Should Your Call Center Agents Follow a Script? - CallFinder
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Should Your Call Center Agents Follow a Script?

October 21, 2014 by Morgan Pulitzer

To script, or not to script?

That’s the million (or billion) dollar question these days.

We’ve been reading and hearing more and more that consumers do not want to be spoken to like their robots. And as people and consumers ourselves, we have to agree.

We really enjoyed reading this recent article from Software Advice, an online resource that evaluates call center software, titled Survey: What Customers Really Think About Your Call Center Script, which highlights data showing that customers don’t want to speak to robotic, script-following agents. They want personality, and more importantly, they want to feel like they are being spoken to as if they are an actual person!

How Consumers Perceive Agents Who Follow Scripts

This is important stuff to keep in mind if you’re running a call center, or customer service department that is fielding inbound phone calls. In order to lead the customer through a positive journey, there needs to be a process, and most likely that will involve some sort of script. After all, scripts are necessary to make sure all agents are staying on point, delivering accurate information, and maintaining a good rapport.

But, that is the key! Building rapport and relationships to stand out and establish loyalty.Those positive customer experiences will really pay off for companies in the end.

How much betterFor example, the survey asked:
How much does it improve your experience calling customer service if the agent doesn’t sound like they’re reading from a script?”, and over 51% said it improves a lot or tremendously.

Knowing that the customer experience is now tied directly to bottom line revenue, companies need to encourage their agents to take the initiative while on calls with their customers to build rapport, and that cannot be done through only uttering lines from a script.

Encouraging agents means empowering them to have dynamic conversations with customers, while remembering that there are specific questions and points that need to be made in order to stay in line with company goals.

How Can I Monitor Agent Performance?

All of this can be done easily with call center monitoring tools, like call recording and speech analytics.

Customer service managers and supervisors can automatically get a snapshot of whether scripts are being followed and if specific company-mandated questions and statements are being made. And, this can all be done without the need for robotic-like employees and conversations.

Maybe you have six questions that must be asked by your agents while they’re on a call with a customer. And, then there are two disclaimer statements that need to be made. These specific phrases can be identified with speech analytics tools so that you know they’re being asked and stated, regardless of agent improvisation to deliver a positive customer experience in the form of a real-life conversation!

Now we may just be rambling since we’re passionate about helping our customers deliver, monitor and analyze the experiences they deliver to their customers. And, maybe since we’re human we also want to make sure that companies know the facts!

Should You Use a Script?

Like the Software Advice article concludes, it’s not practical to give over the reins to agents and let them handle calls with customers as they see fit. Scripts are good, to a point, and necessary to follow federal regulations in some industries. But, there needs to be allowance for modification and guidance of the conversation so that all parties, agents and customers, feel like they’re having rewarding and productive conversations.

Have questions on whether you should use a script, or how to monitor customer conversations for business insights? We’re here to help. Call us at 1-800-639-1700 and speak with an account manager, take a tour of the CallFinder interface, and hear how our customers are using the technology to streamline their contact centers, monitor script compliance, and improve ROI.

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