Increasing the product knowledge of your employees has never been more important. In this article from Retail Dive we learn that 50% of employees in one surveyed business feel that often times their customers know more about the product than they do. That is a scary number.
Worse yet, in another survey, 83% of customers felt they knew more than the retail sales associate. Often times we want to blame the attitude of the customer who may or may not really understand the product, but perception is reality for that customer. Furthermore, if half of the employees agree with them, we have a real problem on our hands.
Granted, this is a survey of one company, but with today’s smart phone culture it isn’t a stretch to say that most customers are very prepared and have researched the product they are after.
I suggest you adopt at least one of these methods to ensure your employees are prepared for today’s buyer.
- Hold daily product briefs where you highlight the features and benefits of a specific product. This puts you in control and allows you to focus on the products that make the most sense for your bottom line.
- Place the same value on product knowledge as you do maintaining the cleanliness of your store. 44% of employees say they are spending too much time arranging products and stocking shelves. While these are important tasks, understanding the product we sell is just as important. You might even combine this with option 1, and have different employees present the products each day. That way everyone gets the benefit of what each other are learning.
- Consult the experts, your customers. Ask them when they make a purchase, why they chose that particular item over the others. You’ll never have a better selling point than the one that already worked.
With all the competition for your customers dollars, make sure you do everything in your power to provide a service they can’t find on-line. Your knowledge about your products should be an easy value builder.