Product knowledge training requires learners (who could be sales people or service people) to assimilate lot of information with respect to the products – its features and benefits. Learners can be overwhelmed with the amount of information that needs to be absorbed. Here are some tips that can help you to develop effective online product training courses.
Establish the learning goals: Understand your learners and the learning objectives to be achieved – who are the target audience for the course and what are they expected to achieve after completing the course. They could be sales team, service team or customer service representatives. For example, a customer service representative might be expected to have a good knowledge of the company’s products so that they are in a position to direct the customer to the right sales representative. However, a sales representative might be expected to provide value proposition to his customers while explaining the product features and benefits. The online training program/eLearning course would need to address these individual learning goals.
Decide on how much information is enough: The amount of product knowledge required varies depending on the profile of learners. While a sales person might need a particular level of knowledge about products, a service engineer or technician might require an in-depth knowledge of the product. Separate the “need to know” information from “nice to know”. Organizing information according to the different levels of knowledge would help in creating a relevant and meaningful eLearning course that can be accessed by different learners as per their needs.
Factor the motivation levels of learners: When designing courses for diverse learners, it is important to take into account their individual motivational levels. A sales person might be interested to know how the product would benefit the customer as he can use the information to make a sales pitch. A service engineer might want to learn about troubleshooting a problem that the customer brings to his notice. One strategy is to ensure basic information relevant to all in the regular flow of instruction and have specific information on clickable basis with click on tabs to suit diverse learners.
Create a common structure in case of long product line: In case you need to talk about multiple products in a single course, it helps to create a common structure that is relevant to all the products. Information pertaining to the products can be presented using info-graphics where information about all the products is provided visually as per its relevance to the learner. For example, products could be categorized based on their features, benefits, costs and their USP for different segments of learners. For example, in case the training is for sales team, each product can have a guideline about the profile of target customers. A service engineer might be interested in common spare parts used in most products and those that need specialized ones; as this information might be helpful while placing his order for spare parts.
These are some of the ideas to make online product knowledge training effective. This is not a comprehensive list and I am sure there are others which you may be practicing. Do share your very own strategies while designing product knowledge training courses via eLearning.