There is a reason they call it ‘the art of conversation’.
While most people would like to believe they can have a discussion without much effort, those same people have surely experienced the positive vibes that come when walking away from a truly great interaction. From feeling respected and fully engaged to being given the chance to share one’s concerns, there are various characteristics that make up a quality conversation. They do not happen by chance.
So it is for call center encounters. When a customer reaches out to a business, they do so hoping for a meaningful interaction. They want accurate and consistent information. They yearn for a prompt and hassle-free resolution. They want to feel engaged and leave the conversation feeling better than when they entered it. In their ongoing pursuit of customer experience excellence, the businesses taking the calls should be aiming for the same targets.
Of course, not every call center agent lives up to customer expectations. Be it a lack of product knowledge, an inability to understand the subtleties of conversation or a failure to appreciate the importance of quality engagement, too many call center interactions result in poor experiences for customers and, in turn, brand damage for the organizations they have called.
There is a solution though and it involves arming call center agents with a tool designed to guide them through various encounters and help identify solutions that will leave customers smiling rather than grimacing.
The tool? Call center scripts.
Call center scripts are written prompts used by agents to help them communicate with customers across support channels and scenarios. Designed as ready-to-use templates, they can be used for phone, email and social media conversations and ultimately aim to ensure customer issues or questions are acknowledged, addressed and resolved as quickly as possible.
Along with reducing common errors, positive scripting in customer service allows agents to feel more confident in interactions, navigate different situations more seamlessly and deliver a better customer experience. They are also an excellent training resource for new team members.
When you consider the advantages of utilizing call center templates, it is little wonder they are considered such a valuable resource. They include:
While call center scripts are just that – scripts that include specific lines agents can use as prompts – frameworks are a general guide for facilitating quality conversations. They feature step-by-step advice for navigating interactions, from initial connection to identifying needs and presenting solutions before the final wrap-up. An example can be found here and features tips such as:
It goes without saying that call center teams that use scripts enjoy better customer service call flow and are better prepared to manage interactions faster and more effectively than those that operate off the cuff. While every conversation is unique, there are many familiar and recurring scenarios and situations where agents can benefit from being able to turn to a script for guidance.
First impressions count and that is why customers should always be greeted and welcomed with a friendly message. Along with showing the respect they deserve, a positive greeting sets the tone for an engaging conversation to follow.
Call centers should make every effort to acknowledge returning customers as it shows they are invested in an ongoing relationship. Customer service platforms that provide details about past interactions are an excellent way to add more layers of personal service.
A simple but highly effective way to win favor with customers is to thank them for raising concerns or bringing issues to the company’s attention. It not only shows that their feedback is valued but can also ease any possible tensions. Taking the chance to thank customers is considered one of the conversational practices every agent should follow.
Mistakes happen in business but one that should never be made is failing to apologize and convey empathy when a customer makes a complaint. Along with aiming to resolve an issue as quickly as possible, agents should ensure the customer knows their concerns have been heard and understood. There are a variety of options for addressing the likes of price errors, misplaced orders and other concerns.
No one enjoys being told their inquiry needs to be passed to another agent but with the right communication skills and messaging, an agent can make it a smoother process.
Not every concern or issue can be resolved in the course of one conversation, which may not be welcome news for a caller. Rather than stumbling through a request to organize another call, the following call center scripts can act as a helpful guide.
As difficult as it is, there are times when an agent needs to deny a request. Not all customer demands are reasonable but it is important when saying no, that the denial is handled politely and with empathy.
The nature of busy call centers means agents often need to engage more than one call at the same time but the last thing they should do is let this be known to the various customers. It is all about using the right language when moving between calls.
Saying goodbye is not only a chance to leave a positive lasting impression but also an opportunity to entice a customer to consider another purchase or service.
Whether training new recruits or boosting the communication skills of existing staff, call center scripts are a fast track to better agents and more satisfied customers. As the saying goes, prior preparation prevents poor performance and there is no better way to be prepared for quality conversations than laying a foundation before they occur.
Did you know 93% of consumers are more likely to be repeat customers at companies that deliver remarkable service? Discover why great customer experience is so important in the modern world and the strategies businesses are implementing to achieve it.
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