Why product knowledge is essential in customer service

Product knowledge builds trust, empowers agents, and ensures excellent customer service. Manage your knowledge to create loyal customers and grow your business.

By Leighton Jacobs

Last updated May 15, 2023

Excellent customer service depends on knowing what you’re selling like the back of your hand. Business Wire revealed that consumers rank “knowledge about the product or service” as one of the top qualities of customer service agents.

Customers expect support agents to know everything there is to know about a company’s products and services. Simply reading out specs from a product information sheet won’t cut it. You need knowledgeable support agents who can tailor what they know to suit specific customer needs. Because customers will only come back for more if your support teams add real value with accurate and detailed information.

Ultimately, it all comes down to product knowledge. So let’s see how it can benefit your company and help you succeed.

What can product knowledge do for you?

1. Sell more, sell better

Knowledgeable sales teams help potential customers understand whether a product or service is right for them and their needs. It’s all about using your knowledge to help customers find the right solution, even if that means recommending a different product or service. Being open and transparent helps build trust, which in turn will help generate future sales.

Also bear in mind that product knowledge adds value to your offer, which can prove critical for more technical or high-end products and services. What’s more, knowledge breeds passion, and passionate agents help get customers more excited about your products or services.

2. Say what you mean

Accurate and helpful product information is the lifeblood of customer service—not to mention sales pitches. It’s easy to present your product or help solve a customer’s problem when you know your product or service inside out.

Plus, the more your customer service agents know about your products or services, the more confident they’ll feel talking about them. And when your agents are confident, they communicate clearly, solve problems quickly, and give great advice. This helps support teams feel good about their work and develop all the skills they need to provide great customer experiences.

3. Cast away doubts

Product knowledge helps agents respond to customer queries and counter objections. Put simply, knowledgeable teams provide great customer service by being transparent yet reassuring about shortcomings, and highlighting any competitive advantages.

Well-informed support agents can control conversations and assuage doubts by focusing on what the customer really needs. Clear, full answers help customers feel confident in your brand whilst insightful recommendations help you exceed their expectations—the foundations for building a loyal customer base.

4. Tried and trusted

People buy from people they trust. Adobe’s Future of Marketing research reveals that 70 per cent of customers will stop purchasing from a company if their trust is broken. So transparency, accuracy, and reliability couldn’t be more important. And product knowledge is key for all three.

Knowing your products helps customers trust your brand and business. It’s all about providing relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information. If you can do that consistently, you’ll improve the perception of your brand and attract new customers.

5. Be remembered (for the right reasons)

Passion sells. People are much more likely to buy (or buy again) from a company if their customer service team can’t wait to tell them all about their products or services. And product knowledge helps customer service teams stay passionate about what they provide.

If your customer service agents know their way around your products, they can provide in-depth and enthusiastic explanations. That’s great for your brand image because it leaves a great impression on customers. In other words, product knowledge helps create great customer service experiences.

How do you ensure your teams know what they’re talking about?

Product knowledge is a never-ending process. Although your customer service agents might find it difficult to keep up with product changes and features, it’s essential to make sure they really know their stuff. That’s where customer service training comes in.

You can provide training in many ways, e.g. workshops, refresher courses, and useful resources like training videos. But it’s also common for more experienced team members to bring new recruits up to speed. Product changes, on the other hand, often require cross-departmental collaboration, e.g. a product designer hosting a training session for support teams.

But no matter how you organise your training, make sure it’s as practical as possible so that agents benefit from hands-on experience with your products or services. This will help them better understand customer problems, making it easier to provide targeted solutions.

Aside from training, you should also consider implementing a knowledge base, which acts as a centralised source of knowledge for your entire company. This makes it easy for agents to find all the product information they need, ridding them of any pressure to memorise every little detail. Streamlining your customer service process like this ensures faster response times to customer queries, which helps boost customer satisfaction.

What’s more, agents can contribute to your knowledge base and share what they’ve learned. This helps keep know-how in your company. And if you’re not sure what should go into your knowledge base first, customer feedback is a great place to start because it can help you identify any issues from first-hand experience with your product or service.

Zendesk has all the answers

Product knowledge is an essential customer service skill. It helps build trust between you and your customers, creates more positive customer service experiences, and allows agents to provide accurate and helpful product information. But keeping everyone on the same page can be tricky. Not so with knowledge management tools.

Zendesk Guide is our powerful knowledge management tool that allows agents to search and send articles within tickets, create new articles whilst answering tickets, automate knowledge updates, and much more.

Try it now

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