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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.