For contact centers that fall into the travel and hospitality vertical, attach rate is a metric that is vital to your business. With it, you can gather insights into how valuable your customers perceive your company’s goods or services to be.
Attach rate is the rate at which customers add on items such as travel insurance and other complementary goods or services to their primary order (one attach rate calculated per item). These add-ons may be offered by your business or sold under another, but higher attach rates usually demonstrate how well you can increase profits at your contact center, as well as how valuable your customers perceive these goods or services to be. Also referred to as the attachment rate, attach rate is calculated as secondary unit sales divided by primary unit sales multiplied by 100 to give you a percentage.
Learning From Your Attach Rate
This common sales and marketing metric tells you how efficiently your contact center is performing. If you’ll pardon the cliché, attach rate measures how well your agents manage to pick the low-hanging fruit of available sales or service expansion. These fruits, often referred to as add-ons or cross-selling, could be anything from gap insurance coverage to add-on banking services to a case for that new smartphone. The success of initiatives to sell extended service plans and warranties are also commonly measured through attach rate.
Manufacturers use attach rates to help plan production cycles to meet demand and even to phase out products whose demand has waned. However, after the initial transaction is complete, your service or contact center becomes your customers’ primary point of contact with your company. Therefore, businesses of all kinds currently use attach rate to determine how much of their revenue stream has come in through the contact center. In recent years, more and more organizations have developed initiatives to generate service revenue; as early as 2012, Aberdeen Research found that 87 percent of survey respondents indicated they had such initiatives, as opposed to 75 percent the year before.
While attach rates correlate in general to how well your service center is meeting the related objectives of profitability and high customer satisfaction, low attach rates can provide instruction as well. They are commonly caused by a variety of “no-no’s,” including the following:
- No ask: Have your agents been encouraged to recommend or request additional business as well as helping to solve customer issues?
- No incentive: Do your agents understand this metric is being tracked? How are you motivating them to improve?
- No training: Are your agents so well versed in the easily attachable items that they can effectively articulate the value of each to your customers?
Maximize Your Attach Rate
Another frequently quoted insight from Aberdeen Research is that increasing your center’s attach rate by only 5 percent can increase your company’s annual service revenue by 10 percent. How much progress has your company has made toward turning your contact center into a profit center? Here are some basic tips to increase your attach rates:
- Make sure your add-ons demonstrate good value for the price.
- Ensure the process to attach any product or service is effortless for your customer.
- Listen to customers’ replies and reactions: If they’re not attaching certain items, why not? On the other hand, if they show interest in still more additions, agents must be attentive and flexible enough to pick up on those cues.
- Provide training to your agents to help them position themselves as service and product experts who are there to help the customer better understand the details and to make valuable recommendations.
Part of providing good value is to understand your customers’ often unvoiced perceptions and thought processes. Add-ons make the most sense…
- to a customer who has carefully considered a (usually higher-cost) purchase, if the add-ons are cheaper; in this case, a good rule of thumb is to price the add-on at half that of the primary purchase, or less.
- as a complement to a low-cost impulse buy.
- when they naturally bundle well and provide obvious benefits, like the latest tech accessories or service plans.
Campaigns that invite customers to contact your center can be automated to touch customers at critical decision junctures, such as just before standard warranty expiration or before changes in coverage. However, to most proactively contact your customers even before they know they need assistance, consider a solution like VHT Digital, which gathers essential data about your customers and provides them with timely updates.