Call centre agents speak to thousands of customers daily, and with each interaction comes opportunity. While their primary purpose may be to successfully resolve a customer’s query, they also have a critical role, and opportunity, to increase customer lifetime value (CLV). When done right, call centre upselling and cross-selling can deliver an increase in revenue that can drastically reduce operations’ costs – even seeking to neutralise them.

Upselling is the ideal tactic for every inbound call centre, no matter their volume, As the process is perfected and repeated at scale, the incremental revenue gains will lead to a significant uplift in profit and recurring revenue. Upselling to inbound calls will:

  • Increase revenue
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Prove more cost-effective as a customer acquisition tactic
  • Further develop customer loyalty

When Is Call Centre Upselling Appropriate?

The practice of call centre upselling is most effective when it provides a clear benefit to the customer. Upselling without a benefit or good reason delivers a poor customer experience, and cold-selling, or maybe more accurately hard-selling, can actually damage a brand’s reputation and deter customers from any future engagement. The upsell must always be positioned as providing additional value-add rather than an extra cost. The value-add can take on multiple guises, including access to new goods or services, offer improved performance, provide safety and security, or offer peace of mind. From this perspective, the value-add offers rewards for both customer and the inbound call centre.

Uncovering A Need And Establishing Credibility

To master the upsell, it is vital to uncover a need, want, or aspiration. This can often be at the end of a thread. To uncover it, the agent must listen for clues and ask relevant and considered questions to understand the needs of customers better. Breaking away from a rigid script during inbound calls leads to opportunities and insights, after all, every customer is unique. Establishing credibility is vital because people buy from people they know, like, and trust. However, for the client to be open to the upsell and proposal, trust and credibility must first be established. Trust and credibility are attained by determining the immediate needs within the conversation (the reason the customer called) and satisfying these. This provides evidence to the client that they are speaking to an expert and someone to be listened to. The position to upsell is earned by building strong client relationships, even when the interaction is singular or fleeting. Once trust is earned, inbound call centre staff can cross-sell and upsell with confidence.

Sell Solutions To Problems

When the upsell is primed, it is essential to promote benefits over features. The benefit or benefits are solutions to any problems, wishes, niggles, or aspirations that the interaction reveals. The product or service that is the focus of the upsell likely has multiple features. However, a single benefit can secure the upsell when it is relevant to the client and provides one of the value-adds.

Inbound call centre staff that are fully versed in all of the ways the proposed product can serve a customer, and help them achieve their goals, will find upselling easy to achieve. Product education creates deeper resources for creating a bespoke pitch that is natural and fluid. The product or service that is the focus of the upsell can be the same for all incoming calls. Success is maximised by honing in on where the value is for each customer and by showcasing these.

The upsell is straightforward once the value becomes apparent to the customer.
If the upsell begins with the value-add, the proposition is likely to be accepted. Value-add statements include:

  • You can save money by…
  • You can save time by…
  • You can have peace of mind by…

Every Caller Is Your Best Customer

When every inbound call is handled from the perspective that the customer is loyal, valuable, and appreciated, good things happen. Each caller made to feel special will view the upsell and cross-sell as a positive gesture and reward, with a complimentary item that is exclusive to the few and not the many. Validating the caller as valued is a powerful tactic that shows genuine sentiments. Recognising high purchase volumes, a top-tier subscription, or a long-standing relationship demonstrates interest and insight.

Be Prepared!

The upsell is a journey, and just like a good holiday, preparation is the key to success. Identifying the common needs, pain points, and aspirations of the customer base creates a call centre environment that is honed in on spotting the breadcrumbs and opportunities that justify the upsell or cross-sell.

Call Centre Upselling – Conclusion

The more personal a benefit relates to a client, the more likely the call centre upselling environment will be successful in generating incremental revenue streams whilst simultaneously increasing customer value.