Let's Terminate Your Account - Not A Great Sales Spiel
I commend the supervisor for keeping his cool.
Customer care representatives can say the weirdest things to a client. Instead of building business, the way calls are handled, you are simply tempted to find another service provider. If this has happened to you, then join the long list of disgruntled consumers.
I recently called the customer service hotline of my Internet Service Provider because I had trouble with my 4G broadband connection. At first, it was the usual spiels and questions that you would get when you talked to a customer representative – nothing wrong with that. But what transpired afterwards amazed me (in a very dismal way).
Instead of trying to provide solutions to my concerns the customer representative simply said that maybe I needed to give up my account to someone who has better 4G coverage. Now, that’s something I did not expect to hear. So of course I tried to clarify her suggestion since there maybe some technical details I am not aware. But to my surprise she firmly said that it is better if I gave up my account to someone else.
OK, in fairness to the representative, I had a problem and her suggestion will definitely solve it. Terminate the account and I won’t have a problem with it anymore. But for the sales person who went out of his way to close the sale, this can be an irritating suggestion. Well, irritating can be an understatement but the fact is that’s not handling the customer complaint properly.
I had one simple thing in mind when I called – to find a solution to my problem. Most clients are like this. They have a problem that needs resolution and as sales people, we should provide the resolution. Being sales professional requires that we see ourselves not just a person who pushes a product or service. Rather, as sales professionals, we must become a partner of the client in solving their problems. It so happens that the solution that we are offering is the one that we are selling.
Our products or services must answer the problem of our clients. But this does not miraculously happen. You need to enlighten the clients on how your product will answer their problem. Consumers know that nothing is perfect. But when something does come up, someone knowledgeable must handle it. Unless the company actually wants to lose clients then what the customer service representative did was brilliant. But I bet that was not the intent of putting up a customer hotline.
Before this becomes merely ravings of an unsatisfied client, allow me to briefly cite 3 important points:
Build business by resolving issues properly. By simply asking the person to terminate his account removes other viable opportunities to resolve the concern. Even if this is on the list of suggestions, this must be at the very end.
Answering concerns takes skill. It’s not merely reading from a script or repeating spiels over and over again. The concern is real for the client. Unless the person knows how to handle customer concerns well, then he or she should not be placed on a customer hotline. Hotlines are meant to resolve concerns and issues. It boils down to training, training, training and more training (with lots of common sense in between). If after all the interventions the person still does not perform well, then find that person another place in the organization. He or she might do more damage that help to the company.
Service Recovery Basics
Clients have a need that has to be answered. In essence this becomes a good angle for any sales professional. Answer the needs (in my case a concern), then you win them over. Being a sales professional is being a reliable consultant who can give solutions – productive ones that is.
Every person has a customer hotline story and many sales professionals can learn from them. Call center agents, customer hotline representatives are on the front line. Whether they are involved in the pre-selling stage, actual sales process or even in the after sales service, they handle clients directly. They have so much power that can influence how clients see the product and the company.