- Economics – companies should seek to grow existing customer relationships to offset a downturn in the economy
- Competitive shifts – value-add products with higher profit margins can build strong customer relationships
- Customer Relationships – preserving and expanding customer relationships not only helps retain customers but builds customer loyalty
- Cost-effective sales – it is cheaper to sell additional products to existing customers
Leveraging Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) for sales has become a standard practice, but many organizations have not fully tapped into the power of their CRM. Best-in-class companies look at each contact as an opportunity to enhance their relationship with that customer.
Targeting the best customers for specific cross/up sell opportunities is a best practice. Not every customer should be a target for additional sales. Quantifying the financial impact of a customer should be considered when developing your strategy.
Increased Internet usage, along with changing customer habits, needs to be driving companies to develop online sales strategies. With lower acquisition costs and changing customer preferences, a good online sales strategy can be an important channel to increase revenue and enhance the customer relationship.
Best-in-class companies utilize technology to support the cross/up sell process. They identify new products based on customer history, present standard scripts, identify sales opportunities and offer pricing support. Intelligent routing systems can be used to connect customers with the agent best qualified to sell the relevant products. Screen pops or Whisper technology can alert the CSR of a potential sales opportunity.
Moving from the traditional contact center service model to a customer-centric cross/up sell model requires management to go through a paradigm shift – moving away from their traditional customer satisfaction orientation to a position of concentrating on maximizing revenue with every customer-oriented interaction. Management must leverage their CRM systems, collaborate with sales and marketing to enhance customer relationships, maximize their technology and develop a strong online strategy to achieve revenue goals. This transition may require significant changes in company culture and the mindset of the CSR; however, the additional revenue and resulting stronger customer relationship can be worth the effort.
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