Managing products and services on a website can be an intricate task. The greater the product management task, the more significant the benefits are for your business. It’s also one of the most important marketing tasks, yet it’s often overlooked.
As your business grows, so does the number of products or services you offer to your clients. Managing all of these products & services can quickly add up to taking too much time away from your customers, where more critical work applies. If you are not satisfied with your current solution, this article will help you find better product management methods.
What is Product/Service Management?
Product/service management refers to a marketing function whose primary purpose is to expand products or services based on the market’s evolution. It entails the constant assessment of their attributes to advance the items accordingly.
It’s vital for any business to continually ensure its products and services are flexible enough to keep up with the market shift. Most companies achieve this by implementing regular reviews, where the company gives the customers a platform to express their feedback on the products. They then use the feedback to improve the quality of their services and products.
A product service manager is in charge of product service management and is always up to date with the business environment’s status. He creates tools that facilitate easy interaction with customers and acknowledge the preferences and behavior of customers.
The product service manager ensures the database is up to date with specifications, warranty conditions, price, and other significant business portfolio descriptions. Advanced companies with online platforms also provide the forum livelily and engage their customers by giving attractive offers, testimonials, and advertising pieces.
Factors Affecting Product Service Management
The process of conducting product service management depends on several factors such as:
- The changing needs and desires of customers
Different customers have different tastes and preferences. It is, therefore, the role of the product service manager to request customer feedback. The feedback will identify what the customers prefer and adjust the products or services to fit the customers’ preferences.
- The presence of strong competitors
A business that faces tough competition from its competitors will have to go the extra mile and advance its products to compete favorably. Customers always tend to go for quality products and services rather than low quality products.
- Stages of the life of goods
Goods are continually evolving to fit the customers’ tastes. A business has to always advance the products by adopting something like extraordinary services or creating powerful offers to appeal to the customers
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- Government regulations
The government may set the quality standards a product should attain to be in the market. Therefore, the business will have to input some measures in the production process to ensure the products adhere to the quality standards.
- Cost and resources
Businesses always consider the cost and available resources needed to improve a product to gain market share. If the resources are expensive, they still sell the products at a higher price to get the profits back.
- Economic trends
The primary economic trend that affects marketing is demand and supply. The objective of a business is always to accelerate demand. When the order is high, the price also goes high, and when it is low, the price also decreases.
- Marketing conditions
Marketing gives customer’s ideas on the product and services a business is offering them. They become aware of the value of a product, usages, and price, which may cause them to purchase the product. It facilitates brand awareness and makes the business stand out from the rest.
Phases of Product/Service Management
The phases of product/service management are vital for marketers, designers, and the management team. It consists of three steps and guides in developing strategies to make better use of the stages. Thus, promote the overall success of the product in the market. And they include:
- Development of a new product/services
Development involves keenly monitoring the market and the breaking point. It entails recognizing the highly demanded goods and checking on whether the customers are satisfied with new products.
The development process may take some time, depending on what the company intends to achieve at this stage and the particular investments the company has set in advertising support of the product.
- Monitoring of current goods
Monitoring entails constant managing of existing goods, reaction, and customer feedback. The business uses customer feedback to advance the goods to ensure fair competition in the market.
At this stage, the company inputs all its effort to ensure its extension, putting in place input barriers for new competitors and providing total marketing coverage. This strategy assures the company of a smooth existence in the following stage of the life cycle.
- Removal of weak products
Weak products are those which aren’t in demand. These products may cause loss to the company since the company will be forced to sell the products at a throw-away price to free up space. At this stage, the business identifies all the weak products and removes them.
Weak products may cause a business’s downfall if they aren’t taken care of in the early stages. Therefore, companies identify them and use their resources to add to the products that are high in demand.
Advantages of Product/Service Management
The management of products and services entails coordinating the whole complex of elements of its marketing routines, assessing production technologies, market research, advertising sales support, and trial sales. Correct application of marketing measures will benefit the company in the following ways:
- Increased sales and profits
Quality products are the key to success. Product service managers ensure the company produces quality products while executing strategy, competing favorably, and increasing productivity.
To ensure the company’s total success, the product service management team focuses on creating few but quality products. Quality products and services drive many potential customers to purchase the products at higher prices hence profits for the company.
