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It's Not the "Sell Desk"!

By olprof67 ·
For a couple of years now, I've made a living providing front-line technical assistance for a cable-based ISP. While I'm proud of all the tools I've added to my inventory, I seem unable to advance toward my principal goal; a job where, if I can't get away from the constant minor issues of the public, I can at least approach them in a better-organized manner, hopefully with more logical analysis and less direct 1-on-1 contact. Unfortunately, my age (50's), combined with a lack of the basic underpinning most people now get in high school, makes this unlikely.

But to make matters worse, the managment of the center where I work is about to attach a top priority to revenue enhancement (read that "mandatory sales pitch"). The higher-ups, who view their end-product primarily in terms of entertainment, won't acknowledge that many of the more technically-savvy people I deal with have little use for most of what we're supposed to push.

Many of the people who started out here have moved on; most of the rest, who tend to be a few years older, are often tied to the job by the need for health insurance. Resistance to the forced-sales approach remains strong, but the first moves toward a "sell-or-else" approach appear to be taking shape.

I would love to be able to offer my superiors some hope for defusing this situation, but it seems impossible to get the point across that the predominantly-introverted technically-oriented personality may actually prove counterproductive in the role of a pitch(wo)man.

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Sorry but that's how things are done now.

by Oz_Media In reply to It's Not the "Sell Desk"!

I know it isn't your game at all, but ALL help desks pitch stuff now it seems. AnytimeI have EVER called Rogers, they ALWAYS close with the direct payment/credit card payment pitch for extra minutes, EVERY TIME. It's part of the job. IBM, Compaq/HP do the same.

I think it is due to a wider demographic and a reduced outside sales force. Everyone is into e-commerce now, so if people phone them, they MUST pitch the products, as you say whether relevant or not.

I actually JUST turned down a position managing an inbound call center last week, they were a help desk for Visa, MasterCard and another company's billing ocntact. They wanted someone to design pitches for all the programs and help coach the reps into sales. I have worked in call center management several times and know as a fact that in such an environment, inbound and outbound 'pitching' needs to be separated. This only applies to centers that provide a call center service for other clients, not the company themselves though.

Sorry to say that times and markets have changed and in order to compete for these positions now, you do need to be prepared to take on such skills.

As a licenced mechanic, our service manager used to puch us to sell parts, whether REALLY needed or not, sligtly worn or dirty and we were to recommend replacements on the work order. That's actually the service managers job, placing union workers in a situation where commission was available is simple wrong. Even though I do have a rather extensive sales background, I decided to leave the auto industry and go back into sales. Can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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Revenue Enhancement

by TheChas In reply to It's Not the "Sell Desk"!

Look at it this way, if the company makes more money, that makes you job more secure.

If this is a retail organization, talk to the sales staff about extended warranties. Or, talk to a friend who works in retail about extended warranties.

As a rule, sales-people don't like to push the extended warranties, but know that they need to to keep the business profits up.

As to being able to move on, have you looked into taking courses at a community college?

Chas

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ISP Tech Support too

by house In reply to It's Not the "Sell Desk"!

That's where I am right now. We actually have bonus incentives to sign people on with our services. This is not what I enjoy doing. I've left retail behind years ago just to discover that it is waiting for me everywhere I go.

I don't know about you, but I am not happy on help desk at an ISP. Almost every question is the same, and my advancement in the tech field over the past month or two, has been reserved for the technological solutions that we offer.

I have learned a bit though, but I think that I really don't belong there and I can't wait till I secure another contract in town.

Did you say "health insurance?" Most of the techs that I work with aren't even techs at all. Where I live, "ISP tech support" is just another "Joe-Job" and is a crappy state of affairs to be in when you are a career oriented individual.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm not too impressed with my current occupation right now. Seems like your organization actually provides "careers" though.

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My experiences

by gralfus In reply to It's Not the "Sell Desk"!

I called AT&T a few years back regarding cable internet, the call center in INDIA said "Yes, we can get you set up on that. By the way have you considered the advantages of AT&T long distance?" No, we aren't interested in that, just the internet connection. "Yes, we are beginning that process now. AT&T long distance offers many advantages over your current package...". No, I don't want to change long distance carriers, I just want the internet. "Yes indeed, let me transfer you to my supervisor who will help you with that."

"Hello, how you ever considered the many advantages of AT&T long distance?" Just die Apu. <click>

This conversation had actually gone on for 20 minutes. They had no intention and no ability to get me internet service, but didn't want to say so up front. They only wanted to sell me long distance. That was probably my all time worst customer disservice experience.

I think companies have lost touch with reality and are more interested in a quick sale than in customer satisfaction. HP used to have excellent products backed by great customer service. Now, in spite of the "Invent" logo, they merely slap the brand name on other companies products and don't bother to support them. If something breaks, you can get it repaired for just over the cost of a new product.

Right now I see the best products coming from the open source arena, or from companies that are not publicly traded.

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