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How to Engage Your Team to Better

Service Your Customers!


Have you ever experienced this?

A young mother comes into the pharmacy with a sick child to get a fever medication. She is stressed, just wants to get home and take care of her child.

Your team fills the prescription, the mother is checked out quickly and on her way home.

That’s all good right? Wrong!

Did she have a thermometer at home to monitor the fever? Tissues, maybe child safe cough syrup? What else might the young mother have needed to better take care of her sick child?

Fully taking care of your customers’ needs means that based on what they are buying you identify other products, programs or services that would support them.

The customer always has the choice to purchase the additional items or not, but consider you actually take away that choice if you don’t let them know what you have to offer.

But nobody likes to sell (even sales people often don’t like the “selling” part). And as a general rule your team especially don’t like to feel that they are “selling” people.

So how do you fully take care of your customers’ needs without having your team resist what they feel like is selling?

The answer is called offering UpSolutions! Just changing what you call it with your team (UpSolutions vs UpSelling) will make a difference with your team feeling more comfortable.

Here is a story about a team member offering an UpSolution to a customer (and it actually happened):

A friend of mine, Dan, went into a shelving store looking to buy a shelf for his office. He expected to spend about $25, and was in the aisle looking at floating shelves when a clerk came up and asked Dan if he needed any help.

Dan replied “No Thanks”. Now most of the time the clerk would simply leave at this point, but this young man came back with a different question – more specific.

“What type of wall are you putting up a shelf on?” Great question! Dan replied the type of wall (drywall).

The clerk then asked a second question “What do you want to put on the shelf?” and Dan responded (books).

The clerk asked simple but engaging questions to find out what the customer was looking for, and based on the responses he recommended shelving that was completely different to what Dan was looking at.

“For the weight you want to put on the shelf, and the type of wall you are putting it on I recommend going with these types of shelves. The one you are looking at will fall off the wall within a short time”

Needless to say Dan walked out of the shelving store with the recommended shelves. He also spent $85 compared to the $25 he expected to spend but he left much happier about his purchase because he had confidence that he had bought the right shelf for what he wanted it for.

This is a great example of UpSolutions! Your customers often don’t even know how to think about what you can do for them, and if you are not educating them on the options and what else might support them, you are kind of ripping them off!

How to Train Your Team on Offering UpSolutions:

1.  Identify your customers’ needs

  • Choose different types of customers, or common needs
  • Look at common purchases. Why is the customer buying? What is their underlying need?

2.  What supports their needs?

  • Consider what else you have to offer that would support your customers’ needs
  • This is a good point to involve your team – brainstorm with them based on what your customers are buying, what are their identifiable needs and what else do you offer that would also support them.

3.  How best to offer UpSolutions to your customers?

  • Again a brainstorm opportunity with your team. Once you have identified typical customers’ needs, and what supports their needs, discuss how best to make the offer. Are there good questions to ask such as the clerk in the shelving store? Or simple questions like “Do you also need …?”

4.  Make it easy for your customers to find and purchase UpSolutions

  • For example in a pharmacy maybe you group all the products to treat a cold together, or you group children’s products together so that it is easy for a customer to see all the potential products that go together.

Creating UpSolutions is a way of thinking from your customers’ perspective – what do they need, what most supports them. It is also a way for you and your team to think through how to make your experience and knowledge available to your customers and stand out from the competition all while adding to your bottom line. Win Win!

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