5 Cross-selling and Upselling best practices for Contact Centers

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Gone are the days when contact centers revolved around traditional voice centers. This is the age of multi-channel support centers. This change accounts for ever-increasing customer interactions on a daily basis and hence is considered as one of the most important aspects of generating sustained ROI.

When we talk about revenue, upselling and cross-selling are the two most prevailing practices being used by contact centers these days. Blending sales with service is one of the smartest ways to increase the chances of success in contact centers.

Upselling in contact centers is the practice of encouraging customers to buy something of a comparatively higher value than the one in question, while cross-selling is the process of inviting customers to buy relative or complementary items. These two methodologies are among the best ways to improve sales and increase customer engagement.

You as a manager might always be thinking of including upselling and cross-selling tactics into your contact center. But how you thought how to go about it?

In this article we will clear the confusion by stating the best practices you can adapt to integrate cross-selling and upselling in your contact center:

Define your Sales Process: Many contact centers have misunderstood the value of sales. For them, selling is no good then hawking a product or service just because customers are on the phone. Trained agents must be hired to successfully help customers discover their unstated needs. Agents can begin by asking several questions and can thereby know the needs of the customers. It is really important for contact centers to understand that each level of sales interaction not only improves the customer experience but at the same time also helps in earning brand advocates. Therefore, if agents want to focus on upselling and cross-selling tactics, it is advisable for them to be proactive in asking questions and at the same time focus on the details.

Active Listening: More often than not, customers don’t expect extraordinary service delivery from your side. What they want is a good experience after the purchase of a particular offering. When a customer calls regarding any concern or issue, it becomes mandatory for the agent to listen carefully and accordingly offer solutions to fill the gap. Beginning a conversation with a selling tone might bog you down, as your customers won’t be interested in listening about the new product. This might also frustrate them and might increase their chance of switching towards competition. Therefore, instead of pushing an unnecessary product, agents can actively listen for the unmet customer’s needs and then introduce him to a solution that can act as a savior.

Help Agents Succeed: As a manager, you can understand the need for blending sales with service, but the same may not be said for your contact center agents. There can be a possibility that the agents fail to upsell and cross-sell to the customers. Helping agents succeed in a service environment is a difficult task. However, all you can do is to provide your team with customer data in advance so that they can study their previous buying behavior and can hence, pitch the customer for new initiatives.

Create your Super Troop: Multitasking is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for a contact center trying to reinforce sales mission. How will you preserve the quality of service with the sales goals aligned ahead? Do you intend to witness the demolition of your team? Obviously, no. You need to focus on your hiring and recruiting needs in order to strategize the complete process. Go for the screening and pre-evaluation process before hiring agents, that includes the following.

> Check for active listening qualities
> The ability to synthesize multifaceted situations
> Needs-based selling rather than simply pushing a scripted solution

Provide Maximum Value: Upselling and cross-selling is the art of demonstrating value to customers. The more you demonstrate value, the more customers will be interested in listening to you. Consider an example of a movie hall where you go to order a cold drink during the interval. You order a small size coke for Rs. 50. How would you feel when the vendor informs you that you can avail a combo of popcorn and coke, at just Rs. 100? Wouldn’t you feel delighted? In this case both the parties are satisfied, as the customer doesn’t feel the burden and the vendor cross-sells the offering. So always remember, the best way to quantify the value is by helping the customer focus on the bigger picture.

“Take action!
An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.”
-Dr. Steve Maraboli

Hence, the main aim of the contact centers should not only be selling but also the value that it is added to the customers.

Related: 5 Best Practices for Call Center Management