A customer who makes repeat purchases and sticks with your products and services has much more long-term value than a customer who purchases once and never returns.
Instead of devoting excessive amounts of effort and resources to acquiring new customers, your company may benefit from diverting more of those resources to customer retention.
Two of the most effective techniques for improving customer retention are cross-selling and up-selling.
- Cross-selling involves offering customers products and services that are similar to ones they’ve already purchased. These products and services may complement an existing product, be part of an expanded suite of products or may be a different type of product that the customer may be interested in. Or it may be a product from a different division of your company.
- Up-selling involves offering another product, a larger size of product or a larger number of products in a sales transaction.
Cross-selling and up-selling give you the opportunity to tap into more sales by serving customers’ additional needs. In some cases, your customers may not even realize that you offer these additional products and services until you make the offer. By making appropriate recommendations through your program of cross-selling and up-selling, you’ll build customer loyalty and retention.
When you make suggestions and offerings that benefit your customers, especially in unexpected or surprising ways, they will be more likely to remember you when they need those products or services again. Even better, they’ll develop a sense of loyalty derived from your obvious interest in their problems and well-being.
By the time you’ve closed a sale, you should have a good idea of what kinds of cross-selling and up-selling offers will appeal to that customer. To improve your program, you can:
- Offer relevant products bundled with a service.
- Make a recommendation from your position as an industry expert.
- Provide a range of quality and prices customers can choose from.
- Offer products and services that are relevant to customer’s needs at the right time.
- Train sales staff to recognize and act on cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
Is your customer retention at a level you’re happy with? What else could you do, particularly in the areas of cross-selling and up-selling, to improve your customer retention rates?
Image via Shutterstock.com