Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Marketing Tips: Product Knowledge

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You may have spent a lot for a big event or a brand launch ... only to negate the impact with unprepared staff when customers start asking about your product or service.

Last night, my friend Sunny Ku, CEO of Masterminds Worldwide and I were in Chili's Tomas Morato discussing the "120 years of Amorsolo" project  and he ordered 12 pcs. Buffalo Wings. Our server replied that an order was only 5 pieces. Sunny asked, "Are you sure? I always order that and I know you have a serving of 12 pcs." 

The server stood her ground. A few minutes after, she came back, "Ay, sir, 12 pcs nga."

I'm sure we have all experienced situations where we ask a waiter about details in their menu and end up frustrated when they try to parry it with an unacceptable answer. This is a mortal sin for frontliners. But we also have management to blame.

In the first place, we have to make sure that we equip our staff with superior product knowledge so they won't end up flat on their faces when asked by a customer. We should teach them what our product or service is all about, e.g. its strengths and intricacies, etc. before we set them free in the selling or dining area.

Provide your employees with a well-prepared FAQ or Primer which anticipates all possible questions of a customer and answers it accordingly.

Remember, marketing is responsible for bringing customers into the selling area, but it is operations that is responsible for repeat patronage. Do you agree that it is up to the operations people to manage the customer experience while in your premises in such a way that will make them want to come back -- again and again?

Marketing may have succeeded into luring customers into your shop but if customers did not enjoy their experience while in your shop ... they will not stay long or come back. So, it is up to your operations team in your outlets to keep your customers satisfied.

Unfortunately, one of the turn-offs for customers is encountering staff who cannot answer their queries to their satisfaction. So, make sure to inculcate the critical importance of "product knowledge"among your team members and you will surely gain more customers and loyal patronage.


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