Unlock the Power of Product Knowledge


bugs bunny helps a happy customer

In today's retail, product knowledge can make or break a customer's experience. Imagine taking walks into a store, uncertain of what you want, and locating a salesperson who understands the goods inside out and takes the time to signify options and provide personalized pointers. This degree of provider can transform a casual vacationer into a faithful consumer. You are no longer a product shop but a destination spot.

The Importance of Knowledgeable Staff

Let's take a page from what I have seen at Bunnings. I have walked into Bunnings with a vague idea of what I need. Once inside, I always find a helpful former tradesperson, now a salesman, who can guide me to the right product. I find this invaluable. Why do I go to Bunnings? It is not just their large stock holding but their knowledgeable staff.

If your retail staff is well-trained and deeply familiar with your products and services, this knowledge empowers them to assist customers effectively, just like the tradesperson at Bunnings.

Having alternate products in your POS System can help. A simple stock search in your system can show similar stock products in your shop with stock quantities.

Critical Benefits of Knowledgeable Staff:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Customers feel valued and understood, fostering trust and building lasting relationships.
  • Improved Sales: Staff can suggest additional products, alternatives, or complementary items, increasing average order value.
  • Customer Loyalty: Excellent service and valuable insights encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

Active Listening

Another critical skill is active listening. Encourage your staff to actively listen to customers and ask questions to clarify their needs. This will help the customer and make them feel heard and appreciated.

Active Listening:

  1. Maintain Eye Contact: Show that you are focused on the customer and engaged in the conversation.
  2. Ask Clarifying Questions: Ensure you understand their needs fully by asking follow-up questions for clarification.
  3. Paraphrase: Repeat what the customer said in your own words to confirm your understanding.

Personalized Recommendations: A Touch of Magic

Train your staff to provide personalized recommendations. By understanding customers' preferences, needs, and shopping history, your team can suggest products tailored to each individual. This personal touch can significantly enhance the shopping experience and make customers feel truly valued.

Give Personalized Recommendations:

  • Know Your Products: Know all available options, including features, benefits, and use cases.
  • Understand Your Customers: Use previous interactions, purchase history, and any provided information. Information gained from one customer can be helpful with the next.
  • Be Empathetic: Show genuine interest in helping the customer find the best solution for their unique needs.

Customer Feedback

Encourage your customers to provide feedback. You will not learn if you do not ask. When I complained that his cold tablets had been useless since then, my pharmacist always asked me to come back and tell him how the product he recommended worked. It certainly gives me a reason to come back.

Using Customer Feedback Effectively:

  • Listen and Act: Carefully review feedback and implement changes or improvements based on customer suggestions.
  • Share Success Stories: Highlight positive reviews and customer testimonials in-store and online to showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Engage with Customers: Thank customers for their feedback, inform them of any changes made based on their input, and continue to solicit their opinions.

Real-Life Experience: Learning from the Best

Reflecting on my grandfather's shop, I remember picking up many sales by suggesting related magazines and books even if we didn't have the specific item a customer wanted. I knew my books. This approach not only helped in making sales but also in building a solid rapport with customers. As customers, we sometimes don't see what products exist or what alternatives are available. That's why we need knowledgeable retail salespeople who can guide us and provide valuable insights.


Investing in product knowledge and training your staff can significantly elevate your retail business. Ensuring your team is well-informed, actively listens, provides demonstrations, and offers personalised recommendations creates a shopping experience that keeps customers returning. Embrace the power of product knowledge, and watch your retail business thrive!

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