Superior Customer Service & #Sales: But 1st – Integrity! #custserv

Superior Customer Service: Serve Then Sell.

Picture it. A current customer calls to clarify their bill. They wade through your telephone menu system and finally get to you. They are very clear at the beginning that they have a simple billing question. After validating who they are to protect their financial privacy, what would you do next to deliver superior customer service?

Superior Customer Service & Sales: Image is humanoid lassoing a star.

Superior Customer Service & Sales: But 1st – Integrity. Image licensed from

Image licensed from

What does your customer focused gut tell you to do next?

  1. Ask unrelated questions about the customer to populate your database — while delaying the answer to their question or
  2. Explain your new products and services or
  3. Focus on their current need and answer their billing question.

If you answered #3, you understand customer service! You really get it. Your focus is on them. It shows integrity.

If you think I am asking a moronic question, you may be one of the lucky ones who has never encountered this maddening moment. It is real. It happens something like this:

    But first … may I have another phone number in case we get disconnected. OK 555-555-1212.
    Now may I have your email address? No. I’m in a hurry and just need to know about my bill.
    I need to connect you to the other billing department for that answer. But first have you heard about our new product …? Customer slams the phone down, finds the phone number for the other billing department, calls them and gets the needed answer.

Just how valuable was this desperate sales approach?

The customer is left with a memory that the business has no integrity or customer focus.

This customer now thinks the company doesn’t care about them and can’t deliver superior customer service. It isn’t likely they will buy more from this business. It would mean experiencing many more maddening moments.

Customers remember moments. They remember the experiences they have with a business.

Superior Customer Service & Sales: But First – Integrity!

A manipulative approach to sales sends many customers running away and telling everyone they know to avoid what they went through.

  • Honor the customer by recognizing and answering their question.
  • Connect with the customers about their stated needs. From that common ground and superior customer service, you build trust through integrity. With trust, you can sell customers many other products and services that will help them in other ways.

If a customer service department uses the but first approach to sell before helping me, I think will reply … “But first, some integrity. How about you answer my question and then I will answer yours?” What will you say?

What other maddening moments have you encountered as a customer? I’m interested to know!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Super Customer Experience: 5 Immediate No Cost Improvements
Customer Service: 21 Tips to Make it Easy for Customers

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

2 Responses to “Superior Customer Service & #Sales: But 1st – Integrity! #custserv”

  1. Ian Williams says:

    Following the sales via service model, you could argue that selling the customer something is giving them good customer service. We should not assume that sales is giving the customer something they don’t want. If a customer is on a CS call and during it, it is apparent that they might benefit from being sold something different, then great – sell away! But trying to sell them something unrelated to the call is just plain dumb!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Ian,
      Agreed that something unrelated is dumb. The fine line comes when you think the next higher level of product is good for the customer yet they do not want to explore that now. First solve their current problem before you trap them into a sales pitch for something else 🙂 !!


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