The Importance of Product Knowledge in Automotive Customer Service
As a person working in Automotive Customer Service, you are in a very unique position. You are basically an ambassador; one who represents your company and interacts with customers on the front-lines, while also relaying information, instructions, requests and more to internal teams working on the customer’s vehicle.
Being in the middle of both sides, one of the most important traits you could build for yourself is having strong product knowledge. This means having a deep understanding of cars in general, but more importantly an understanding of what services your organization can and can not deliver to customers.
For starters, good product knowledge increases the enthusiasm during the interaction; both for you and the customer as well. By having a deep understanding of products and services offered by your organization, the interactions between you and your customer will be much more interesting and productive as you make your recommendations.
Having well-developed knowledge of your company’s products and services gives you much more confidence. This comes from knowing that no matter what challenge you face, you’ll be able to troubleshoot any problem, answer any question a customer may have, and give them the best recommendations possible.
Confidence on the job like that also comes from experience, but the foundation of that definitely comes from great product knowledge.
Customers love workers who come off as knowledgeable and confident. By letting them see that you have a deep level of product knowledge, customers can let their guard down and put their trust in you, knowing that you’ll give them the satisfaction that they are looking for.
You don’t have to tell them “I have a lot of knowledge of this product/service”. Instead, demonstrate it, by asking them the right questions and telling them why a certain product or service will be good for them. By communicating the pros and cons of the suggestions you’re giving to them, they’ll see that not only are you knowledgeable, you’re also transparent and honest, hiding nothing from them.
Basic Steps to Build Product Knowledge
There are many ways to build and strengthen your product knowledge. Some involve human interaction, while others involve you doing the necessary homework.
First and foremost, ask a lot of questions! When you’re on the job in Automotive Customer Service, you’ll be interacting with people from various teams with different backgrounds. During these interactions, ask lots of questions! Unless they’re super busy, your colleagues usually be more than willing to help you understand their area of specialty. This also has the added benefit of helping you build stronger relationships with your colleagues, since people love those who show interest in their jobs!
Second, read read read! Read your organization’s brochures and marketing materials. Read product manuals or automotive magazines. Read the back of product boxes, even! There’s an abundance of information all around you, if only you’ll look closely at the fine print.
Third, use the internet to your benefit. Websites, Youtube videos, they all contain priceless information that will help you develop your understanding of products and services in the automotive industry. Best of all, this information is FREE! All you have to do is use it. Just make sure you’re not spending your working hours watching videos, some companies might not approve of that!
Always Refresh Your Product Knowledge
Once you’ve developed a basic level of understanding of products and services you’re able to offer, always be sure to refresh your knowledge. Using all of the basic methods mentioned above, you’ll be able to keep track of any changes or new products/services, and that knowledge alone will help set you apart from all your other colleagues in automotive customer service!