I am reading Andy Sernovitz’s Word of Mouth Marketing at the moment. It’s a really interesting book full of ideas that you can dip in and out of. For me, it’s not a page turner it’s a thinker, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, one of the things that Andy mentions in the book is understanding the impact of what you do on customers particularly in the area of upselling and cross-selling. These are crucial areas and levers for improving sales, the transaction value, lifetime value of a customer and driving the growth of a business. However, what Andy points out is whether or not you are measuring the potential downside impact of these sort of activities and whether we get caught up in the sales activity and lose sight of the customer.
What I mean is that there are two types of customer….customers that are open to the idea of other things that may help them but there are also others that won’t be. My point here is, are we taking care to monitor the two groups and understand who is in each group.
Why is that important?
If we think about it in this way. For those that are open to the cross-sell and upsell opportunity that is fine but some may be like the people I mention in this post (Are You Not Getting Many Customer Complaints But Are Still Losing Customers?) where they don’t complain to you but go and tell a large number of their friends that you tried to ‘flog’ them extra stuff at the point of transaction and, to them, that just spoiled the whole customer experience.
The danger of the upsell and the cross-sell is that you might get the ‘scrunched up’ nose reaction (check out the picture above). A reaction like this is may not be enough for them to complain because you have done nothing wrong but may be just enough for them to question if they should come back, tell folks about you or tell folks not to buy from you.
Can we easily measure this reaction? Is it important?
Perhaps, a simple question like ‘Would you be interested in hearing about other complimentary products/services in our range?’ might help and might be all that we can do. After all, there is a possibility that things will change and those customers that weren’t open to the cross-sell and upsell one day may be open to it the next. That’s a real challenge.
What do you think we can do to understand whether an upsell or cross-sell is appropriate? Or, should we be paying it any attention at all?
Thanks to bradleygee for the image.