Product mastery — the secret sauce to customer-facing roles

Recently, I came across an article that explained why Google is the search engine we all go to instinctively. So much so that “Googling” is a verb that has made it to the Oxford English Dictionary.

There were several reasons listed, but I would like to take you through what I thought were the top three.

  1. Relevance of results: There is hardly anything that you’re looking for, that Google cannot dig up. Unless...

2. Deeper index: Google also crawled a lot more web pages than its competitors leading to a richer set of results. This is another thing they show on top of the search results (e.g. “About 14,800,000 results”) to convince users that they are bigger and better.

3. Speed: Google is at least 7–10x faster than its competitors when returning search results. They also make sure the user knows about it! (e.g. “0.38 seconds”)

While appreciating all that Google has to offer and how it has revolutionized our world, there was a parallel thought that struck me — these are the same qualities that clients look for when they come up with a product requirement.

  1. Relevance of product: How relevant is your product solution to my requirement in terms of user experience, reliability, and costs?
  2. Deeper index: What are the different products you have and each of their features? How does this feature stand out from competitors and add value to my business?
  3. Speed: How quickly can you find the best product — requirement fit and assist me technically to go live at the earliest?

As a technical solution engineer, it is vital to bring our A-game to provide the client with convincing answers to these questions and seal the deal. How do we do that?

Master the product

Richard Feynman, the American physicist, was infamous for being able to explain quantum mechanics effortlessly to 5-year-olds and Noble laureates alike. This was simply because of his mastery in the field. Similarly, clients look for someone who can rise up or come down to their level of technical understanding and provide reliable solutions. This is impossible for someone who does not have complete command over the product. Simply put,

“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet and you have a product. Now, master it.” — Kevin Stirtz

To achieve this, internal knowledge sharing sessions and periodic self upskilling are central to succeeding in a customer-facing role. Being aware of the competition and being able to justify your product, is an underrated weapon.

Clients are happier to interact with those that are passionate and eager to divulge details about the products and how these will benefit their business. This passion is a positive reflection on the company as a whole, allowing customers to trust it.

Product knowledge will help refrain from using jargon and assist in explaining to the client as lucidly and coherently as possible. They are relying on the technical solution engineer to understand the product better and would appreciate every little amount of help. Being honest and non-hesitant to admit that you don’t know something, is an essential part too. Telling the client that you will find out and revert or get a subject matter expert to respond, increases the trust factor and gives them a feeling of being cared for.

Clients don’t expect you to be an authority on everything. They only need to know that you value them and care enough to resolve their problems. The first step towards this is providing them with precise and transparent information, which is possible only through accurate product knowledge. Further, this is also a method of no-cost marketing because the client will recommend your products to others, being truly satisfied themselves. Thus, product knowledge is an invaluable asset. A secret sauce in the company culture, that will allow the organization to forge ahead of the competition.

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Behind the scenes at Razorpay

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Manisha Jayson

Manisha Jayson

The answers we seek are found in silent observation.

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