Agents in call centers need to boost their cross- selling capabilities, according to a recent study by O'Connor & Associates.

The benchmarking firm rated the call centers of 21 large banks, making 100 calls to each in a one-month period. Only 31% of the agents monitored attempted to cross-sell other products or services, or offer additional information.

Agents scored better in other areas. About 93% of agents were professional on the telephone, 85% had knowledge of the bank's products, and 79% greeted the customer correctly by using a clear greeting, introducing themselves, offering to assist, and asking for the customer's name.

Call center agents did not score as well in identifying customers' needs (63%), telephone rapport (66%), and closing the call (57%).

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