ways to learn how to operate the product practically. Materials like guides and demonstrations are a core part of a successful customer education strategy because these resources are integral to product knowledge.
Make sure your customers know any and all customization options included with your product. Customizability is one of the best ways for customers to get value out of a product. When users can tailor the product to their specific needs and preferences, the product takes on a new level of value. It would be a huge missed opportunity if a customer churned without ever understanding how they could customize their product.
One of the most common reasons customers seek out additional knowledge about a product is so they can solve a technical problem. It’s important to educate customers about your product’s technical features so that they understand how it works and why it works. If the problem goes beyond the scope of the customer’s ability to troubleshoot, a customer support team with technical knowledge of the product becomes essential.
These are just a few specific product training examples highlighting the different product knowledge you can offer your customers. You can get many more product knowledge training examples from resources like case studies.
How to Measure Product Knowledge
It’s one thing to understand the benefits of product knowledge and how to achieve it, but it’s another to know how to measure product knowledge effectively.
Your product education strategy will suffer without concrete metrics to guide the way toward better product knowledge.
Here are a few metrics to look at when measuring product knowledge:
Number of Support Tickets
Better product knowledge among your customer base means your customers are more likely to be self-sufficient. That means they can use and troubleshoot their product without help from your customer success team.
Product Adoption Rate
When customers fully understand your product and how it can provide value to them, they're more likely to incorporate it into their daily life. Think about the products you use daily. They probably all have two things in common: Each serves an essential function for you and you can use them efficiently.
Churn Rate/Retention Rate
If customers aren’t getting value from your products, they aren’t very likely to stick around for long. The better your customer base’s product knowledge, the more customers you’ll retain.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your net promoter score is a representation of customer loyalty. The more knowledge customers have about your products, the more benefit they can get out of them. When customers get the most benefit they can from your products, they’re more likely to remain loyal to your brand for longer.
Product knowledge has to come from somewhere. If your customer base is as knowledgeable about your products as they should be, you’ll probably see that reflected in the popularity of your product education resources.
Looking out for results like these can help determine if your customers are knowledgeable about your products. If you don’t see any effect in any of these areas, you probably need to do more work to improve product knowledge.