Improving Upselling in the Contact Centre

Anwesha Roy

Approaching customer service as a cost centre is a massive lost opportunity for enterprise

Improving Upselling in the Contact Centre

Approaching customer service as a cost centre is a massive lost opportunity for any enterprise. When loyal customers reach out for support, they are often ready to extend their relationship with their brand, and good service could be rewarded with greater loyalty. This means your contact centre is uniquely positioned to upsell to your existing customer base, generating revenues from every call. In some sectors like insurance or telecom services, up to 90% of all upselling can come from contact centres!  

But how do you get started? What are the steps to help prepare your agents to capitalise on upselling opportunities? Here is a quick breakdown.  

  1. Leverage existing call data to design an upselling program 

Upselling has to be a structured, formalised strategy, with clear goalposts and incentives in order to succeed. That’s why you need to analyse your existing call data, using automated speech analytics to highlight the most dominant keyword trends. This will help you gauge customer sentiment and the areas where upselling would be most effective.  

  1. Integrate your contact centre with the CRM 

A customer relationship management (CRM) system houses a massive repository of customer information, which could increase your team’s ability to upsell products/services. A CRM/contact centre integration would enable agents to quickly fetch data without switching apps and also to gain from centralised analytics and a 360-degree customer profile.  

  1. Train agents to be engaging, not pushy 

This is often the most difficult part of upselling in any environment. Sales personnel have to hit that perfect balance between being forward/aggressive, and hands-off so that the customer is empowered to make their own purchase decisions. Since inbound agents are primarily trained and experienced in support services, additional sales training is essential.  

  1. Provide logical incentives, rewards, and gamification 

To motivate agents further, you can incentivise the upselling program so that every agent completing a successful sale can earn a commission quotient. But make sure to keep this within a logical threshold, preventing bad blood between teammates and overly aggressive behaviour that actually drives away customers. Rewards and gamification might be a better idea, as they create an environment of healthy competition, where everyone is invited to take part.  

  1. Personalise upselling as per customer behaviour 

Predictive behavioural routing matches incoming callers with an agent-based on personality profiles and communication patterns. You can apply the same principle to upselling, modifying agent behaviour based on the customer’s response, feedback, and communication style. Agent assist technology can help here, indicating which script to use depending on the communication cues received.  

  1. Approach upselling as a long-term objective 

The first step to sustained upselling and growing your customer lifetime value is to foster trustThis means training agents to not jump the gun, but focus on solving the customer’s problem before starting on any sales-related conversation. You can plant the seeds of upselling during one conversation (e.g., by saying “let us address this issue, and then we can discuss a new product that might be of interest to you”), and this can turn into a sales opportunity later on.  

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