Skip to main content

Turn customer service agents into inside sales reps

Customer interactions are revenue-generating opportunities when CX agents have the right tools to boost conversion rates and increase average order values.

By Caitlin Keohane, SVP global customer advocacy, Zendesk

Last updated November 30, 2022

With concerns about a worldwide recession, it’s no surprise that shoppers are in a bit of a slump. But there’s some encouraging news: consumers across the globe are estimated to spend $1.301 trillion more on retail goods in 2022 over the previous year and digital spending is expected to total $5.717 billion worldwide.

“Consumer staying power may be waning but it's showing few signs of breaking”, Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, told Reuters. “Overall spending will continue to moderate as inflation persists and tighter monetary policy begins to weigh more meaningfully on consumption.”

While consumers may not be ready to splurge on unbridled spending sprees, many are clearly willing to open their virtual wallets. And smart e-commerce leaders are positioning their CX teams to not only resolve customer questions quickly and personally – but to also act as sales reps.

It’s all about relationships

If your company plans to invest in CRM, it won’t make much difference if your customer service agents ignore the letter “R.” The relationship that customers have with a brand is everything – and agents who understand this are in a better position to minimise churn, increase repeat purchases and upsell.

When CX agents can relate to customers in a way that truly represents your brand, they’ll naturally drive additional revenue to your business. And if agents have a platform that makes it easy to track all points of the customer journey, it’s a natural progression to turn support into sales.

Superior CX creates €1M in sales

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Chupi is an award-winning jeweller specialising in heirloom-quality gold, diamond and precious gemstone baubles. Named after its founder, Chupi Sweetman, the company has grown steadily since launching in 2011 and is known for providing a VIP customer experience.

In 2020, Chupi replaced its outsourced call centre with a dedicated customer care team and support platform. With the new system in place, Chupi grew quickly, doubling its CX team to meet customer demand. And thanks to better insight into the customer journey, Brian Durney, Chupi’s Chief Technology Officer, realised there was an opportunity for his team to turn customer support enquiries into sales revenue.

“When our customer care agents feel they've nearly got a sale over the line but that customer needs to see the jewellery, they escalate the ticket in Zendesk, book a virtual consultation and follow up with a post-consultation package”, Durney explains. “Those sessions have a successful conversion rate of 65%.”

Using Zendesk, Chupi’s CX team were able to seamlessly track, nurture and follow up with their potential sales leads at every stage of the customer journey.

“In 2020, we had a 300% increase in care-based sales” says Durney. “This generated one million euros in sales directly from the customer care team.”

Turning conversations into conversions

Gen Z and millennials are on the move – and Dorm Room Movers is their one-stop shop for storage, moving and shipping services. Founded in 2007, Dorm Room Movers has successfully moved over 85,000 college students across the United States.

With a focus on providing a friendly and reliable service, Dorm Room Movers’ support team connects with students and parents over email, messaging, text, voice and through social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And those channels keep the CX team busy: agents engage in up to 1,000 messaging conversations per month.

“Zendesk has simplified and streamlined support so messages from all channels come into one place”, Steve Lacoss, Dorm Room Movers’ Supervisor of Production, explains. “Agents get a full picture of the customer issue and can move conversations to the next level without asking customers to repeat their story.”

And with a centralised platform, it's much easier for agents to turn conversations into sales – increasing the lead in conversion rates by 79%. “Zendesk messaging gives customers a right-now feeling that someone is paying attention to their needs, which builds positive relationships” says Lacoss.

And fostering those relationships with customers means Dorm Room Movers has happy clients. “Our satisfaction scores have improved dramatically year over year”, Lacoss points out. “We went from 77% in 2021 to 85% in 2022.”

Rev up your reps

Agents who regularly provide exceptional CX can take that enthusiasm one step further and close sales. Encouraging personalised, conversational service will empower your agents to not only solve customer service issues, but also add a little bit of ka-ching to your virtual cash register.