Want High Customer Service Scores? Don't Sell, Help

Contributor: Jason Karaman
Posted: 03/20/2017

You see it so often in the modern sales environment. When people are working commission-based sales roles, they often attempt to sell to anybody with whom they interact by any means necessary. While this might be a driving factor behind the financial well-being and growth of the company, it can also lead to a barrage of negative customer experiences that can plague the company for years to come.

It’s not a secret that companies are seeking to profit from customers and prospects. It’s also not a secret that most salespeople and call center representatives have minimum performance quotas that they must hit to keep their jobs. Bearing all that in mind, it’s important to maintain a high level of customer service by providing them with the best experience possible.

The Current Problem

The current problem is that most people tend to view salespeople and call center employees as people who want to “pull a fast one on them” and sell them goods or services that they do not need at a ridiculously unfair price.

Unfortunately, this stigma and stereotype is not entirely untrue. There are many documented and publicized instances and stories of salespeople and call center representatives attempting to exploit the unknowing customer. 

Nowadays, thanks to the rise of the internet and automated ordering mechanisms, all the power that rested in the hands of the sales force has been transferred to the customer. Now, the customer is in charge of each and every transaction. Yet, as stated before, companies require growth and profits.

How can this be done when salespeople are primarily commission based, are working for a company that demands growth, with customers who are effectively in control of the information presented to them?

Focus on Helping, not Selling

Companies exist to help people with their problems. As a salesperson, it’s important to be the ambassador for that principle. Helping people with their problems and concerns rather than selling to them is a great way to not only enhance the bottom line of the company, but provide a positive customer experience.

Making up problems and attempting to exploit those problems to unknown customers will simply not work. While a sale might be achieved in the short term, the internet has allowed for the customer to research alternatives to your product if they feel they have been deceived. This will lead to a terrible customer experience and a lost customer.

Not only will you lose a customer, but thanks to the many online forums, one negative customer experience can lead to a viral meltdown where thousands upon thousands of strangers will hear about it. For some businesses, this could spell disaster.

Luckily, the bully salesperson of the past is becoming rarer by the day. The deceitful salesperson is being replaced by one who is centered on a positive customer experience. Helping prospects and customers with their real needs and problems not only ensures a happy customer, but also, a loyal one who will come back again and again.

How to Help

Rather than fabricating problems and telling the prospects that they have a problem, asking proper discovery questions can uncover real needs and problems that the prospect is having. By building enough trust, a prospect will tell you what they need from your company and why they need it.

At the end of the day, people do not want to be sold to, but they do want to buy. As a salesperson or a phone representative, helping them make the best decision to solve their current problem or fulfill their current need will result in more sales, a lower cancellation rate, and a higher caliber customer experience.

Contributor: Jason Karaman