- Increased number of customers
Modification of goods and introduction of new products to fit customer’s preferences leads to an increase in customers’ population. Product service managers modify the goods by asking for feedback from customers and their views. They then use the feedback to advance the quality of the products to fit the customer’s preference.
- Effective management of products
The product/service management team ensures increased orientation for the product to meet the customer’s exact needs. They provide this by keenly monitoring the supply and demand of goods to know the products that customers prefer over the weak products.
- The flexibility of the business
Product /service management gives a business the strategy to ensure the company’s flexibility to varying market conditions. The company can incorporate new resources to fit the customer’s needs or change their products effectively without suffering a financial loss.
Product Life Cycle
Product life cycle refers to the process where the product is introduced in the market until the time it declines from the market. The life cycle contains four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
Once the product/service management team develops a product and releases it into the market, the new product is always crucial since the first impression matters a lot to the customers. A business should research the customers’ needs and ensure the new product offers a solution to their problem. During the introduction stage, the marketing and promotion are usually high, and the business invests in promoting the products and getting customers to taste the product.
The process is usually costly, with no guarantee that the customers will purchase the products. At this stage, the company gets a sense of how the customers respond to the products. At the introduction stage, there is usually no or little competition. The primary purpose of the introduction stage is to establish demand for the good. Thus, any business should ensure their products are great from the introduction stage to provide higher order.
At the growth stage, the product is already in the market, and customers are increasingly purchasing them. Many customers are in love with the product, and the demand for it is high. However, other companies notice the importance of producing the product and competition set in.
The company can invest in advertising and promoting the products to compete with its competitors. The market of the product increases, and its competition also increases drastically. Competition may lead to a lowering of the price of the commodity to make the particular product competitive. Despite this, the sales are continually growing in volume and generating profits and revenue. The primary purpose of marketing at this stage is to accelerate the product market share.
The maturity of a product dramatically reduces its demand or makes the need completely stop. The pricing also faces competition, signaling margin shrinking as prices decline due to competing company’s pressure and the market also reduces.
The marketing targets to outdo its competitors at this stage, and the company is continuously creating new and advanced products hoping to attain different market segments.
The market is usually concentrated with the products, and it’s at the maturity stage that the weak competitors are kicked out. As saturation is attained, businesses consistently innovate new ideas to increase their market share and alter their products to satisfy the developing technologies. The maturity may take a longer or shorter duration depending on the quality of the products.
Companies will put all their efforts into ensuring the products lasts in the market for a longer time. However, the product’s decline is inevitable no matter how long the product stays in the market.
Competitions cause the products to lose value. The demand and sale for the products drop significantly, and customers shift their taste to other products. The product loses its share in the market, and only a few people purchase the product.
The product’s price also reduces, and the product is eventually kicked out of the market structure. However, if the company can redesign the product to remain significant, it will stay in the market, though with less demand.
Examples of Product/Service Management
Clothing palace.com is an online clothing store that sells all fashion clothes and shoes for men, women, babies, etc. The company also offers assistance to stranded individuals who don’t know the clothes that match their body size and shape. They do this through a call center agency where they advise them on the clothes to purchase.
The clothing palace took the step to hire a product/service manager in charge of keeping prices, offering product images within the website, ensuring the product is up to date, and working closely with the web team. The product/service manager reviews the sales trends and calls center interactions to develop its market opportunities. He came up with a project in which he involves all the potential customers on the platform.
In the project, all the customers can express their feedback on their clothes’ quality and give their views on the designs they think the company should incorporate.
The clothing palace uses these ideas to develop designs that fit the customer’s preferences and sell them at higher prices since the demand is usually high.
They additionally advertise and promote their business on different platforms, which increases their sales.
The customers also get discounts on some other products they sell after they purchase many clothes and shoes. The business has stood out from its competitors since it offers quality services, prioritizes customer preferences, and works on customer complaints to improve its services.
Product/service managers need to keep a close eye on existing products and monitor them in terms of sales, profit, market share, and how well they are meeting company goals and expectations. Product service management is essential for maintaining sales and prevent customers from leaving. Product /service management facilitates trust, adds value to the customer, and ensures customer satisfaction. Closely monitoring and knowing your products and services is a crucial component of successful sales and customer services. Why allow your business to lag due to competition? Take the extra step and apply all the ideas mentioned in this article on product/service management and watch your business bloom.