Using Your Call Center as a Strategic Tool: The Art of Upselling
Upselling is a powerful tool that can, and should, be taught in your customer service representative (CSR) training sessions. Whereas cross-selling is about related products, upselling could be anything from an add-on, such as a second product, to a discount or free-shipping offer designed to increase the order size.
By implementing this simple tool, you can add greatly to your bottom line. Before your CSRs end their calls, have them ask something along these lines: “By the way, Ms. Jones, if you purchase an additional widget today, I’m authorized to provide you a (percent, dollar off, etc.) discount. Is there someone you know who could use this product?”
That’s the basic upsell script, and it’s been proven time and again to work. You can always tweak this particular example endless ways to meet your company’s particular needs.
With this system in place, be sure to monitor and track your upsell and cross-sell conversion rates while keeping on top of call times. Test and tweak these programs as you would any direct marketing program until you find the combination of product and offer that provides the highest average order value. Also, make sure you analyze your acceptance rates both in aggregate and on a per-rep basis. Naturally some reps will perform better at this than others, which means that some reps will need more training.
Call to Action
Do you have favorite upsell or cross-sell techniques you’d like to share? If so, you can send them to me, along with ideas and suggestions for future columns, at email@example.com. Please also be sure to to post a comment on this site.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.