There’s no better way to lose a customer than cross-selling at the wrong time.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve run into issues with companies up-selling or cross-selling me so hard they actually make it more difficult for me to do business with them. I’m trying to update a credit card on my account or perform some other transaction, but instead all these offers get pushed at me. It just turns what I thought would be a simple task into a drawn-out effort to get to what “I came for.”

The most recent example is Adobe Acrobat. I use Adobe Acrobat and was reminded to update my card. So, I clicked on the link and instead of taking me to the page where I can get that done, I land on a broader Account Page. But my product purchase isn’t listed anywhere, and the Account I’m on doesn’t even have a place to update my credit card.

I finally just gave up and emailed them. Maybe someone will get it, but more than likely they won’t if their email management system is at all like their website effort which was cross-selling everything except what I wanted.

This is just one example of overly aggressive cross-selling. Here’s another: I was on a phone tree with one company that forced me to opt-out of other product offers to get to a customer service rep. I had five offers thrown at me by an automated attendant in which I had to press a key to tell the system I wasn’t interested! There was a Disney Vacation offer, a Credit Protection offer, and three others. Crazy―they lost me as a customer.

I get it. It’s easier and more efficient to sell an existing customer rather than go after a new one. There are better ways to engage an existing customer rather than interrupting a repurchase or important transaction that they are already trying to achieve. In the end, overly aggressive cross-selling causes customer service issues and loses business.