Don’t Let Customers Cancel. Motivate Your Agents.

Your customer service team isn’t saving customers from canceling and that can be a problem. So, training IS important. But what is more important? The will to do battle with the customer; to handle the pain, anger and disappointment, and keep them from leaving. In other words, your team will only save sales if they are inspired and motivated to make the effort. Your team needs incentive and vision and inspiration to fight that fight. Your team needs a reason for hanging in there to do battle with the customer and keep them active. Giving your team soft skills training and expecting your team to battle nasty customers with fun soft skills on the phone is not very realistic. Sure, that sounds amazing; do companies think that soft skills alone and by itself can beat an angry customer ready to scream and yell, truly? Don’t be surprised at how often companies think that very way, literally.

One of the best ways to give your team incentive to battle angry customers who want to cancel is by instituting a new compensation agreement. If you want your agents to save sales, you have to give them reward for the effort. Agents become distrustful when you give them nothing. They don’t have the passion they once had for the job when you want them to save customers for your company, and reward them with no spiff. They simply lose their focus. They end up not caring if the customer wants to cancel.

Can management recognize that designing a new compensation plan involves playing with emotions and playing with change? Emotions and change are two combustible elements that may skyrocket (or destroy) performance and retention. Emotions and change that impact money only add fuel to the fire. If you provide your team with strong compensation to save customers, they will value their time and the effort. If your spiff is too little, it won’t do anything. When angry customers call ready to quit they expect a fight. If your team isn’t armed with something beyond cute soft phone skills, your team will never win. Just realize that agents expect fair pay for successful performance. One of the quickest way to lose quality agents to the competition is to forget that agents always want to be rewarded fairly for excellent performance.

Please don’t let your team feel that you could care less if they save a sale. You gotta give something to those on the front lines. Saving customers to cancel might be a customer service job, but saving a customer from leaving is all sales. Sales people want compensation, they want commendation, they want reward. When the company doesn’t seem to care, neither will the agents.

Please contact Dan Coen with questions. Email Or call 888-835-5326. Visit

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