A call has the possibility of becoming a great customer experience. The secret ingredient is authenticity. And yes, that can be achieved through a call center script.
We’ve touched briefly on how to have a more rewarding conversation with your customer and even served up some advice on how to get them to love your contact center. Now we’re going to delve deeper into achieving both those goals through phone etiquette and contact center scripts.
Interested? Right. Let’s go.
Let’s talk about scripts, baby
The contact center script serves many purposes. They’re great for guiding your agents through a call, reminding them of special offers or procedures for resolving conflict resolution, and imparting useful product knowledge.
Scripts are also handy to ensure agents don’t get a dreaded case of the blanks while on call.
But just like every CCTR hack we’ve shared, there’s a trick to getting your contact center scripts just right.
Our ZaiExperts offer the following gold nuggets of wisdom:
- Don’t expect your agents to read your scripts verbatim. Encourage them to be natural. You’re not rehearsing a play. You’re having a conversation.
- Go with your gut and customize where necessary. Think of your script as a choose-your-own-adventure story. Ask a closed question where the only response is Yes or No. If the customer says Yes, the script diverts down one path; No goes in a different direction.
- Make sure your scripts are easy to read and simply structured.
- Stay away from negative language – rephrase sentences positively. (Instead of saying, ‘No, we don’t offer that service,’ say, ‘That’s a great idea, Ms Stavropoulos. I’ll make sure to pass that on to my manager and see if it’s something we can implement in the future.’)
- Keep your agents and audience in mind. Understand your customers’ needs and anticipate their responses (listening to existing calls will help here).
- Ensure the language stays on brand – keep your company voice and personality consistent. This builds on that sense of familiarity your customer has with your brand.
- When in doubt include phonetic spelling. This will prevent your agents from tripping over complicated vocabulary.
How to deal with Ts&Cs
Terms and conditions are a necessary evil. They’re there to ensure your contact center complies with legislation and is transparent regarding call recordings and so on. But who actually wants to listen to five minutes of legal jargon? No one. That’s who.
Keep it simple as much as possible. If you need to simplify some of the language to make it easier to read and understand for your agents, make sure you don’t change any of the meaning. Try summing it up as much as possible – and absolutely let your legal team take a squiz to make sure it’s A-OK.
How to answer a call on the right foot
Before you even get to the contact center script, your agent has to pick up the call. So if you’re an agent reading this, the next bits are for you.
The opening lines are the most important as these set up the rest of the conversation. Always include the agent name and name of company.
Etiquette when making an outbound call
Greet your customer by their name. Get to the point quickly – their time is ticking away. On that note, be authentic. Don’t just rattle off that you’ll only take a minute of their time. Actually mean it.
Be friendly, even when they’re not. And speak clearly – your customer could be driving, or in a busy mall. Don’t forget to smile. It reflects in your voice. Be friendly and show genuine interest in the conversation.
If it’s a sales call and it’s going under faster than the RMS Titanic, don’t panic. You can save this sinking ship. Firstly, don’t interrupt your customer when they’re explaining they just can’t talk right now.
Go off-script. Have a conversation. Remind yourself that you’re talking to another human being.
Pro tip: product knowledge is key – stick to the benefits. Sell the dream. It’s totally possible to turn a bad call around. Just don’t be pushy.
Dealing with angry customers
This is where you should really be paying attention. First things first, stay cool.
Now read what our team of experts have to say about tricky customers:
- Show genuine interest.
- Empathize. You’ve been there.
- Be confident when handling difficult customers.
- If you don’t know the answer, try and find out as quickly as possible and get back to the customer – follow the procedure laid out by your team leaders.
- Acknowledge their concern and commit to resolving it.
- Don’t interrupt the customer.
- Don’t assign blame to anybody.
- Be transparent and informative. Explain what you’re about to do and your reasons for transferring a call.
- Follow up. Don’t leave them hanging, yo.
It all comes back to authenticity. A winning conversation is exactly that: a conversation. Let your script be your guide but don’t let it overwhelm your call, otherwise you might as well automate your entire contact center.