6 Tips To Develop Serious Games That Enhance Product Knowledge In Online Training
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How To Develop Serious Games That Enhance Product Knowledge In Online Training

Games are often associated with fun and entertainment, but they have the capacity to be so much more. As a matter of fact, countless organizations rely on serious games to impart product knowledge and motivate distracted employees. Your sales representatives have the ability to brush up on product specs by engaging in branching scenarios, online training simulations, and interactive presentations that feature game mechanics. Instead of simply reading about the features, employees gain the opportunity to explore every aspect of the product in an immersive gaming environment. Here are 7 tips to help you add serious games to your product knowledge online training strategy.

1. Keep it bite-sized and mobile-friendly

Serious games are most effective when they are quick and convenient. Modern learners don't have the time to engage in a half hour game, even if it does offer them the skills and information they need. However, microlearning online training courses with games that are accessible on any mobile device or LMS are more easily digestible. They can also be repeated time and again to improve learner retention and reduce cognitive overload. They don't have to wait until the next online training session to get the information they need to seal the deal. There are a variety of responsive design tools that adjust the layout of your online training content based on the mobile device or browser that is being used. You can design one master version of your serious game and then offer it on multiple platforms.

2. Focus on product features and specs

The focal point of your serious game should be the products features, specs, and benefits. One of the most common mistakes that eLearning professionals make is putting the game mechanics first and the product knowledge second. The trick is to link every eLearning character, situation, and challenge to the product, itself, and using the game elements as a performance support tool to increase motivation. Bear in mind that your sales team is probably going to be accessing the serious game in their "moment of need", which is when they are actively negotiating the sale. So, give them all of the details they need to pass on to the consumer.

3. Include leaderboards to spark competition

Competition is a powerful thing. It can drive us to do things we normally wouldn't do, to go above and beyond. Why not use your employees' competitive nature to your advantage by putting up a virtual leaderboard? Employees who know their stuff and take the time to learn about products are going to rank at the top, while those who aren't giving enough effort will fall to the bottom. This provides a powerful source of extrinsic motivation for employees at both ends of spectrum and everyone in between. Those at the top want to keep their coveted spots, while those at the bottom want to prove to themselves and their peers that they can succeed.

4. Always offer supplemental online training resources

Some of your sales employees are going to breeze right through your product knowledge online training, at which time they'll probably want to learn more about the features and benefits. This is especially true for the best sellers on your sales team who are driven to reach their sales targets. In addition to serious games, you may want to offer them supplemental online training resources, such as eLearning videos, articles, and other online training courses that they may find useful. Include links to these external resources within your serious game design to make them readily available. For example, an employee who wants to learn more about your newest product can click on a YouTube link. They have the ability to watch an online presentation that highlights all of the consumer benefits and some customized sales tips.

5. Include realistic eLearning characters and case studies

Your sales staff must know how each of the features and benefits of the product lead to real world results. In other words, what can it do and why does a customer need to own one? For this reason, it's important to include realistic eLearning characters, situations, and case studies that employees can use in the workplace. It's all about context, and serious games that are true-to-life offer your employees practical knowledge that helps them boost their sales and improve customer loyalty. Do some research into your target customer base, such as their spending habits and attitudes toward the brand, then develop a variety of different archetypes for your product knowledge serious games.

6. Facilitate sales skills

There is a distinct difference between learning about the products and knowing how to sell them. Your product knowledge online training course might explore all of the features of a product and why a customer should make the purchase, but a serious game gives your employees the tools they need to negotiate every aspect of the transaction. They can reenact some of the most common sales obstacles, such as dealing with difficult customers, and improve their communication skills with the help of online training simulations. Product knowledge isn't enough. You need to walk them through every step of the sales process, from start to finish.

Serious games are the perfect addition to product knowledge online training, particularly when you use these 6 tips to make your serious games effective, entertaining and engaging. Just make sure to research all of the eLearning authoring tools that are available to find a solution that meets your needs. If you don't have any serious game design experience, there are number of platforms that include serious game templates, themes, and pre-built eLearning interactions to simplify the process.

Are you thinking about moving your product knowledge training online? Read the article 6 Reasons To Create Product Knowledge Online Training Courses to discover why corporate eLearning and product knowledge training go hand-in-hand.

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