Call center scripts often have a bad reputation. It’s easy to see why when we encounter overwhelmingly negative and unnecessarily frustrating experiences. We’ve all had them!
However, call scripting – when done correctly – can be a fantastic tool in the contact center arsenal for ensuring clear and consistent communications. Whether for inbound or outbound calls, good scripting can take the stress out of complex interactions while still providing personalized service on each call.
Here's a list of ten common call scripting mistakes to avoid in order to get the best results for agents and customers alike.
1. Agents Sound Too Rehearsed
A classic mistake with call scripting is having agents that seem like they are reading from a script – forced, unnatural and even robotic. This is most likely not going to result in a winning dialogue. Try setting up a dedicated group of trusted employees who are great at spotting errors and well-versed in making scripts sound as natural as possible. Have that team run through scripts periodically and make changes as needed.
2. Eschewing Basic Logic
Having to repeat information or failing to pull relevant information from the database is extremely frustrating for the customer. Who wants to repeat themselves over and over, or have irrelevant or illogical questions fired at them? You can avoid this by using a scripting tool that can automatically pull customer data, pre-populating information where possible to save time and thereby delivering a smoother customer journey.
Not only does dynamic agent scripting ensure agents follow a logical path without the need for customers to repeat themselves; it makes life easier for agents too by having all of the required information centrally located, without having to click and search through different screens or systems.
3. Overly Complicated Scripts
Everyone has a threshold beyond which frustration sets in, so make sure your scripts don’t cross the line. Follow the old “KISS” adage and keep it simple. When crafting scripts, consider the length and the time it will take to complete it across all possible scenarios. And don’t make it too complex in terms of tabs and places for your agents to click either. It needs to be dynamic, but also make it as linear as possible.
4. Inarticulate Scripts
Do your scripts make sense when read aloud? Following basic grammar rules can go a long way in delivering good service. Use formatting to your advantage and create scripts that contain the correct spelling and grammar, which makes things much easier for agents. A dynamic scripting tool can also update information to accommodate for variables, such as using “Good Morning” versus “Good Afternoon” when appropriate.
5. Failing to Provide an “Out”
Make sure there is a logical route throughout the script for every scenario, even those curve ball moments. It may be difficult to imagine every possible route beforehand, but brainstorm with your team. And when those unexpected moments come up, incorporate them into your script scenarios as well. Good call scripting software will allow you to quickly and easily make changes to the script and its branching points.
6. Too Many Manual Processes
Automate your processes! This one is a no-brainer. Salesforce and other API integrations, for instance, can go a long way in reducing manual tasks. By automating as much as possible, you allow your team to concentrate on the real job at hand.
7. Poor Screen Layouts
This is common mistake. A cluttered screen makes an agent’s job even more difficult. Gaudy colors and odd fonts are also a no no.
One tip you can easily implement is highlighting the variables on each page (those sections that dynamically change). Agents are likely very familiar with the areas that remain constant, so highlighting the dynamic sections will make it much simpler for agents to pick out those bits that deviate on each call. It also helps to focus the eye and ensure the call stays on the right track.
8. Not Allowing for A/B Testing
Assuming you always know best is a big mistake. You’d be surprised by the impact small and seemingly subtle changes can have on the end result. A change of phrasing here or a reworded question there can sometimes make all the difference. This is where A/B testing comes into play. Dynamic call scripting should allow you to run multiple versions of a call script with A/B testing that will evaluate the effectiveness of different scripts so that you can continually optimize results.
9. Being Too Rigid
Wherever possible, use flexible scripts that you’re able to easily amend or change on the fly. If it’s a big job to make changes in response to the environment, or to external events and promotions, then you can really come unstuck. And if you have to involve IT, schedule the work, and wait for changes to be implemented and rolled out across the board (sometime in multiple locations), it can often be too late. It’s critical that you can make updates or create new scripts from scratch quickly and without hassle.
10. Assuming Too Much (or Too Little) Knowledge
This can be a hard balancing act to achieve. Get your team involved as you'll find their input invaluable. You don't want agents to be out of their depth, but you also don't want to hold back your product experts either. Knowledge and experience is key to a successful outcome, so agent skillsets must be factored into scripts.
The intelligent use of agent scripting can greatly improve your contact center outcomes.
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