Despite advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI), 34% of consumers still prefer customer service that involves talking to real people.1 This, coupled with the fact that half of consumers have scrapped purchases due to a bad customer service experience, has left call centres searching for ways to ensure the service that support agents provide meets the highest standard.2
One tried and tested method is the use of dynamic call centre scripts. As the name suggests, call centre scripting is when an agent uses a guide to call centre document through their daily customer interactions step by step.
Conventional scripts that provide agents with the generic steps they need to take with each customer have been used in call centres for years. However, new technologies and increasing demand for personalised customer service have seen scripting evolve.
Today, we’re going to look at why call centre scripts are still important and examine the steps you can take to maximise their effectiveness.
Suggested reading: To learn more about the ongoing evolution of call and contact centres, take a look at our blog — Contact Centre Future Trends: 2022 and Beyond
Why are call centre scripts important?
When examining why call centres scripts are widely implemented, it is crucial to understand the expectations placed on customer service providers. These have increased in recent years, to the point that:
- 79% of consumers believe the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.
- 58% of consumers will abandon a business due to poor customer service.3
Scripting ensures high-quality customer service on a consistent basis when implemented correctly. This allows call centres to meet consumers’ demands, build strong customer relationships and contribute to continued business growth and success.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices you can implement to help your agents provide exceptional customer service using scripts.
1. Ensure scripts plan for a range of scenarios
Deploying customer service scripts can give call centres a bad reputation if agents come across as cold and robotic. Furthermore, sticking to a script makes it difficult for agents to get to the root cause of an issue, resulting in low levels of customer satisfaction and potentially frustrated customers.
That said, when utilised to the best of their ability, scripts can help agents broaden their knowledge base and assist them during tough interactions with angry customers. Agents need to be ready to handle a wide variety of situations, including:
- A customer who wants to speak to a manager
- Customer complaints
- Refund requests
- Abusive behaviour
As a result, call centre scripts must include paths for a range of scenarios that could occur at any given time. Having an array of scenarios and situations within your scripts ensures that customer service representatives feel prepared and confident every time they pick up the phone.
2. Don’t overcomplicate your scripts
Whilst a call centre script needs to cover a variety of customer interactions, this can cause its own set of problems. There is a delicate balance between versatile scripts and long, overly complex scripts with too much detail crammed in.
Scripts of this nature are far more likely to cause problems for agents. Suppose a script is particularly hard to follow or understand. In that case, agents will become much less effective and likely to put customers on hold, negatively impacting the customer experience and the effectiveness of the entire call centre.
Scripts need to be simple yet effective, and technology now has the capacity to make this a reality and build scripts that deliver the desired outcomes. For example, speech and voice analytics can change the way scripts are constructed, making it possible to record 100% of the calls a call centre receives and analyse each of them from a quality assurance perspective.
With the help of these advances, call centres can now refine their scripts better than ever before. Software is making it possible to identify and remove the aspects of a script that aren’t working, keeping scripts up to date and efficient in the process.
3. Integrate the practices of high-performing agents
The process of improving your call centre scripts isn’t just about taking out what doesn’t work. It can also look to incorporate the techniques of your high-performing and experienced agents, thereby ensuring that best practices are being shared and implemented throughout the call centre.
By observing and understanding what is working well with your best agents, you can look to tailor your scripts based on their behaviour. However, it’s worth remembering that manually listening into calls to glean insights:
- Is a long process
- Takes up significant resources
- Is open to human error
Fortunately, technology provides a solution. By providing call centre managers and team leaders with the ability to record, store, and access all of the phone calls their centre receives, software ensures that all of the positive customer interactions that should be used in scripts moving forward are captured and stored for future reference.
Voice analytics takes this one step further. This software evaluates vocal patterns to assess a speaker’s state of mind, utilising cognitive technology and machine learning (ML) to compare recordings with known voice patterns that signify emotions.
This process makes it possible to better understand customer sentiment, simplifying the process of taking actionable insights from calls and using them to build more effective scripts.
4. Make scripts part of agent training, not a replacement
While scripts will always be a key component of agent training, they should not replace it entirely. Even if the agents you hire are qualified and experienced, giving them a script and just letting them get on with the job won’t cut it.
A recent report found that 69% of customers expect a personal experience, and 45% will take their business elsewhere if they feel they aren’t getting it.4 Personalisation makes customers feel valued, creating brand loyalty and lasting relationships, something that is difficult to achieve with agents simply following a script.
So, how can call centres use scripts and ensure that agents are offering customers a personalised experience on a consistent basis? Well, there are three steps that can help:
- Provide effective training that supplements scripts and teaches agents that it’s okay to go off-script and adopt a flexible approach.
- Schedule regular customer service training to update agents’ knowledge base and enhance their skills.
- Use simulations and role-play scenarios to teach employees how to deal with scenarios that require a more personal approach.
5. Guide agents with intelligent software
As we’ve highlighted above, call centre scripts can be incredibly useful in driving efficiency, consistency, and success. However, traditional solutions are limited in their ability to optimise customer service outcomes and meet ever-evolving consumer demands.
Even if agents follow best practices, a legacy approach to scripting will always struggle to provide a seamless customer experience, with personalised services and consistent First Call Resolution now central to success.
These shifting targets and technological advancements have come together to produce solutions that take call centre scripts to the next level. Scripting best practices are no longer simply around how you build, implement and utilise scripts. The technology you deploy is now essential.
Software makes it possible to build customisable scripts that look and behave exactly as needed, allowing agents to follow processes from one unified desktop view. This new approach produces scripts that guide agents to provide the right information to customers at the right time.
On top of delivering a personal experience and helping agents resolve queries without the need for additional calls, this approach to scripting can also:
- Reduce training requirements by as much as 70%
- Improve employee retention by over 25%
- Reduce call handling times by 30%
- Provide a more consistent customer experience
- Adhere to compliance rules
Give your customers the service they deserve with Awaken
At Awaken, we believe that technology holds the key to overcoming call centre problems and driving efficiencies. That’s why we’re committed to creating easy to use, technology-empowered solutions that deliver outstanding returns for our clients.
Our years of experience in the call and contact centre space mean that we appreciate the challenges that managers, team leaders and agents face. With the help of our software, agents are guided through every voice, email and chat conversation to ensure consistency and efficiency.
Cutting-edge Intelligent Agent Software from Awaken integrates seamlessly with legacy systems, and comes with a range of features that can benefit your call or contact centre, including:
- Intelligent Agent Scripting: Customer service agents can access all the information they need when they need it. Our software guides agents through voice, email and live chat conversations, reducing handling times and increasing capacity.
- Unified Agent Desktop: All relevant information is available to agents in a single application, eliminating the need for navigation across multiple platforms during customer service calls.
- Next Best Action (NBA): Dynamically guides agents based on the customers’ needs — an emerging trend that utilises ML and AI to transform customer service outcomes and best practices.
- Multilingual Agent Guidance: Provides real-time digital agent guidance in 38 languages to ensure smooth communication during customer interactions.
Get in touch today, and find out how our software can improve your scripting process and give your customers the service they deserve and the experience they expect.