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Tips for Increasing Revenue Through Customer Service With Upselling Techniques

March 6, 2023

Unless we’re being asked if we’d like fries with that (and obviously we do – duh), upselling isn’t a tactic that typically gives customers the “warm & fuzzies.” But often, we’ve found that it’s not so much what the upsell offer is that frustrates customers – it’s how the upsell is presented.

Upselling and cross-selling are necessary for brands that are ready to grow and scale, and when done well, they will create an even better customer experience that generates more revenue and increases the CLTV of your customers. With that thought in mind, let’s dive into the difference between upselling and cross-selling and how you can merge each of these sales tactics with customer service to make a lasting impression that positively impacts your bottom line.

What's the Difference Between Upselling & Cross-selling?

Upselling is a sales tactic that involves offering a customer an upgraded or premium alternative to a product or service. An example of this might be suggesting a larger mattress to a customer shopping for a replacement for their master bedroom.

In contrast, cross-selling focuses on selling different yet related products, such as offering that same mattress-shopper a set of luxurious down pillows to complete their sleep system. The benefits of upselling and cross-selling are not only that you have a chance to make more money (who doesn’t love that?) but also that they set your business up to:

  • Show up as a qualified expert in your industry
  • Establish a relationship of trust with your customers
  • Improve customer satisfaction and increase your CLTV
  • Earn loyal customers and become the go-to brand for the products or services you offer

However, as we mentioned, upselling and cross-selling successfully is all about the approach. When done at the incorrect (or inappropriate) time, you can risk irritating your customers or coming across like the sleazy car salesman from Matilda (so not the vibe we’re going for).

Luckily, we can already tell you’re more Miss Honey than Harry Wormwood, so we’re here to help you navigate upselling and cross-selling through customer service by sharing our best practices for each.

Best Practices for Upselling and Cross-selling in Your Customer Service Department

1. Listen closely to your customers’ needs

The first red flag that sets off alarm bells in a customer’s mind is a brand or customer service agent that isn’t listening to their issue.Customers can tell when a brand is suggesting an upsell or cross-sell to make money, not to solve or alleviate the issue that brought them there, and it isn’t a good look.

Instead of jumping immediately into an upsell or cross-sell during a conversation, lean in and really listen to what the customer wants and needs. Let’s go back to the customer searching for a new mattress on your website – while browsing, they may open up a live chat to ask about cooling mattresses because they live in Florida and often end up sharing the bed with their two children. Based on what they’ve disclosed, it would be appropriate to direct them to your king-sized mattresses as an upsell or to even cross-sell to them by showing them your cooling mattress toppers or humidity-fighting comforters.

Providing value at the right moment is what ultimately earns your customers’ trust, so pay close attention to your customers’ needs and think strategically about how to actually solve their issues. Trust us - this will make your upsell or cross-sell suggestion feel much more thoughtful and genuine. Pro tip: advise your customer service team to take note of customers’ concerns or questions around purchasing decisions, as you can use this information to improve your cross-sell and upsell techniques and create better responses and solutions for the future.

2. Establish bundles to make cross-selling even easier

There aren’t many people willing to invest in a luxury mattress who will sleep without pillows at night, so do your brand and your customers a favor and create bundles that add value and simplify their customer journey. Be sure to consider their needs based on your targeted demographic and customer personas – otherwise, your bundle may not make sense for your ideal customers' wants and needs. Though bundling typically includes a price reduction as an incentive, incorporating bundles as a cross-sell tactic can:

  • Drive traffic to your brand with an intent to purchase (don’t believe us? Just have a look at the 74% of customers who take advantage of BOGO bundles from brands).
  • Increase sales and revenue. By offering value with a discounted bundle, you can make more money from existing customers already connected to your brand and save what you’d typically spend on new customer acquisition costs.
  • Boost customer loyalty and trust. Retail bundling allows customers to try more than one product at a time for a lower price, which means they’re more likely to find one (or more) that they love and will buy more than once.

3. Use data from customer service to create upselling + cross-selling opportunities in your marketing (email funnels, product pages)

Your marketing strategy is a great place to start implementing upsell and cross-sell opportunities that feel natural and helpful. Plus, you can use customer data and insight collected by your customer service team to optimize them even further and ensure that you’re presenting the opportunities at the right time. Consider the answers to the following questions from your customer service data:

  • What types of questions do customers usually ask?
  • At which points in your customer journey maps are customers usually ready for an upsell or cross-sell?
  • Which products do they typically want to add on?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What objections do they typically present?

Once you’ve collected and analyzed your customer data and trends, you’ll be able to identify where to strategically place upsell and cross-sell opportunities within your email marketing campaigns, knowledge base (think education and FAQ pages), product and landing pages, and shopping cart to reach customers at the right time.

Increase Your Revenue By Implementing Upselling Techniques Into Your Customer Service Tasks

Upselling and cross-selling aren’t just for your sales or marketing team. Customer service agents play a tremendous role in maintaining customer satisfaction because they have a direct pulse on how your customers feel about your brand. Incorporating them into your upsell and cross-sell strategies not only sets everyone up for success but will also generate more revenue and customer loyalty for your business in the long run.

If you’re ready to amplify your cross-sellling opportunities and establish better upselling techniques within your business, consider outsourcing customer service to TalentPop’s trusted team of skilled and qualified agents.

Start by scheduling a call with our team today, and we’ll show you exactly how our customer service solution can help you reach your revenue goals this year.

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