Extending Upselling and Cross-Selling Efforts (2,414 words)
By Kelly J. Andrews
A very good retail salesperson upsells this handbag to match that dress, the lamp to complement the sofa. To contrast, telephone reps, lacking face-to-face contact, used to function as mere order-takers, not salespeople. Direct marketers relied on persuasive copy to sell, not their inbound reps.
This outdated reality has changed. The reasons are several: First, the increased costs of mailing have put pressure on call centers to increase order sizes and become profit centers. Second, upselling and cross-selling efforts not only increase average order size, but also help retain customers by turning single-buyers into multi-buyers and upping their involvement with the company.
The reach and scope of upselling and cross-selling have expanded. Now upselling efforts begin in the call center, continue deep within the database and extend outward through follow-up efforts, such as mail, e-mail and outbound telemarketing.
Says Kevin Faulkner of RightPoint Software, which produces Real-Time Marketing Suite, "Any time you're communicating with a customer, you have a marketing opportunity. If someone comes to your Web site, and you have special products or promotions, instead of making an offer with an off-line call, you can integrate it. If someone calls you with a service request, you have the opportunity to make an upsell."
Upselling in the Call Center
Lillian Vernon is a good example of the progression of cross-selling within the call center.
David Hochberg, vice president of public affairs at the Rye, NY, catalog company, explains, "We have traditionally in the past used upselling as a means to sell overstocks and discontinued merchandise. You call our 800 number and at the end of the transaction, the rep is trained to say, 'Would you like to hear what items we have on sale?' Most consumers find that very compelling because everyone wants a bargain."