Ah, the customer service call center script. While scripts certainly have their place in the contact center, especially within highly regulated industries, the truth of the matter is that customers don’t seem to like them. A survey from the customer support technology evaluation business Software Advice found that 69% of customers say it improves their call experience when the customer service agent doesn’t sound like they’re reading from a script. Customers choose to call in to the customer service department, as opposed to using other methods of communication, because they want to have a live conversation with another human being who can help them with the issue they have encountered. When the agent is reading a script, it sounds robotic, and can increase the customer’s frustration levels.
So, how can an organization eliminate the need for a customer service script? The solution is to employ experienced call center agents. With experience, a script is less likely to be needed since the agent can be trusted to say the right thing to the customer. To employ experienced call center agents (and kill the customer service script to keep customers happy) an organization must:
Reduce customer service agent turnover rates
Customer service agents play an extremely important role within any organization. After all, they are the ones communicating with customers on a daily basis. The outcome of a conversation with a customer service agent can determine whether a customer stays or leaves. Customer service agents are valued members of any organization and must be treated as such. In addition to receiving fair compensation, time off, benefits packages, etc. they should be given a voice within the organization and opportunities to provide feedback.
Improve hiring processes
No matter how low the agent turnover rate may be, there will be a time when a new hire decision needs to be made. A customer service role shouldn’t be viewed as an entry-level job. Hiring inexperienced agents increases the need for a script.
Provide ongoing training opportunities
The role of the customer service agent continues to evolve as more communication channels are created. Years ago agents may have only been trained on the phone. Today’s contact centers are omni-channel and agents are required to communicate via email, online chat, social media, and more. In order to continue to provide a positive customer experience, companies must invest in modern call center technology and continually train their agents. After all, technology is only valuable if it is being utilized properly. Customer service agent training shouldn’t begin and end with the initial on boarding process. Ongoing training not only improves agent performance but also keeps agents engaged in their position.
While some scripting may be necessary, the customer experience is much greater without it. This isn’t to say that agents should say whatever they want. Rather, companies should invest in hiring and employing experienced agents that are properly trained to eliminate or reduce the need for customer service scripts.