When Field Service Organizations (FSOs) look to improve profit margins or drum up extra business, they usually turn to traditional sales and marketing tactics. Far too often, these tactics rely on hard sales pitches or high-pressure interactions with customers. Those interactions can be off-putting for customers and overly burdensome on staff. However, there is a third way to help FSOs add revenue and help build trust with customers: a well-thought-out upsell strategy.
Here are seven ways to improve upsell strategies in the field service industry. These tips will not only help earn more revenue but can also improve customer experience. Best of all, they can be implemented today.
Upsells are everywhere in today’s world. While they take on many forms, the concept is pretty simple. Upsells are products, features, or services offered to customers who are already committed to a sale. Upsells are often related to what the customer is already buying. Most of the time, they add real value or convenience. Understanding how to do this effectively is part of crafting a good upsell strategy.
Chocolate bars in the checkout line at the grocery store and a recommended-product pop-up in an online shop—both of these are easy-to-understand examples of upsells. While many people assume upsells work best with physical products, a good upsell strategy can be implemented in any business, including FSOs.
Improving Upsell Strategy in the Field Service Industry
1. Craft upsells that work for the customer.
This might feel like common sense but start with the basics. A good customer experience matters. When using upsells to increase profits, remember that upsells are targeted at already-paying customers. Or at least, people who are about to be paying customers.
Repeat sales are the bread and butter of any successful business, so keeping people happy is essential. 86 percent of customers will quit doing business with a company due to a negative customer experience. Upsells that are presented poorly or appear disingenuous can seem like a money grab.
A good tactic is to offer upsells that relate to what the customer is buying. This strategy empowers field service technicians to focus on a natural upsell process that isn’t forced. A new customer replacing a broken washing machine will be deterred if offered services relating to other major appliances like refrigerators. However, they may find the option to buy an extended warranty on their new washing machine a no-brainer.2. Consider upsells as a way to educate customers.
Companies have a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling to a customer they already have. The possibility of selling to a new customer drops steeply to between 5 percent and 20 percent. However, the chance to capture more sales demands building genuine relationships with customers that go beyond a smile and the transaction. This is even more crucial when upselling to those customers or if the offer is a service or some other non-physical good.
Customers see the field technicians as the expert. They may be looking to purchase goods and services, but also want to know the technicians are knowledgeable and competent. Upselling through education makes sales a natural part of a conversation and not a simple box to check.
For example, if an FSO offers multiple services around a product, explaining why the product might benefit from these services is important. A customer may not know the product has certain sets of benefits or features.3. Combine upsells with discounts to help win profits and people.
When designing upsells, combining them with discounts is a good idea. FSOs can often do this as a one-time opportunity when the customer makes their purchase or give them a week to return and add the service at a reduced price. No matter how this is implemented, combining upsells with discounts provides a powerful incentive for customers when making buying decisions.
Field service technicians have a unique opportunity to provide discounts and upsells in real-time when at a customer’s home or business. As they are directly dealing with customers, giving them the flexibility to take 5 to 10 percent off an offered upsell is a win-win. First, it helps the customer feel like they are receiving special treatment. Second, it gives agents a tool to help improve the relationship with customers who may be upset because of the current circumstances, such as frustrations over a broken product. Upsells can improve the customer experience.
The discount offers can be offered digitally as well as in person. When customers are using the customer portal, they can see and purchase relevant upsells. Utilize banner ads to place offers at the right moment.4. Pay attention to trends.
Things are constantly evolving, and there is always more to learn. This is as true for customers as it is for technicians. Keeping up with field service trends allows FSOs to craft appropriate upsells for customers that reflect what’s going on in the market. Go beyond price matching with competitors. What support do customers need?5. Keep it simple and don’t hide behind confusing jargon.
FSOs often help customers more when they can offer solid advice and knowledge. However, being an expert can sometimes come off as intimidating for people who may not know everything about a product or service. That means upsells should also talk to the customer—not at the customer. When crafting upsells, make sure they are clear and understandable. Avoid fancy or confusing terms when possible. If a product or service references many acronyms, spell these out the first time they are used in a document, so it is clear what is being talked about.6. Use upsells to empower employees.
People are an FSO’s best resource. This is especially true of the people trusted to do field service in customers’ homes and businesses. It makes sense to give the field service technicians more options and tools when working with customers. When done to educate and support customers, upsells allow technicians to offer the right solutions to customers whose needs may have changed or those who might not have all the correct information. Well-crafted upsells can be a powerful tool in building relationships. This can be even more true when technicians offer incentives like discounts or bundles.
Also, make sure to listen to feedback from field service technicians about upsells. Make it a point to ask them how customers are reacting to upsells and how the technicians are using the upsells.7. Use data to drive results and win customers.
Many FSOs fall into traps of thinking they know what should work instead of paying attention to what is working. Crafting upsells is not an overnight process, and it can take time to understand what works and what falls flat.
When designing upsells, keep track of their progress over time and the feedback customers and staff give. Keep what works and trash what doesn’t. Good FSOs use data-driven decision-making to craft offerings and win customer satisfaction. Upsells are no different.
Upsells can launch a business's earnings to a whole new level. They can be a powerful tool in building relationships and educating customers. Upsell strategy can be transformative for a business when coupled with the right tools and the right mindsets. Just remember to stay open to trends, keep an eye on what works, and make sure that customers stay happy. The rest will fall into place.
ServicePower offers a complete set of tools that empowers FSOs to achieve better results. ServicePower’s field service management suite can help customers manage their data, unify systems, and improve customer satisfaction while cutting down on costs.
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