You have to know the company’s products. When you and your staff don’t have a good grasp on the products or services your company provides, more mistakes, less confidence and wasted energy is inevitable. How can you expect your team to support a new product release or service offering when they are not even certain about the existing products and services that are being offered?
This not only pertains to the products and services, but the company’s systems and tools used to track, troubleshoot, and enter pertinent data. Your job is to make sure everyone is 100% comfortable with the tools and systems they use as well as the products and services they are supporting. Make it a point to demystify everything that is involved within your department. You should also make it a point to personally know how to use or work on the products, tools, and systems as that of your staff. This way you will be able to better relate to any comments or suggestions they may have as well as give you more confidence.
When we talk about a product, we are talking about a tangible item that can be physically touched. When talking about a service, we are talking about an intangible action performed by someone or a service provided. For example, if you buy a car battery, you’re buying a product. If you elect to have someone install the battery, that person is providing a service. There are many times when the product and service are combined from the customer’s point of view. For example, the steak from a restaurant is considered a product, whereas the cook who cooks the steak and the waitress who then brings the steak to the customer is considered a service. Managers in these types of companies have both product and service to worry about.
There are important quality distinctions that must be made regarding products and services:
By fully knowing the company’s systems, products and/or services, and how the quality can alter the customer’s perception and the employees’ morale, are detrimental to the success or failure of a manager.
Your staff also needs to be aware of the reason why the products they produce, or services they provide, goes beyond the marketplace so their customers will continue to be loyal.