How to write effective call center scripts
This blog takes you through everything you need to know about call center scripts. Learn the best practices with examples of inbound and outbound scripts. Read till the end to nail that call center script of yours.
As I was researching call center scripts, the first thing that came to my mind was this particular episode of ‘Friends’. One of the main characters, Phoebe gets a job in an outbound call center where she has to sell toner. Having never done this, she is slightly nervous, her supervisor assures her that everything she needs to know is in the script provided to her.
However, things take a turn for the worse, when she encounters a particular prospect.
Nothing to worry, all ends well for both the prospect and phoebe. Jokes aside, this episode shows that call center scripts can be effective only if your customer service agents know when and how to apply them.
At the end of this blog post, you’ll have a clear idea of what call center scripts are and have all the knowledge you need to write one for your own call center.
What is a call center script and why do you need them?
A Call center script is a document that agents or representatives can use while interacting with customers over the phone. Scripts can vary widely depending on the function and industry of the call center.
Scripting is an important part of any call center. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. A good call center script is essentially a plan to improve your customer experience, CSAT score, and conversion rates.
There are mainly two types of call center scripts, categorized by function:
- Customer service script: This script acts as a knowledge base for agents to quickly refer to common customer issues while on a call. It is usually used by agents handling service calls on a regular basis.
- Sales representatives use call center scripts for cold calling prospects like the one Phoebe uses above. Such a script usually consists of the benefits of using the business’s service or product and answers to common objections.
At its core, a call center script is a document that call center agents or representatives can use during customer interactions over the phone. Scripts can vary widely depending on the function and industry of the contact center. The idea of a call center script is to ensure that the conversation flows smoothly that will help build positive customer relationships.
Benefits of call center scripting
What possible benefits can call center scripting offer to your contact center? Here are some of them.
1. Agent Training
We see that Phoebe is initially hesitant to talk to customers but armed with the script she becomes confident, scripts can give that confidence to your agents. Call center scripts can be an effective training tool for new agents who are starting off. It gives them an idea of what to expect and what to say during sensitive customer interactions. It gives them a direction as to how to conduct a good call even when there is a frustrated customer at the other end. Call center scripts ensure that your contact center agents are equipped with accurate information that is easily accessible thus making them more productive.
2. Uniform customer interactions
Most customers wish to talk to a contact center agent when they call your business’s phone number. To your customers or prospects, your agents are the face of your company and your entire brand’s reputation is on the line. You do not want your customer service representatives to make up things on the fly when they talk to your customers.
A hundred agents having a hundred different customer interactions can quickly take a toll on your brand’s reputation. With effective use of call center scripting, you can ensure all your agents are provided call center training the right way and that they are geared to provide a consistent customer experience during customer interactions.
3. Effective problem solving
When your customer support agents are faced with queries, you don’t want them to fumble for answers. Customers can easily spot incapable agents and can become frustrated. Call center scripts help in keeping your responses crisp and concise by getting to the point quickly. A good script can also help improve your first call resolution rates as your call center agents will have the right solution for customers’ needs at hand. Ultimately, solving customer problems quickly results in improved customer satisfaction.
How to write good call center scripts?
With the help of a good script your agents would be able to improve customer experience and your customer service agents would be able to better convert prospects into customers. However, there is no single template when it comes to writing good call center scripts. It varies drastically from scripts that may go into great detail to ones that may just be an outline. It depends on the function of your call center and your industry. However, there are certain guidelines that you can follow to ensure your scripts are most effective:
1. Understand your customer needs
To write the perfect script, you need to understand your customer’s needs and issues faced by them. It may be a good idea to involve your agents at this point as they are the ones who interact with your customers on a daily basis. Similarly, before preparing a sales script, you will have to perform market research to understand buyer pain points and how your product or service can solve those.
Call recordings give you a good idea of your customer problems, by playing your customer calls you can understand the kind of questions your customers ask and how your agents respond. Call recordings of your best-performing agents and reps will help you develop best practices that can be incorporated into your script and distributed among your phone team.
3. Keep it crisp
By the time customers reach your call center, they could already be frustrated. You should look to solve their problems in the shortest possible time without beating around the bush. Include customer FAQs in your script. Ensure that only things relevant to solving the issue are included in the script and trim off anything unnecessary. A short call that solves the problem instantly can deliver customer satisfaction.
4. Be flexible
Call center scripts aren’t movie scripts, you cannot script the entire conversation. Every now and then there might be a problem your agents might not be best equipped to handle and that is okay. Train your agents to think on their feet and not rely entirely on the script. Leave spaces for customers to reply and redirect the conversation, this shows that you care about their problems.
5. Done is not enough
A script requires constant tweaking. Your customer requirements could be changing and to be in tune you will have to constantly reevaluate your script. By listening to your customer calls and asking your agents and reps for feedback you can make your script more effective.
