Top Ten Customer Turnoffs: “Lack of Product or Service Knowledge”

Would not hire an electrician who did not have any eyebrows? Probably not, as that would be a good indication that they did not know what they were doing.

A Common Experience 

Many years ago, my wife and I were in the market for a minivan. I had done my research on the internet and was interested in a new Honda minivan. I was working for Disney at the time and we lived in Orlando, so I found a local dealership and went to check out their selection. As we drove in the parking lot, there was a salesperson standing in front of the dealership.

As I walked towards the entrance, the salesperson approached, extended his hand, and said: “How can I put you in a new car today?” I told him I was interested in a new minivan. We headed out across the parking lot where I could see a few minivans. What do you think he said when we got out to the cars?

Consider Your Process

“Let me write down these numbers and go get the keys.”  It was the middle of summer in Orlando with a temperature approaching 100 degrees. What could he have done differently? He could have let us wait in the air-conditioned showroom while he figured out the key situation. While this example is not the main point of this story, many times we don’t consider the impact to our customers when we create our work processes.

Excuses Are Not Acceptable

The sales person opened the first car and started to show me the features. This year, they had just come out with stow away seating in the back row of seats. I watched patiently while he struggled to find the release button. I had researched the car and knew something about this model. So, I asked him if he wanted me to show him where the button was located.  We laughed, but he gladly accepted my help as the heat was overwhelming.

I then asked: “What colors does this come in?” He responded: “I am not sure. We have these three on the lot, but it is a new model for us and I don’t know what other colors are available.”

What do you see on the wall in every car dealership? Usually you will find a set of color charts showing the paint, fabric, and leather options for each model they sell. What could that salesperson have been doing instead of just waiting for me to drive up? He could have been studying his product! In this time of educated consumers, most people expect a salesperson who knows more about their product than they do.

Know Your Stuff

Where can you start building your knowledge? Most companies have a good website with product details, so start there. Spend some time browsing your site and researching your products. You can also find books and other materials to help you stay current in your industry.

Don’t turn a customer off by failing to do your homework! Let’s connect if you have any questions.

Next week we will deal with Customer Turnoff #6: “An uncaring worker.”