Uncovering Additional Opportunities to Serve Customers


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Once a customer’s rea­sons for call­ing have been sat­is­fied, cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives usu­ally ask, “Is there any­thing else I can help you with?” If the cus­tomer says no, the cus­tomer ser­vice rep con­cludes the call.

Bet­ter Cus­tomer Ser­vice: “Is there any­thing else I can offer?”

In most cases how­ever, cus­tomers don’t know that there are addi­tional prod­ucts, ser­vices, or pieces of infor­ma­tion that may be of use to them. That’s where top-notch ser­vice and sup­port reps ask them­selves, “Is there any­thing else I can tell or give the cus­tomer that might be of benefit?”

In order to do this suc­cess­fully, ser­vice and sup­port reps need to have a thor­ough knowl­edge of the prod­ucts and ser­vices the com­pany offers, and be able to make a con­nec­tion between those that may be related. For exam­ple, let’s say you have an out­door cloth­ing com­pany and a cus­tomer calls in order­ing a red stock­ing cap from the recently mailed cat­a­log. Since the cat­a­log only con­tains a lim­ited num­ber of items, the cus­tomer wouldn’t know that there is a match­ing red scarf. The cus­tomer ser­vice rep would be doing the caller a ser­vice by let­ting him or her know about the scarf. Maybe the caller wants to buy it, maybe not. But this gives the cus­tomer ser­vice rep an oppor­tu­nity to point out that more items are avail­able on the web­site. Per­haps the caller will check the web­site next time and order online, sav­ing a call into the con­tact cen­ter and, pos­si­bly, increas­ing the order value.

But offer­ing addi­tional ser­vice to cus­tomers doesn’t always mean upselling or cross-selling some­thing. It’s answer­ing the ques­tion above: “Is there any­thing else I can tell or give the cus­tomer that might be of ben­e­fit?” Here’s a real-life example.

My friend, Nina, called a 1–800 hot­line to get tax forms sent to her last Feb­ru­ary. She had already received the stan­dard 1040 form, but needed to obtain a sched­ule to report her income from self-employment. The CSR exhib­ited ter­rific cus­tomer ser­vice skills—she asked for the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion, con­firmed her under­stand­ing of Nina’s request, arranged to send the sched­ule out, and told Nina when it would arrive. But then this cus­tomer ser­vice rep went above and beyond. She asked Nina if she had received her State of Cal­i­for­nia tax forms, and Nina real­ized she had not. So the employee arranged to send those forms to her as well.

It was a small measure—one quick ques­tion and an extra form or two to send. But to Nina, it meant a lot. She wouldn’t have the frus­tra­tion of sud­denly real­iz­ing that she didn’t have all the forms she needed, and wouldn’t have to call the hotline—a very busy one—again. The inci­dent increased Nina’s appre­ci­a­tion of the organization—in this case, the fed­eral government!

Are your cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port reps pre­pared to offer addi­tional ser­vice? If not, hold a team meet­ing, play some cus­tomer calls and ask the atten­dees, “Is there any­thing else you can tell or give the cus­tomer that might be of ben­e­fit?” If they come up with great ideas, con­grat­u­la­tions! You have a well-trained team who has the cus­tomer as their pri­mary focus. If they don’t have many ideas to share, you know that train­ing will be required.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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