Call center scripting for inbound phone calls
How do you answer a call center call?
- Introduce yourself and your company
- Ask your customers how you can assist them
- Ask them for any information that you may need — account ID, email, mobile number, etc
- Bring the call to a close-by thanking your customers and asking if there is anything more you can do for them
How to start a conversation in a call center?
- Introduction: “Hello, this is Alice from Wonderland Technologies.”
- Getting to the problem: “How can I help you today?”
- Asking for information: “Could you please help me with your account ID?”
How do you end a call?
End the call by asking “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?” Wait for the customer’s response and after they are done with their query thank them: “Thank you for calling Wonderland Technologies, we hope you had a satisfactory call with us. Have a nice day!”
Things to keep in mind while writing a script for an inbound call center
Introduce yourself and your company
- Ask your customers how you can assist them
- Ask them for any information that you may need — account ID, email, mobile number, etc
- Bring the call to a close by thanking your customers and asking if there is anything more you can do for them
Introduction: “Hello, this is Alice from Wonderland Technologies.”
Getting to the problem: “How can I help you today?”
Asking for information: “Could you please help me with your account ID?”
Conclusion: “Is there anything else that I can help you with today? (wait for response) Thank you for calling Wonderland Technologies, we hope you had a satisfactory call with us. Have a nice day!”
Sample outbound call center script
Things to keep in mind while writing a script for an outbound call center
- Introduce yourself and the company you are calling from
- Skip the small talk and connect with your prospect by sharing their pain points
- Tell them the benefit of using your product and service
- Close the deal
Introduction: “Hi, this is Phoebe from Bright toner company.”
Highlighting pain points: “I’ve been following Acme (prospect’s business) for a while and it seems that you have just moved into a new office. Are you looking to procure business essentials, more specifically toner cartridges for your printing needs?”
The benefit of your product/service: “Bright has helped hundreds of businesses buy the best quality toner cartridges in the market at low-prices.”
Closing the deal: “If you could share your email address, I shall send over our catalog. Once you finalize your requirements, your toner cartridges should be delivered to your office address within a day’s time.”
Pitfalls of using a call center script
As we saw above, there are several benefits to using a call center script, at the same time we must keep in mind there are certain drawbacks to it too. It’s good to know these so that you can steer clear of them.
1. Sounding robotic and insincere
Your customers want to talk to real people who understand their problems. They don’t want someone simply reading off a script. Also simply sticking to a script can make your agents seem insincere and inauthentic — who are simply saying things for the sake of saying them.
2. Being too rigid
A call center script is not meant to be followed word-for-word. If you follow a script too rigidly, you would be talking at your customers and not talking to them. Customers don’t want solutions being thrown at them. Your agents should have the freedom to deviate from the script as and when the situation arises because quite frankly no script can cover all scenarios.
3. Not listening to your customers
You want your agents and reps to listen to your customer’s problems and come up with a solution that is designed for them. Simply by listening to your customers, you can gather a lot of information which leads to fewer questions being asked and faster resolutions.
4. Being impersonal
This point is especially important for sales scripts, you cannot design one outbound script and distribute it among your reps. According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. If you want to sell better, then adding a personal touch to your calls can go a long way.
Additional tips for effective call center scripts
1. Provide your phone team with complete context
Having complete context of previous client interactions can be beneficial to your phone team. This way they would not have to struggle to find information or worse ask your customers for it. A call center script would not be very effective if your agents and reps don’t have the required background information. An integrated customer support tool or CRM system can help solve this problem for you.
2. Leverage call monitoring to ensure quality
Once you have your script in place, you must check it’s effectiveness in real-time. By monitoring your phone team’s calls in real-time, you will be able to understand the script’s usefulness. At the same time, you can make sure that your agents are complying with the company guidelines.
3. Utilize post-call transcription to improve your script
Going through dozens of call recordings can be time-consuming, one alternative to that is viewing transcripts of your calls. If you have access to call transcripts, you can quickly go through customer calls and understand if you need to modify your script. Using transcripts you can quickly check if your agents are adhering to the call script.
Putting it all together
A well-written call center script will serve as a guide to your agents and reps that will help them serve and sell better. Call center scripts ensure that your agents speak in one voice to your customers. At the same time, the script must not be too rigid that the conversations become robotic. A well-designed script is a juggling act between these extremes and if done correctly can benefit your business greatly.
Illustrations by Mahalakshmi Anantharaman
Freshcaller is a modern-day reimagining of a call center software for customer support, sales, IT, and HR teams. With its cloud-based architecture, Freshcaller brings together the best of legacy features like IVR and advanced call routing capabilities like Smart Escalations, Customizable Performance Reporting to help you set up state-of-the-art phone operations. Freshcaller offers phone numbers in 90+ countries, requires zero phone hardware, and is extremely easy to use.
Visit the Freshcaller web page for more information.
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