Research Report

TSIA Case Study: The Power of the “Uptell”

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As part of ongoing cultural initiatives around taking a “growth mindset” and “customer obsession,” Microsoft has empowered its customer-facing support teams to enter into enhanced conversations with their customers as part of their technical support interactions. Microsoft support engineers and advocates actively encourage and advise customers to utilize relevant features of their already-purchased products, or they show them resources and services which they were not aware of and would benefit from utilizing. Because the customer is not being asked to purchase anything new, and instead is being helped to find greater value in what they have already purchased, this type of interaction is referred to as an “uptell” rather than an “upsell.”

At Microsoft, this initiative is called the “Achieve More” program, and the resulting conversations over the past three years have been correlated with dramatically lower churn rates and higher customer satisfaction. In addition, it has helped transform their customer support organization from a traditional cost center to an actual profit driver to Microsoft’s top line. This case study documents the history of the Achieve More program, outlines the key success factors that have contributed to making such a clear impact, and provides guidance on how to establish a similar program with your own customer-facing teams.

Authored By:

Steve Frost

Vice President, Expand Selling Research, TSIA

Publish Date: January 22, 2019

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