The Importance of Call Center Scripts for Productivity and Conversion
- Call center scripts contain answers to frequently asked questions and other information customers require.
- Reading a script the right way can avoid making customers feel like they’re talking to a robot.
- Even the most creative sales development agents can benefit from smartly-written scripts.
- The secret to writing better scripts is simplification and out-loud proofreading.
- Boomsourcing takes scripts to a new level with Ready Responses and our Perfect Pitch software!
Customer interactions are always a crucial moment for every company. The quality of a business’ conversations with its customers is the basis of their reputation in the marketplace. That reputation drives either success or failure. It’s absolutely critical that every business do the very best it can to ensure that every prospect they talk to feels good about the conversation. Many companies have gone the route of spicing up their social media accounts to create a fun and cool atmosphere surrounding their brand. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s also not enough. Sometimes, the old ways of doing things are still far more relevant than we often give them credit for. Writing good call center scripts falls into this category.
What Are Call Center Scripts?
Every company that deals with large numbers of customers ought to have some kind of contact center. After a certain growth stage, it’s impossible for the company owner to personally handle all customer interactions. They can take a page from the Bezos playbook and work in the call center maybe once or twice a year, and read some emails on occasion, but there’s a lot more work to do.
So they need agents to do the critical work of customer service on their behalf. Call center scripts are the written templates these agents use to provide consistent and high-quality service. They primarily contain answers to frequently asked questions and other information customers require.
Turning Humans Into Robots?
Customers don’t like it when the people they’re talking to on the phone sound like they’re reading from a script, though. The word often heard in complaints about these situations is “robotic.” When agents read from a script, sometimes it’s obvious. In such cases, the customer can easily feel like the agent isn’t responding to their unique needs. Companies must recognize that even though many customers ask the same questions as others, they’re all a little bit different from each other.
There are certain tactics that agents and managers can use to avoid sounding like they don’t care. The first key is to practice in a role-playing setting. Managers should have a good feel for vocal tones and the emotions they can evoke. They should provide agents with highly specific and constructive feedback for how they can modulate their voices to sound more natural than we normally do when reading out loud.
Here’s an important principle that can be applied to any situation where you need to read text out loud, including from call center scripts:
Use “Non-Reading” Delivery
When people read a speech, they tend to lose the vocal dynamics and non-verbal delivery elements they use during less formal presentations. So remember to change your pace, add a few pauses, speak more quickly in certain moments to add a dose of excitement and more slowly in others to allow the audience time to contemplate a key idea.
The other big key is memorization. Agents should become deeply familiar with their scripts, and be able to express the ideas from memory. This will help them to reassure the customer that they truly do know what they’re talking about. This also makes it easier to deviate from the script in rare but necessary circumstances, because the agent isn’t so dependent on the paper.
Who Doesn’t Need a Script?
You might think that some outbound calling situations, like sales development, would not require a script. As a matter of fact, though, written and printed scripts can be incredibly helpful for sales agents. Even though the conversation is far less predictable, having a list of critical talking points to choose from can make it easier to overcome objections.
The key for sales, though, is listening. A script in any situation will be totally useless if you select the answer to a question or objection that the person on the other end of the line didn’t say anything about.
How You Can Make Your Scripts Better
If you’re in a position where your responsibilities include writing call center scripts, here are five simple rules that will help you write scripts that sound more natural to the customer’s or prospect’s ears (courtesy of MrMediaTraining.com):
1. Use short words: Big words sound impressive. But multi-syllabic words are rarely as good as their simpler counterparts when writing for the ear. As Winston Churchill said, “Short words are the best and old words when short are the best of all.”
2. Use short sentences: Short sentences are more impactful than longer ones. The first example above has 39 words; the second has just 20. There’s a good reason the most memorable lines from famous speeches are short, rarely exceeding 20 words.
3. Use everyday words: One seminal study found that adults can understand 96 percent of all spoken language with a vocabulary of just 2,000 words. Although most native English speakers know thousands more, they tend to use the same limited pool of words in conversation. When speaking to a general audience, you should too.
4. Use contractions: Barring the most formal speeches, oral delivery requires the use of contractions. “Do not” and “I will” work best for the eye. “Don’t” and “I’ll” work best for the ear.
5. Speak them aloud: When you’re finished drafting your messages, read them aloud. If any of them contain a word that doesn’t roll easily off your tongue, replace it with one that does.
Combine Smart Writing With Powerful Technology
Boomsourcing takes call center scripts to a whole new level, though. Our contact center agents not only use highly optimized scripts, but they also have technology backing them up. Our proprietary Perfect Pitch software uses a technology we call Ready Response.
Ready Response integrates pre-recorded audio into live agent conversations. Strong voice talents with neutral accents record these responses well in advance. They do so in a conversational tone that keeps the call moving. By putting agents in control of an array of these scripted responses, we boost efficiency and compliance and eliminate the problem with difficult accents. The contact agent selects appropriate recordings from a soundboard for playback over the line. We train agents to listen actively, with care and attention. All of this allows the agent to conduct a natural conversation, ensuring that the responses meet the needs of the caller. We’ve discovered that we can handle 98.2% of all calls with effectiveness using this technology. That’s far better than most traditional call center methods.
Contact us today to deploy all of these techniques in your own customer service operations, or to let us do it for you!