How to Successfully Cross-sell and Upsell in a Call Center

Inbound and outbound call centers differ in many ways; however there is a common ground shared – the art of cross selling and upselling products and services. While inbound call centers are generally utilized to field incoming calls and manage data intake, agents can simultaneously promote your brand. Not to be confused with telemarketing, cross selling and upselling promote products and services in a more casual, conversational format.

For example, say your call center is representing an office supply company. A caller reaches an agent to place an order for printer paper. The agent may explain that the company is running a special on printer paper in which buying a certain amount will get you a free year supply of paper clips. The customer obliges to the offer, spending slightly more to get the deal. That is successful upselling – sharing information with a caller conversationally and not going out of your way to do so.

For inbound call centers to perform effective cross selling and upselling, follow these tips:

1. Maintain a complete understanding of the service, product, deal, or campaign that you are promoting.
2. It’s all about timing – know the right moment to persuade the customer into a sale. If you suddenly spring it upon them, they may become irritated and less inclined to make the purchase.
3. You also must be able to accurately read a customer’s intentions. If they sound rushed to get off the call, irritable, or short, it may not be the opportune time to market additional items. Likewise, if they are calling with a complaint, it may not be the appropriate time to sell more services. Again, it all depends on the situation and gauging the probable response elicited.

These methods are especially useful in BPO outsourcing companies, where sales can accumulate from any source, in any setting, during any conversation. Inquiring customers are usually open to suggestions, so when their calls are fielded it is the optimal time to broach new services and products that may be of interest.

An informed call center agent is the best kind, so make sure your staff is trained thoroughly and routinely on new services, products, and business procedures for the best service possible.

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