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Upselling in Contact Center

What is upselling in the contact center?

Upselling is a strategy where a customer is convinced to purchase something additional or more expensive that also adds value to the customer. 

Upselling in the contact center is a strategic sales technique that involves persuading customers to purchase an upgraded or premium version of the product or service they initially expressed interest in by connecting with them through the contact center. This approach aims to increase revenue and sales by encouraging customers to invest in related, higher-value offerings.

Challenges in upselling contact center

The challenges of agent upselling in a contact center include, but are not limited to:

  • Extracting Customer Insights: Gathering comprehensive customer insights from each phone call or other channels of interaction at a larger scale can be difficult, thereby hindering effective upselling efforts of associates
  • Agent Comfort and Proficiency: Contact center agents may not be entirely comfortable with upselling techniques, requiring training and support to become proficient. Contact center associates may have a tendency to laser-focus on usual support and customer retention and may not have the incentive to prioritize upselling in their average handling time (AHT).
  • Customer Understanding: Effective upselling requires a deep understanding of each customer’s needs and preferences. Negative experiences prompt rapid switches to competing brands or services.
  • Difficulty communicating the value of benefits of the product or service.

A previous study by McKinsey found that among 23,000 agents/associates, those who understood customer’s needs excelled at driving value propositions rather than a meagre transaction with the customer.

Why Upsell and where can you implement it? 

Upselling is a technique that has been used by businesses for quite sometime. However, upselling by agents in contact centers has gained traction in recent times, as businesses find ways to increase revenue. Upselling helps businesses enhance customer lifetime value (CLV)  and retention by encouraging them to spend more on a business’s products or services over time, fostering long-term customer relationships and higher revenue. Apart from these, upselling, when done correctly, adds value to the customer experience, building trust and strengthening customer relationships. According to reports, upselling has a significant positive impact on businesses. It can increase average order value by 41%, boost CLV by 14% and can bring about a 20% increase in sales according to an article. Ref:

Upselling can be implemented in any business or industry. Some major sectors where they can be used successfully include telecommunications, retail, insurance and hospitality. Successful implementation of the technique can be done by following certain techniques that include agent training, incentivizing upselling, leveraging customer data, providing value propositions to customers, and seeking regular customer feedback.

The Future of upselling in contact center

The future of upselling in contact centers by customer service representatives is promising with the advancements in technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies enable businesses to gain deeper customer insights based on buying patterns, preferences, personalize upselling recommendations, and predict customer behavior more accurately. Further, long term loyal customers who are happy and satisfied with the product or services can be convinced to try an upgraded version or different product from the same offering. 

For example, during an economic slowdown, customers who are unwilling to continue their subscription due to financial constraints can be convinced to continue with a discounted price. Associates can also upsell related products at an affordable monthly payment schedule instead of paying the total price upfront.

Benefits of upselling in contact center

Upselling offers a range of benefits for businesses, including:

  • Enhanced Customer Relationships: Upselling is a great way to build customer loyalty and long-term relationships. Addressing customer-specific pain points, customer sentiments, and personalized recommendations that are in favor of the customer’s needs can go a long way in building loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Value based selling: Upselling is a great way to promote value based selling, based on customer preferences and needs. This strategy is a sure shot to enhance customer experience, prompting customer retention, repeat sales and revenue.

Business Outcomes

Effective upselling strategies can bring about positive business outcomes, including innovation where it encourages organizations to innovate on their products to offer customers an upgraded or better version of existing products or services. Apart from this, it also helps to transform contact centers from cost centers to profit centers by generating additional revenue streams. Upselling opens up alternate revenue streams as well. On an average upselling can increase revenue by 10% to 30% and is 68% more affordable than acquiring new customers, contributing to the financial growth of businesses. (Ref: https://www.cxtoday.com/contact-centre/what-is-an-up-sell-and-why-is-it-a-cx-win/)

Strategic partnerships with the right technology partner can yield positive business outcomes as customer support associates become effective sales agents. Transform your contact center into a value center or experience center that customers keep coming back to.