There’s no doubt about it. Managing a product—carrying it through its entire lifecycle, managing its feature set, strategically defining its needs—well, it’s a tough gig.
The product folks here at MatchCraft agree, but they’re up to the job–a delicate blend of product research, customer listening and strategy. While there is no crystal ball for what the product folks do, we thought we’d give you an inside look at what takes up their day, and what makes them a goofy, fun bunch to be around.
What do MatchCraft Product Managers do?
“It’s a balancing act,” explains Drew. “MatchCraft has a set of incredibly diverse clients. What we do is attempt to address specific needs that will help all, or many, of the clients. We act as detectives to figure out the root need of clients, and how to best address it.”
Product managers, at any company, are often squished between developers and the business. In a perfect world, they bring these functions together in tandem to meet customer needs and crank out exciting new features that continue to meet (and stomp all over) the competition.
The MatchCraft team does it all to make this happen: they perform extensive research, go through a series of prototyping experiments, analyze user tests and strategize demos. They even figure out the best way to sell it. In short, they’re hand-holding the MatchCraft product through every stage, all the way from the imagination to the market—and into your hands.
Every day is different, but what stays the same are consistent, overarching projects each manager tackles. These are long-term, strategic initiatives that they dedicate hours to every week, among their hubbub of daily tasks, such as analysis, testing and developer meetings.
Who are the Product Managers?
They’re an eclectic bunch with a great sense of humor and a serious dedication to customer satisfaction. A few fun facts about the team:
- Charles is a graduate of bartending school, from many moons ago. Happy hour, anyone? (Psst: he specializes in whiskey sours).
- Lan admits he’s a bit competitive at fantasy football.
- Gaby is an amazing note taker and could probably become a stenographer.
- Drew attended and then worked at USC for 15 years, making him a super Trojan.
- Josh was actually a radio host back in college (which would explain his powerful presenting voice).
- Kenneth owns an adorable terrier-chihuahua named Nola!
While bartending skills are always appreciated here at MatchCraft, the team admits the role takes a heck of a lot more than that.
“You have to be able to admit that you’re wrong. You must able to listen and come to terms that you may be completely wrong about what your gut says. It takes a unique perspective, and the ability to straddle good communications skills with some technical know-how,” Lan says.
How do Product Managers interact with clients?
So, how should clients interact with the product team? Well, they don’t typically interact with the team directly. And that’s not because the product team is shy—quite contrary. Really, it’s to avoid stepping on toes.
They’re confident the Client Engagement team has you covered and the product team is always listening to clients in the background.
They’re consistently watching the clients’ actions, from monitoring feature adoption rates to reading feedback forms, monitoring bug reports and fixing tickets to receiving candid feedback from the client engagement team.
If you’re super enthusiastic about the product and want to share your experience directly, the team is considering creating a customer council in the future. Stay tuned for more information!
“We’re completely in this for our clients,” said Charles. “If they have needs, we want to know about it and we want to address them.”