The upside of upselling: how to increase AOV and boost revenue

Upselling over the phone

Order-taking is an important service your outsourced call center provides, and doing it well reinforces a positive brand image. Keep in mind, though, that you can ask your call center to go beyond order processing and use the occasion when a customer places an order to upsell or cross-sell relevant items. Doing so can increase your average dollar per order, average units per order, and, as a result, your overall revenue.

We recognize that upselling is not the right strategy for all brands in all situations. For some brands, not upselling or making additional offers when a customer calls is part of their personality. We have many clients who feel this way and we’ve heard from their customers that this approach is appreciated and strengthens brand loyalty.

If you’re already upselling or planning to, we can share some useful lessons we’ve learned from decades of experience upselling for clients in range of industries.

  • Establish a baseline. Before you start an upsell program, run reports to establish your average order value, average items per order, average revenue per week, and any other key metrics you want to improve with the upsell program.
  • Set realistic goals. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Look at your baseline, then establish targets for key metrics so you can measure your progress in meeting them.
  • Conduct training your way. It’s important to train the agents who will be doing the upselling. Some clients do the training themselves, others ask us to do it, and often we collaborate on it. However it’s handled, it’s a key to success. The better our Brand Care Specialists understand your company and its products, the more successful the program will be.
  • Make the upsell affordable. Adding a $9 item to a $100 order is not a stretch for a customer and is almost an impulse purchase. But adding a $9 item to a $20 order is something customers will really think about. If you stick with upsell items that increase the order value by 10 to 20 percent, you’ll get more sales.
  • Provide incentives for agents. Gift cards, merchandise, and other rewards for hitting specific sales goals can motivate agents, promote friendly, positive competition within your outsourced sales team, and increase your sales.
  • Test different upsell strategies. There are many proven upsell strategies: buy one, get the second one half off; buy a certain dollar amount and get free shipping; buy an item and get a complementary item at a discounted price; buy an item in one color and get another one in a different color at a discount. You can be as creative as you want; the possibilities are limitless. Pick a strategy that works for your product line, then vary the products and strategies often to keep customers coming back.
  • Give your agents discretion. Your outsourced agents should look to upsell at every opportunity, but should have the discretion to not upsell when a customer is in a hurry, or for whatever reason doesn’t seem receptive to an upsell offer.

Global Response Brand Care Specialists have the training, product knowledge and people skills to make upselling a source of increased revenue for you, yet still part of an overall positive customer experience that leaves callers happy to do business with your company again.

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