Ideas You Can Take to the Bank!: Improve Call Center Performance
Offsetting some of the operating costs of customer service with cross-selling or upselling has become much more commonplace than ever. A profitable cross-sell/upsell program requires a well-conceived plan and skillful execution to avoid pitfalls.
1. Resolve Customer Service Issues
A customer’s service issue must be resolved to his or her satisfaction before the selling process can begin. In some upsell/cross-sell programs, CSRs have been instructed to try to sell every customer. This is neither practical nor is it advisable. A customer with an unresolved problem will only be antagonized by the sales effort, and the program just won’t make sense to the CSR.
2. Begin With a Strong Transition
Assuming the customer’s problem has been resolved to his or her satisfaction, the CSR then can transition to the sales effort. This transition is a critical element in the sales process. When left up to the CSR, the transition may be weak and include “ums” or “uhs.” Write a strong transition into the sales effort. Better yet, provide several transitions for your CSR to choose from.
Here are some examples of strong transitions:
1) While I have you on the phone …
2) I have a special offer today. …
3) Mr/s____, before you go, I wanted to tell you about …
4) As our way of thanking you for being a valued customer, I’ve been authorized to offer you …
3. Use One Strong Benefit
After a strong transition, explain the offer clearly to the customer. Give one strong benefit that is common to many people. Avoid the temptation of giving a laundry list of benefits; this has been tested, and it’s not as productive as one strong benefit. And make sure your benefit is a true benefit—not just a feature.
4. Make Your Offer Compelling
The CSR and the customer both should feel there is a good reason why the offer should be accepted now—while they are on the phone. This can be a special discount, such as “This offer is only good over the phone.” It also can be a bonus offer with a deadline, such as “order for Valentine’s Day delivery, and we’ll send you an extra pound of chocolates.”