The word "script" in the context of a contact center is often considered a dirty word, both by customers and agents. There's a reason for this. I remember my first contact center job when I was in college, an outbound credit card sales campaign that used a rolodex-like system to provide responses to almost any customer response. It was really frustrating - both because of the delays while flipping pages to find the right one and having to fill in blanks with potential customer names, hoping I remembered them correctly. But… by the end of that first week, I was actually getting sales. I got better at flipping the pages and the words that I needed to successfully overcome objections were right there. Our training was incredibly short and here I was, a college kid with zero sales experience, actually selling credit cards. I didn't even have my own credit card, yet. Why was I successful so quickly? It was the script.
The script worked. Why?
Because it wasn't a script like you would read for a play - I couldn't just memorize the lines and repeat them for every call. It was really a guide that helped me navigate an intricate sales process that was different from call to call and also provided me proven words that work along the way. It ensured consistency in messaging, it filled the gaps in my training, it allowed me to sound like I had really in-depth product knowledge, and ultimately, it made me confident. When they had a question, I had the answer. When they had an objection, the script gave me words that worked to attempt to overcome that objection. It was decades of sales wisdom at my fingertips.
Not only did it make me successful very quickly, the company only had to provide a few days of paid training before they could get me on the phones to earn some revenue. In the high-turnover world of outbound sales, lengthy paid training is like throwing away money. In fact, contact centers, in general, tend to have high turnover rates, regardless of their function. Customer Service, Tech Support, Customer Retention - all of these call types need agents to be able to navigate intricate processes and systems and they often need guidance on what to say. What we call "scripts" are simply guides to First Call Resolution and facilitate efficient Handle Times no matter the context of the call.
Scripts have other benefits - they provide verbatims required by compliance regulations like GDPR, safeguarding companies from legal liabilities. Like your GPS-enabled map application, they can guide agents to resolution using the most efficient path, even if the issue is complex. They can eliminate all the paper, paper, paper that has your PCI compliance leader going crazy, crazy, crazy! And ultimately, when agents feel more supported and confident, they're less likely to leave and more likely to get really good at supporting your customers.
Okay, so scripts can be really useful - but how do you make a good script? Follow along for our Top 10 Do's and Don'ts of call center agent scripting!
1. DO provide verbatims for greetings and regulatory / compliance disclosures
2. DON'T make everything verbatim - scripts should be guides that agents can inject their own personality into
3. DO provide timely updates on product, process, and/or policy changes
4. DON'T require agents to leave the script for the latest information
5. DO provide optional detailed guidance for complicated or infrequent issues that are easy to forget
6. DON'T over-script - tenured agents may get frustrated if they can't move through the script quickly enough
7. DO collect data to improve your scripting and business processes
8. DON'T pepper your script with blank spaces your agents need to fill in
9. DO insert the customer's name in the script - using the customer's name appropriately makes the conversation personal
10. DON'T use the same script for chat and voice - while the process/policies may be the same, chat scripts should be far more detailed and have copy/paste templates for efficiency
There's one last DO - DO sign up for a 45-day free trial of Happitu and find out for yourself how our responsive agent scripting and dynamic help topics can reduce handle times and increase resolution and conversion rates, all while reducing training time and turnover.