What is a Product Knowledge?
Product Knowledge is knowledge about product or service information available at a hotel. This knowledge is always evolving following technological developments and business changes in the hospitality industry. Before delivering information about products and services to visitors, it is important for employees to have an up-to-date and accurate product knowledge.
Hotel Product Knowledge is a part of the Learning and Development Division which must be mastered by employees from all departments. To ensure that all employees have good product knowledge, it is important to regularly test how well to which the employee’s product knowledge is.
This product knowledge covers a lot things, such as :
- Brand, size, quality, physical products sold by the hotel
- Every item listed on the food and beverage menu (presentation, taste, composition, and price)
- Various types of cash and cashless transactions accepted as payment methods
- Hotel staff or management information including positions and responsibilities
- Things related to operations, such as requirements for booking a room, charge fees for using the facilities, opening and closing hours of the hotel area (restaurants, fitness centers, swimming pools, etc.)
- Hotel service standards and matters relating to security and visitor safety
- Site plan with the location of each room, facilities, etc.
- Tour packages, such as choice of destination, how to book, costs, duration of the trip
- Transportation that can be rented, such as a vehicle to get around the city where he is visiting, or a vehicle to get to the airport
- On-going events, such as weddings, seminars, exhibitions, or other entertainment, as well as information on the name and location of the event, what facilities they can get, who is the organizer of the event, or types of activities
- Shopping centers located around the hotel area
- Retail shops operating inside the hotel, such as souvenir shops, travel agents, gift shops, etc.
Product Knowledge is not limited to only information about the hotel, but also all external parties related to the hotel.
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Benefits of Having Product Knowledge
Product Knowledge for a hotel employee has various benefits, especially when dealing directly with hotel visitors.
- Able to provide professional service. The wider the knowledge you have, the more information you can convey to your visitors. This shows professionalism at work.
- Being able to provide detailed differences about one product to another. The varieties of products or services available sometimes confuses visitors to make choices. Along with a good product knowledge, we can provide a comparative overview of each product, and recommend products according to visitor needs.
- Encourage the desire of Visitors to try the product. Not all visitors will immediately try the products offered. Information delivery supported by good product knowledge can encourage visitors’ desire to try.
- Maximizing sales in hotels. When offering a product, make sure it’s a product that really fits the visitor’s needs. Thus, visitors will be attracted to try the product again.
How to Increase Product Knowledge?
Product Knowledge cannot be obtained by just being silent. Even if an employee is able to provide the best service for hotel guests, it is useless if they don’t know the latest updates on available products and services.
For that reason, these are following tips you can do to have a good product knowledge:
Personal Experience to Increase Product Knowledge
Experience is the best teacher. The experience can be obtained through various ways such as try and test the available services, tasting the hotel cuisine, trying out the available accommodation, walking around the hotel environment. This can be the best source of information, as well as increase the confidence when offering a service to guests.
Always Update with the Latest Promotional Materials
The promotions of hotel services or products are the duty of all employees who work at the hotel. For this reason, all members in the hospitality department must always be aware of the latest promotions that can be offered to guests.
This can be done by reading brochures or other promotional materials. It would be even better if you understand the product in detail, for example the price of promotional products, promotional mechanisms, or terms and conditions that apply.
Always participate when there is a New Product Launch
Usually, when a supplier or a brand that works with the hotel launch their new product, they will hold a Product Launching Event to promote the product or service.
This moment is used by hotels and brands to invite guests, such as a public speaker who expertise with the product or service, to help promote to the public. It will better if this event also attended by hotel employees or representatives from each department. Take the advantage of this opportunity to gain as much information as possible about this latest product.
Attending Events Related to the Hospitality Industry
Apart from product launching events, there are usually various events held by certain parties orinstitutions. This event can be formed of a business exhibition or seminar. The main subject of the this event usually contains about the development of the hotel business, or the latest trends in hospitality, as well as marketing tips and the latest service products that can attract visitors.
In addition to increase product knowledge, this also useful for gaining and expanding more relationships with various potential parties for cooperation.
Conducting Surveys to Various Suppliers or Product Brands
Before working with a supplier or brand, it is important to conduct a survey first. This is done by visiting the warehouse or marketing office directly. Thus, we can directly assess how the production process takes place, how the operational system works, and so on.
By visiting in person, we can also make comparisons and get more information directly from the production staff, regarding market price information, highly demand products, and the latest trends among users.
Implement Whole Departments Briefing Regularly
One small habit that every company can implement is to carry out regular briefings. Briefing can be held before or after working hours. Even though it held in a relatively short time, if a company can do this habit consistently, this activity could gavi many positive impacts on the company. One of them is to increase product knowledge for hotel employees.
Through briefings, each hotel department can inform each other about the latest services or ongoing promotions. Briefing can also be a medium for questions and answers between one department and another, so that the product knowledge of each employee is updated every day.
After obtaining various product knowledge from outside and from internal work environment, it is important for hotel leaders to re-examine the extent of employee understanding. The results of this exam can be used by the hotel management to easier assessing employee performance. Employees who have good product knowledge will be a valuable asset for a company and will be considered for promotion.
To be able to provide the best service, make sure that the product knowledge you have is correct and accurate regarding all matters relating to the hotel.
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