Transitioning Experienced Call Center Agents from Service to Sales

Gone are the days when agents simply fielded service calls. Now they need to be trained for sales and cross-selling.

Gone are the days when agents simply fielded service calls. Now they need to be trained for sales and cross-selling.

In our industry, we’ve been witnessing a major transition from customer service to sales. To understand why this shift is happening, you have to take a look at the initial purpose of call centers: to cut costs and improve customer satisfaction.  Over time, neither of these goals were being met for particular big businesses, like financial services.  In fact, the need for the proper training makes or breaks a call center.

In the age of self-service, customers are growing weary of call centers as a customer service hub.  In fact, they avoid the communication they view as disingenuous.  Businesses, simultaneously, find that customer service call centers drive overhead costs as well.  Financial service businesses in particular are taking two routes to solving the call center dilemma.  Some are getting rid of them in order to make room for more self-service options, while others are switching their customer service call centers to sales.  In fact, some financial service businesses are doing both!

Businesses that redefine the purpose of the call center can find ways to maximize cross-selling and upselling.  Call centers are now a new source of revenue, keeping them relevant both for you and your customers.  For your business to stand out, your call center can make the service to sales transition.  Doing so, however, is not as easy as that.

Simply naming your service call center a sales one is not enough; it requires a culture change. Every supervisor and CSR needs to take advantage of sales opportunities on every single call.  Moreover, your business can’t stop at a slight improvement.  Consistently improving on your sales may seem gradual at first, but it can have lasting results.  The proper training is key to making this transition a lasting and effective one.  Your employees need to understand that they are no longer responsible only for improving customer satisfaction, but also for engaging the customer in your business to the utmost degree.

At Robert C. Davis and Associates, we have the experience to help your business make the transition and see the improvements that financial service businesses have been benefiting from.  Our work, specifically with credit unions and banks, employs the Quality Conversation model and changes the culture of your call center to one in which CSR’s are incentivized to care consistently.  Contact us and make the transition in your call center today!