Many companies are going in for product and process training. Why? Because of the many positive outcomes that such kind of training gives.
I’m sure you know what product and process training is, right? Product and Process training is when you educate your employees on what products the organisation has to offer as well as its processes. Like explaining the features, advantages and benefits of a product and how they compare with competition. When are they typically given?
Induction Training – Yes it’s the most obvious one. During an orientation when new employees join an organisation. No matter which department they belong to, teaching them about the products and / or services that the organisation has to offer is imperative. So whether you are from the HR department or Operations, Product and Process Training is very important. You must know what your organisation sells and what processes they use in successfully doing the same
Sales Training – Every sales training focuses on Product and Process Training, with a little more focus on of course Product training. You see, it’s kind of difficult to sell a product when you don’t know about it! I’m sure you know what I mean. Imagine a car dealer trying to sell you a car and not knowing what engine the car has! Am sure you won’t want to buy from him. And by the way that wasn’t a joke. That was a live example. It happened a few months back when I was on a mystery shopping assignment for a client. You can imagine how much I wanted to buy the car after that!
It’s therefore essential that every sales person knows their product in and out, literally on the back of their hand!
Now these are sessions that happen day in and day out in organisations. But what happens when an organisation creates changes in their products and processes? Like when they enhance the features of a product or introduce a completely new product? Do they always go in for product and process training?
Sometime ago, we had delivered a large intervention for a client. We were training their service technicians across the country. The organisation was huge and had a massive number of technicians to be trained technically. To our surprise, we got to know that many of them were unable to keep up with the latest developments in the organisation. Products kept getting updated, new models kept coming out and even new products came out every now and then. It was great for the company, but bad for the technicians as they were unable to keep a track of the changes.
What they landed up doing was making excuses. They would tell customers that the latest machine had just released in the market and hence they did not know about it. Some of them would say they were new in the organisation and hence unaware. Some that the new machine was not good just to hide their lack of knowledge! What typically resulted, was people hanging on to their old machines. This resulted in large losses to the organisation.
The same applies to processes. I was working in a large bank a few years ago. We were one of the largest banks in the country and kept having changes in our processes. This often led to a lot of confusion. We would have customers quarrelling with us on changes that they had come to know from other branches. And as you can imagine, handling them used to be quite a painful task when we ourselves were unaware of the changes!
Am sure you must have faced such issues in the past yourself. You would also be having innumerable number of examples where you said “if only these guys had product and process training!”
So this is a request going out to all organisations. Please invest in regular product and process training for your people. Ensure that they are aware of your old, new and modified products and processes. It sets an awfully bad impression on customers when they realise that the organisation does not keep their employees updated on new developments.
This request also goes out to all employees. If you do not know about your latest products and processes, then ensure that you attend product and process training regularly. It’s better to learn about your products yourself rather than learn about them from your customers!