Crank up your customer’s experience with upselling

My car wouldn’t start last week when I returned from a business trip.  I called AAA to get a battery charge, and 45 minutes later a guy popped out of a truck making a joke about the color of my car.  When I told him I needed a jump so I could drive the car to the dealer to have the electronics checked, he said, “Maybe I can save you that trip.”  He quickly demonstrated that the 600 amps my battery was supposed to crank cold was currently only 80, and he offered to replace the battery with a premium replacement from his truck that had a six year warranty.  He was fast, personable, and knowledgeable.  As someone who sometimes coaches service people in distribution channels on how to upsell, I couldn’t help but admire his technique.  He even reassured me that running down the battery hadn’t been my fault, and that the price I was paying for the battery was no worse than what I would have been charged at Sears.  When I complimented him at the end on his service, he smiled and said, “I sell 800-900 batteries per year from this truck,” and he drove away.  I’d spent $100 more than I expected, my car was better equipped, and both I (and presumably the driver!)  went away happy.

Improving a customer’s experience doesn’t have to be hard.  Identify the next step customers need to take after your service call, and offer to take that step for them or with them.  Identify a common cause of service calls, and take along the right tool or part to save that customer time and inconvenience.  Train your people to ask the question that turns a routine service call into a sale.   Showing the revenue and margin potential will help you gather supporters and overcome obstacles when you implement the needed changes across your organization.

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