Healthcare Call Centers

Upsell Futility: Would You Like Fries With That?

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

I needed to order some ink cartridges for my printer, the kind I can only buy from the vendor. I called and told the agent I wanted to order two black ink cartridges. Not surprisingly she suggested I buy a package that included two color cartridges. “No thank you, just black,” I replied.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

Upon discovering the age of my printer, she tried to sell me a new printer. “No thank you – I just need ink.”

When I acknowledged that I own several computers from her company, she asked if they were working okay and did I…. “No, I just want to buy ink.”

Then she offered me a special price on anti-virus software for only…. “No, I only want ink!”

Next she inquired if I was interested in a maintenance plan to…. “NO, just ink!”

Perhaps she was supposed to try to upsell me five times, or maybe she was on commission. I don’t know, but I do know the call took much longer than necessary. I became irritated, and I won’t buy another printer from this vendor.

Now let’s imagine a call to refill my prescription. The agent says, “Would you like to meet with the doctor to review your current health status?” I decline.

“When was your last annual checkup? Should I schedule you for one?” I refuse.

“We have a special this month on colonoscopies, and I see you’re at the age….” I spurn that offer.

“Can I have a representative contact you to review all the services that we offer?” I reject her proposal.

“We have a new family plan to save….” “NO!”

What would be the results of this pretend health call? Did we have a positive interaction? Has the agent made a positive impression? The next time I have a healthcare need, will this organization be first on my list to contact – or will they be last?

Read more in Peter Lyle DeHaan’s Healthcare Call Center Essentials, available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D., is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat and Medical Call Center News covering the healthcare call center industry. Get his book, Sticky Customer Service.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.