Cross-Selling, Up-Selling and Creating Loyal Customer - Front Office Management and Customer Service (5th Friday)


Cross-selling generally occurs when the sales representative has more than one type of product to offer consumers that might be beneficial to them. Some fields in which cross-selling is most evident include those of the banking and financial services industries. Banking customers may go into the bank and sign up for a checking account and later be sold various investment vehicles such as bonds or CDs as part of a retirement plan. Investment firms do much of the same, starting off clients within a specific investment product that they need and then later identifying additional needs that their company can meet on behalf of the client.

Up-selling differs somewhat from cross-selling in that the salesperson is not so much concerned with selling an additional product to generate additional commissions, but rather with selling a higher-end version of the product the customer originally came to buy. The automobile salesman often engages in up-selling by showing the customer multiple versions of the same product. Each version may differ in quality, starting with a base model and progressing through more luxurious models with additional features.

One of the main differences between up-selling and cross-selling is in the approach that the salesperson takes when engaging in either method. When cross-selling, the salesperson identifies a definite need that the customer has and fulfills that need by recommending an additional product. Up-selling is somewhat less need-based in its orientation and typically involves the salesperson building value in the product being offered. In other words, a car customer may not need the top-of-the-line SUV with leather seating and a full entertainment center, but the up-selling salesperson can help that customer see the value in having it by painting a picture of how much more comfortable the family vacation will be with these additional features.

In many ways, cross-selling and up-selling are similar in that they each offer customers additional value than what they would have otherwise received had they only bought what they were initially looking for. Some salespeople make the mistake of cataloging features of these additional products, rather than building value, or showing customers how they will benefit from these additional or higher-quality products. A successful cross-selling and up-selling salesperson will be able to paint a picture of the value that the customer will receive so that the customer will be able to visualize the benefits of making the purchase. Up-selling benefits the customer by providing higher quality, while cross-selling adds benefit by providing additional quality.



1. Let customers know what you are doing for them. This can be in the form of a newsletter mailed to existing customers, or it can be more informal, such as a phone call. Whatever method you use, the key is to dramatically point out to customers what excellent service you are giving them. If you never mention all the things you’re doing for them, customers may not notice. You are not being cocky when you talk to customers about all the work you have done to please them. Just make a phone call and let them know they don’t have to worry because you handled the paperwork, called the attorney or double-checked the shipment -- one less thing they have to do.

2. Write long-time customers personal, handwritten notes frequently. "I was just sitting at my desk, and your name popped into my head. Are you still having a great time flying all over the country? Let me know if you need another set of luggage. I can stop by with our latest models anytime." Or, if you run into an old customer at an event, follow up with a note: "It was great seeing you at the CDC Christmas party. I will call you early in the new year to schedule a lunch."

3. Keep it personal. Voice mail and email make it easy to communicate, but the personal touch is lost. Don't count these as a legitimate follow-up. If you're having trouble getting through, leave a voice-mail message that you want to talk to the person directly or will stop by his or her office at a designated time.

4. Remember special occasions. Send regular customers birthday cards, anniversary cards, holiday cards -- you name it. Gifts are excellent follow-up tools, too. You don't have to spend a fortune to show you care. Use your creativity to come up with interesting gift ideas that tie into your business, the customer's business or his or her recent purchase.

5. Pass on information. If you read an article, see a new book, or hear about an organization that a customer might be interested in, drop a note or make a quick call to let them know.

6. Consider follow-up calls business development calls. When you talk to or visit established clients or customers, you'll often find they have referrals to give you, which can lead to new business.


Revealed: The Social Construct that Holds Society Together
The #1 thing that creates loyalty in anybody (that includes your customers) is the social construct of Reciprocity.

Reciprocity is a social norm that's been evaluated and debated since the days of Aristotle, and it has been said by many scholars to be one of the single defining aspects of social interaction that keeps society whole.

Why is it so important?
Additionally, how can it help us create loyal customers?
Why Reciprocation is ingrained in Our Brains

Behavioral psychologists and historians have uncovered a lot of evidence that the process of giving and taking "fairly" seems to be a part of a massive majority of normally functioning people.
In Prof. Robert Cialdini's »now infamous Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he notes that:
The impressive aspect of reciprocation with its accompanying sense of obligation is its pervasiveness in human culture.

