Many centers are changing their operational model to include methods of generate revenue.  For some centers, this may mean using the same service-skilled agents to sell instead of hiring a dedicated inside sales team.

Some customer service agents are less than thrilled at the prospect of selling. They often share their negatives in coaching sessions I participate in.  These are few of the more common complaints they’ve shared:


Agent doesn’t see sales as a part of providing great service

This agent doesn’t see sales as a positive thing for a customer.  They feel that they are “bothering” the customer by trying to sell other products and services.  Some agents have told me that they “hate” being sold to when they themselves call a service center or say they don’t see how selling creates a positive experience for customers.  These individuals don’t view selling as an extension of great service, an opportunity to insure the customer has the products and services they may need.


Agent experiences sales as “Flavor of the Month”

Unfortunately I’ve heard this comment multiple times, especially from agents working in smaller centers.  They tell me that marketing has an occasional “special” for customers that the agents are expected to discuss at the end of their calls.

Because these are infrequent marketing blitzes, the agents see selling as reading a disinterested script before ending the customer call.  When this sales approach is used the agent is doomed to fail because the customer hears their lack of enthusiasm and the sales attempt isn’t personalized to their needs.  There is no consistency with both the approach and the skills of the agents.


Agent isn’t given the tools to be successful

Some Agents tell me that there are too many products to cross-sell and they aren’t familiar with many of them.  As I watch them search through endless screens to find the product information to discuss during the sales process, I can see why they are concerned.

Worse yet is that the company often sets goals for limited talk time so the agent feels pressured to do a fast sales pitch or none at all. Agents may have no pop-ups with suggested cross-selling products or no photos or interesting descriptions when they do pop up.  A customer’s questions are met with “I don’t know…I haven’t seen that (item)”.

…It’s easy to blame an agent for sales failure but management needs to take responsibility as well.  We need to take a proactive role in creating a positive sales atmosphere for our agents, and also review our job descriptions and hiring expectations if a blend of service and sales will continue for our agents.


What are you doing to insure that your customer service agents are empowered, properly trained and engaged in order to provide a great customer sales experience?

About the author

John Englund

John is a copywriter at Intradiem. He has a background in print and broadcast journalism and digital marketing with emphasis on technology.

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