A solid understanding of product knowledge doesn’t just empower a sale; it enriches the customer experience. Being able to convey features, benefits and specifications is important, but grasping what a product delivers to the end user is invaluable.
But how can you be sure that everyone in your ecosystem has the right level of knowledge? And what happens when this understanding falls short?
Measuring product knowledge is crucial to the success of product training. This insight ensures the correct training is complete, keeping learners up to speed with everything they need to know in their specific role.
Here, we explore the intricacies of how to measure product knowledge through eLearning, as well as its pivotal role and the strategies to enhance its effectiveness across the board.
The Importance of Continual Product Knowledge Measurement
Static strategies are a recipe for stagnation. The same principle applies to product training.
While it’s essential to equip teams with training at the onset, banking solely on initial training sessions, without periodic reassessments, can lead to knowledge gaps and diminished service quality over time.
Product features evolve, market dynamics shift and customer preferences change. These transitions mean that product training doesn’t remain a one-off event.
Instead, it should be a living process, subject to regular evaluations and updates.
By setting KPIs and continually assessing product knowledge, you can identify areas where teams are lagging and provide timely interventions, ensuring the training remains effective and relevant.
How to Measure Product Knowledge with Your Learning Management System
With a powerful Learning Management System (LMS), you can quantify and measure the ability of your learners to connect with customers and champion your product or service.
Below are some ways businesses can use an eLearning platform to help fine-tune product knowledge training.
Assessing product knowledge accurately
Product knowledge means different things to different departments. For example, for salespeople, it can be knowing how to calculate Return on Investment (ROI) on the showroom floor. For customer support agents, it can mean knowing how to troubleshoot software.
To measure these competencies, it is necessary to deploy different assessment methods. Multiple choice can work better for testing familiarity with product specifications. Open-ended questions are better for assessing more complex skills, such as convincing indecisive customers.
Most LMSs come built-in with the tools you need to create assessments for your learners. The most robust systems allow for novel and engaging ways to test, such as using gamification or interactive videos.
Take advantage of LMS monitoring tools to measure product knowledge
LMS platforms are powerful tools that allow you to monitor and test progress at every step, from understanding theory to application in the field.
An example of these powerful features is the ability to conduct online simulations that test ability against real-world scenarios. These instances can reveal gaps in knowledge, as well as new, good habits that reflect the lessons learned through product training.
Compare product knowledge before and after training
Another way to quantify product knowledge is by looking at KPIs before and after training. For instance, you can compare how many leads salespeople close during a conference, or the volume of support tickets support agents to resolve.
For classroom-based learning, instructors can also leverage the power of immediate feedback by testing before and after every module. People naturally want to know if they answered correctly, and providing a tangible comparison at the end of the test can help reinforce learning new information.
Get direct feedback
The most direct way to know if your product training is working is to ask the people it’s ultimately supposed to help: your customers.
While all brands will say that the customer is king, many don’t take the time to listen to the head that wears the crown.
Only half of brands track customer satisfaction. Surveys and reviews are rich, albeit indirect channels, that can tell you whether your learners can apply what they’ve learned from training.
There is also gathering feedback from the learners themselves. LMS tools typically offer a way to get feedback after every course. Here, you’ll need to look for honest and constructive reviews. One way to encourage genuine critique is to make submissions anonymous.
Multiple choice answers and star ratings also make the process faster and seamless for learners who have deadlines and tasks to attend to.
Improving Your Training Program Using Product Knowledge Data
One of the major advantages of eLearning courses over traditional classroom-based training is access to actionable and structured data. Most platforms offer reports that break down progress, completion rates, engagement and a whole host of other metrics that quantify what once was invisible to instructors. Use the data on product training results to improve and customise your modules according to the needs of your learners.
Identify gaps in your training program
Use reports to identify weaknesses in your learners’ knowledge to create custom courses or adjust their learning pathways to address these gaps. Data can help you efficiently improve performance by eliminating guesswork and reducing any time wasted on irrelevant modules.
Accelerate training improvements
In a classroom setting, reviews of instructors and the material would typically take longer to impact or change the course. On the other hand, feedback from your LMS can be used immediately to improve the material. As it’s all online, you can revise courses sooner, ensuring the product knowledge of learners stays up to date.
Personalise training for learners
Product knowledge training isn’t an out-of-the-box solution for all learners. Courses can and should differ based on roles and skill levels.
How learners will fit these hours into their busy schedules should also be considered. Some courses might need to be mandatory, while others may be better when opt-in only.
Use the data from your LMS to design product knowledge programs that are sensitive to the needs of your business and learners.
Scale your training program
For companies scaling, an LMS solution enables training to be rolled out globally. Knowledge is standardised across the organisation, enabling consistency, which is an important foundation of brand loyalty. When your customers know they can rely on your business at every turn, they will keep coming back.
Customer satisfaction is a constantly moving target. To hit the mark, brands need to be able to communicate the value of their product or service in a way that’s relevant to consumers. Honing the product knowledge skills is essential for establishing that connection and winning over customers.
If you are in the process of selecting a learning platform to deliver your training, our free guide has been created to give you all the information you need to make the right decision for your organisation. Click below to download your copy now!