It is so widespread that, after intensive study, Alvin Gouldner (1960), along with other sociologists, reported that all human societies subscribe to the rule.

Within each society it seems pervasive also; it permeates exchanges of every kind.”
The point: Reciprocity is likely something that has evolved in the human brain in order to keep a majority of transactions "fair".

We often feel obligated to return favors, even if they are unasked for.

This is the ultimate reason why great customer service has such a fantastic ROI (return on investment).

Human beings are wired to follow the rule of reciprocity, and now that you understand its importance, we can discuss how to use it to create incredibly loyal customers.

How to Use Reciprocity to Create Loyal Customers
The first thing you need to know is that reciprocity comes in 3 different forms:
1.            One-to-one
2.            One-to-many (or many-to-one)
3.            General reciprocity

One-to-one form is highlighted because that's the one you need to master: interaction with customers is typically a very isolated experience, that is, you tend to deal with them individually, even if they have similar issues.

Winning customers over starts with winning their thanks on individual terms.
Although technology allows you to scale the process, the fact is this: people remember acts of kindness more readily when it feels personal.

The second thing you need to know is that reciprocity can be handled in two different ways:
1.            Through subtle gestures (aka surprise reciprocity)
2.            Through obvious gestures (aka trumpeted reciprocity)

1. How to Utilize Surprise Reciprocity
Have you ever ordered an item that you really wanted online, and as soon as you hit the buy button, you got that (positive) anxious feeling of, "I can't wait until it gets here!"

What if that item showed up on your doorstep the next day?
You'd be pretty overjoyed, right?
Of course!

Zappos recognizes that feeling, and it's done everything it can to give it to each and every Zappos customer.

Did you know that while regular Zappos shipping states the item will be delivered in "3-4 days", Zappos

If the upgraded shipping was mentioned on the sales page, it would've become the norm; that feeling of placing your first order on Zappos and having it surprisingly end up at your house the next day wouldn't exist: people would just expect it.

As a company known for it's legendary customer service, it shouldn't be any surprise that Zappos doesn't mind the incurred cost of this extra perk.

The process of reciprocity begins here for most new Zappos customers, and there's nothing quite like getting "WOWed" on your very first order, after all, first impressions mean a lot.
The research points to this being a universal truth in social interaction and reciprocity: small surprises that feel like they were "just for you" can spawn some incredibly strong goodwill from the receiver.
I discussed this very process of the "secrets of personalization" when I addressed the psychological study that examined how waiters were able to increase their tips by 23%... simply by coming back a second time with more mints!

Talk about some incredible customer service ROI!
Key takeaway: Sometimes the best way to approach reciprocity and to build goodwill with your customers is to surprise them; chest-thumping about every single good aspect of your business makes people blind to the benefits you may truly offer.

2. How to Use Trumpeted Reciprocity
Surprises are great, but sometimes it does pay to let customers know just how far you will go to make them happy.

I could go on and on about what this process looks like, or I can just give you what I believe is a fantastic example of going "above and beyond" for the sheer purpose of telling an amazing customer service story.

If you've never heard of this tale before, allow me to be the first to introduce you to the adventures of Joshie the Giraffe (story previously featured on the Huffington post). 

Click the Link for the story of Joshie the Giraffe:

What does the tale of Joshie teach us about "trumpeted" reciprocity?
Here's the thing: the Ritz staff didn't help Mr. Hurns out in the hopes of getting some free press, the main goal was to provide the level of service that they are known for (and what allows Ritz Carlton Hotels to charge such high prices).

Despite that, the Ritz staff didn't hold back on their support.

Nothing about this tale is "subtle", while Mr. Hurns may have been surprised at the results, this isn't the same as adding "surprise" to an order like Zappos does with it's shipping.

What actually happened was that the Ritz was able to "show off" their amazing customer support by story telling.

Click the Link below to know the Importance of Story Telling in Creating Loyal Customer