CRM Solutions Can Help Cross-Sell and Upsell
Although customer relationship management (CRM), has been a buzzword for the past few years, catalogers have applied it to telemarketing on a sophisticated level only in the past year.
The reason for the delay is not because catalogers lack desire to incorporate cutting-edge technology, but rather that CRM solutions can be expensive and tricky to implement effectively, say experts.
But careful CRM system selection and adequate staff training can, among other benefits, help boost the cross-sell and upsell rates of your catalog’s customer service reps (CSRs).
Goal: Customer Retention
Kathryn Jackson of Response Design, a call center consulting firm, says cold calls and statement stuffers just won’t attract a large enough response from among today’s savvy consumers. “The way companies can add value,” says Jackson, “is through understanding the individual customer in a holistic way and developing strategies of how to help [customers] achieve their objectives.”
Jackson says cross-selling should be used to build loyalty. Indeed, one of the main objectives for cross-selling and upselling is to build customer retention. For example, officials from many financial institutions say that by cross-selling more services to customers, they can retain customers for a longer period of time. First Union, for example, even cross-sells via its automatic teller machines.
For catalogers, an innovative use might be using CRM software to offer cross-sell messages to customers who’ve been placed on hold. To be sure, many customers are amenable to a targeted pitch for new products or services after they’ve placed their orders or had their concerns (e.g., billing questions, order tracking) satisfactorily addressed, says Jackson. CRM software can help catalogers tailor product pitches for callers while they wait on hold. “The goal is to turn call centers into profit centers,” notes Jackson.
Is CRM Software Right for You?
Most of the new CRM systems enable cross-sell and upsell both online and on the phone. CRM software identifies, for example, a customer’s phone number and matches it with demographic data on the customer’s age, gender and marital status.