Change, fueled by advancing technology, better access to information, and the ever-present threat of new competition, happens rapidly in today’s workplaces. For all the progress and prosperity change can bring, it also creates complex challenges for businesses when it comes to finding agile methods for keeping employees informed of new processes, policies, and product updates.
Gaps in product knowledge, in particular, among sales and service reps on the front lines in industries such as technology, retail, hospitality, automotive, and even food and beverage, often can have the most direct impact on a company’s bottom line — making or breaking sales goals, affecting customer retention rates, and even influencing a company’s reputation.
And while every organization makes it a top priority to communicate all business-related changes to employees quickly and effectively, product knowledge training for customer-facing employees remains one of the biggest knowledge sharing challenges many companies face for a number of reasons including:
- Sales and service employees are often scattered across locations, which makes it difficult to create a consistent training experience for all employees.
- In high-turnover environments, the need to bring new employees up to speed quickly can result in skipped training modules.
- And when it comes to training all front-line employees, time is almost always a major constraint.
Still, it’s not as much a company’s ability to disseminate the most current product information as it is finding more efficient training methods — methods that maximize both understanding and retention of detailed product information. Training methodologies can differ from company to company and between different roles, but one medium has emerged as a favorite of leading corporations who have succeeded in creating agile product training programs: video.
Related Reading: 14 Ideas for Using Video in Employee Training
Visually stimulating product training videos engage employees in training experiences that lead to both consistent product knowledge among all employees and better retention of information over time. Furthermore, creating product training videos can be easier than producing written documentation, which employees are less likely to read compared to watching a video.
4 Tips For Making Product Training Videos More Effective
1. Show and Show and Tell
You’ve probably seen training videos or product videos that present information in one screen — explainer videos that focus on showing the viewer the product as the presenter explains its features. This is an effective training video format, but what if you could record an experience that more deeply immerses the employee in learning the product?
Whether you are training employees on a physical product or a key software feature, presenting video content (of the product itself or a screen share of a product walkthrough) alongside both the presenter and his PowerPoint slides can create a memorable learning experience for your employees.
And you don’t need a decked-out studio with expensive AV equipment to record memorable product training videos.
Enterprise video platforms like Panopto make it simple for anyone in your organization to create an engaging, multimedia training video on-the-fly with as little technology as a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Check out an example of an in-store product merchandising training video recorded with Panopto below:
2. Use Short Product Training Modules To Build A Complete Course
Rather than overwhelming employees with a deluge of product knowledge all at once, break your training down into shorter modules that focus on one specific item or feature at a time. Commonly referred to as microlearning, the practice of delivering product information in short bursts can decrease the cognitive load on the learner and lead them to experience a more immediate feeling of accomplishment, ultimately improving product knowledge retention.
When you use an enterprise video platform, your product training videos can be as long as they need to be — you can record many short videos, or use video editing tools to combine all of your related modules into one longer video about a product. Employees can find specific content within longer videos or in a video library using advanced video search, or they can jump to a specific section in a longer video via a table of contents.
3. Use Quizzing To Reinforce Important Product Training
Not only does quizzing motivate your team members to focus on the product information you’re presenting, but it’s also a proven technique to help them remember the materials through repetition. Quizzes at the end of product training videos also allow managers to assess what employees have learned.
Adding a quiz to training videos doesn’t require a lot of extra work, either. An enterprise video platform with built-in interactive video quizzing can make it easy to reinforce product knowledge at the end of the video.
4. Make Product Training Videos Available On-Demand
Front-line employees are your direct line to customers, so product training and everything else always comes second to helping a customer or engaging with a potential client. By making product training videos easily accessible on-demand, you give customer-facing employees the flexibility to complete training when they have the time, or to revisit specific training on the fly when they need it.
Finding and replaying training videos sounds simple enough, but the reality is that most of the places businesses try to host video content, such as content management systems (CMSs), learning management systems (LMSs), and local area networks (LANs) are NOT ideal for video files. An enterprise video platform includes video content management, which is designed to help your organization manage, search, and stream video content in ways that other systems can’t.
Related Reading: Why You Need A Video CMS
You spent the time to create training videos — make sure your employees can easily find and access them just as they would written training documents.
Borrowing Product Training Best Practices From Higher Education
The techniques for producing more effective product training videos are based on proven teaching and learning methods that have been used in higher education for the better part of a decade. And because video is such a powerful tool for making learning sticky, more and more Learning and Development (L&D) leaders in corporations are finding success by adopting these elearning techniques for training.
Similarly, video platforms — still widely used to support learning in higher education — have also earned the praise of L&D leaders working to improve product training throughout large organizations.
Read The Case Study: How Qualcomm Amplified Global Employee Training With On-Demand Video
Enterprise video platforms give trainers and SMEs flexible options for recording, editing, and sharing product training videos securely throughout their organizations. And with advanced features like video search and variable speed playback, they also make it easy for employees to find and replay training videos as needed.