There are a number of different ways a customer services department can carry out upselling and cross-selling without making customers feel they are having the offer forced on them.

Upselling is not primarily about selling in the true sense of the word, but is often just about presenting an offer in the right way with good timing. It’s important to understand and communicate to employees that selling can actually reinforce customer service if it’s done in the right way. This is a new perspective from which to consider a customer services department, i.e. converting customer services from a cost driver to a revenue driver.

But let’s take a real example from our own business. For various reasons, we can’t give the customer’s name or the industry to which it belongs.

The company in the example planned a nationwide advertising campaign across multiple channels such as TV, radio, newspapers and one expected result was that the advertising would drive a significantly larger incoming call volume to customer services during the campaign period.

WFM (the Workforce Management Department) drew up a forecast and planned needs on the basis of experience from similar campaigns. The assignment was also manned by employees with sharp-edged selling skills.

In order to ensure high quality and the best possible results for the campaign, separate queues were created with IVR menus and callback functions in addition to the existing technology solution that the customer already had. The customer’s CRM tool was also supplemented with additional modules to enable everything from call statistics to individual order statistics per day to be measured.

As a result of the campaign, the number of orders per call increased by 67%. The largest volumes and therefore the largest number of orders proved to occur at weekends, with the biggest peaks on Sunday evenings. Here we could see a clear connection between the increase in incoming calls and the TV advertising, whereas no corresponding connection could be identified with the radio advertising.


Here are five tips to increase upsales on incoming calls to customer services.

1. Demystify sales in customer services:

The aim of selling is to provide good service and a good offer. Many people are passionate about providing good service but feel uncomfortable selling because they don’t want to “impose” different offers on customers. It’s often just about presenting an offer in the right way with good timing. So, discuss whether good service means withholding a good offer from the customers?


2. Train in selling right from the start:

Be clear about the fact that selling forms part of service work; it’s not something you do in addition to your ordinary work. If you include the sales element in the training from the start and establish requirements for it, it becomes a natural part of customer contact in the same way as good treatment and a correct solution. If you treat selling as a separate part, there is a risk that some employees may choose not to do it because it feels awkward or because it’s perceived as optional or as something you do in addition to your ordinary work. Good treatment, Correct information and Selling are the bread and butter. Not the bread, the butter and the jam.


3. Recruit staff with drive and sales-orientated personalities:

Not just with the ability to provide good service. People who are energetic, forward-looking and results-orientated will find it easier to assimilate the above points. They come up with ideas more often and take the initiative with improvements.


4. Measure and monitor individual targets and results on a regular basis:

You need to give praise and help precisely where it is needed. Giving broad-based feedback tends to be less powerful since people prefer to have praise or criticism directed at them personally. Regularity helps to achieve more consistent results and constant focus.


5. Spice things up with both team and individual competitions from time to time:

If you have a team that is orientated towards results and competition, you can lift both the performance and the mood by organising various kinds of competitions. However, you shouldn’t use this tool so often that it becomes routine because it’ll become less effective. Also, the prizes don’t need to be exclusive. Sometimes, the honour of winning is enough.


Mona Rydén / Operational Manager


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