Our experts reveal the mistakes you need to avoid to create the very best call scripting experience for both your customers and your agents.
Mistake #1: Preventing your agents from building rapport with the customer
Agents should use the script as a guide rather than reading it word for word, which makes it difficult to sound knowledgeable, confident and engaging, potentially turning off customers or prospects.
It’s far more likely that a customer will make a purchase if they are offered the personal treatment and build some rapport with an agent.
A script only hinders this and makes the customer feel unimportant.
An agent that can utilise current affairs and understands the business they’re targeting is of far greater value than someone who can simply memorise a script.
With thanks to Jonathan Gale at NewVoiceMedia
Mistake #2: Excluding your agents from the script-creation process
Don’t forget to involve your agents in the creation of your call guides.
They will have valuable insight and will be more likely to adopt new guidelines if they have been involved.
Mistake #3: Cramming everything onto one or two screens
Don’t try and cram everything onto one or two screens.
Instead, guide the agent with logical branching on screen with prompts to highlight elements that need to be mentioned, such as special offers.
With thanks to Sian Ciabattoni at Noble Systems
Mistake #4: Using scripts to tackle complex issues
Scripts are most useful for less complex enquiries that can easily be answered without having to search for additional information or for an expert opinion elsewhere in the business.
However, scripts often do not work for more complex queries as they need more of a consultative response rather than a simple resolution that can be read from a predetermined script.
This can be controlled through the routing of customer queries, so that agents with advanced knowledge and experience in the businesses products or services can answer more complex queries, whilst agents with basic knowledge can rely on scripts to resolve the queries.
Mistake #5: Leaving customers on hold as agents search for ‘buried’ scripts
Conversations with customers don’t always go the way the agent expects them to and that is when scripting tools are needed the most. However, conversations can change quickly and agents need to be able to instantly look for a script to help them with a customer query.
However, many agents struggle to find the scripts they need and therefore leave a customer waiting for several minutes, often on hold, whilst they search through endless menus of topics and categories until they find the most useful script.
This can be the result of not storing the scripts in the most logical way or not creating a fast enough way to find them, such as search fields, most popular enquiries or a live feed of currently asked questions across all agents’ conversations.
Mistake #6: Creating long and detailed scripts that are hard to navigate
Many contact centre scripts are long and detailed, meaning the agent is often having to read through lots of text to find the right information or, even worse, reading irrelevant information out as they are following the script word for word.
This has a negative impact on the customer, as quite often it is noticeable when an agent is reading something rather than building rapport and providing genuine advice.
This can be avoided by providing agents with call guides, rather than long, complex scripts, meaning that the agent can use several different sources of data such as articles, previously answered questions from other agents, as well as customer service training on how to most effectively answer a customer’s enquiry.
With thanks to Susannah Richardson at mplsystems
Mistake #7: Assuming you know best and not testing your scripts
Assuming you know best is a big mistake. You’d be surprised at the impact small and seemingly subtle changes can have on the end result. A change of phrasing here or a reworded question there can 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 you can continually optimise results.
Mistake #8: Having to wait for the IT department to make vital updates
Where possible, use flexible scripts that you’re able to quickly and 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.
By the time the IT department have got involved and scheduled the work and implemented the changes and rolled this out to everyone across the board (sometime in multiple locations), it is often too late.
It’s critical that you can roll out updates or create new scripts from scratch quickly.
Mistake #9: Asking the customer for information you already have on the database
You must ensure your scripting can dynamically pull customer data, pre-populating where possible to save time and to ensure a smooth customer journey.
Make sure that customers are not having to repeat themselves at any point during the call, or having irrelevant or illogical questions fired at them.
Make life easier for agents too by having all of the required information centrally in one place, without having to flick through different screens or systems.
With thanks to Mike Donohue at Magnetic North
Mistake #10: Not giving agents the information they need to think on their feet
Every conversation between an agent and a customer is different. Therefore, scripting is most effective when agents are given a degree of flexibility to hold honest, engaging and real conversations.
Generally, what works best is to encourage agents to adapt responses according to the conversation’s flow, rather than following rigid scripts.
If agents are required to follow structured scripting, it is advisable that scripts are updated periodically to ensure customers do not feel like they are being processed.
I would recommend that scripting is fully integrated with your CRM so that agents have access to all customer information and can think on their feet.
Additionally, this will empower your agents and will help boost morale within your centre.
With thanks to Justin Hamilton-Martin at Ultra Communications
Mistake #11: A slow-to-launch script
The call scripting technology that you have in place should launch immediately when the agent answers the phone.
This way, there will be no delay in response at the start of the conversation.
Mistake #12: Getting the pace wrong so conversations sound unnatural
Sometimes the screen flow of scripted text is set at the wrong pace, which prevents the agent from interacting naturally with the customer.
Agents should be trained to deliver personalised interaction with customers, deviating from the script if a scenario is not outlined.
Mistake #13: Not regularly updating your scripts
It’s important to ensure that scripting technology automatically updates scripts to respond to changing business requirements.
In addition, make sure that the program integrates all of the agent’s needs in one screen, so that there is no need to switch tabs during the call.
This will avoid confusion, silences or mistakes from the agent when speaking to customers.
One way to address issues with call scripting is by assessing the quality of agent interactions through speech and text analytics – to learn more about how individual customers respond to specific messaging.
With thanks to Keith Wilkinson at Genesys
Mistake #14: Overwhelming your agents with too much information
Presenting your agent with too much information on one script page, or in one block of text, can overwhelm the agent, delaying dialogue in the call and increasing average call handle time.
Best practice is to create simple, concise script pages to create a dynamic call flow. This will improve your agent’s confidence and reduce your call time.
With thanks to Jordan Thompson at QuickScripts
Mistake #15: Offering little opportunity for interaction with the customer
One of the most frequent mistakes businesses make in this area is building unnecessarily long agent monologues into scripts, thereby offering little opportunity for interaction or engagement with the customer.
The speech analytics technology can help to address this issue by evaluating the speech ratio of calls in real time, identifying those scripts that don’t allow for a proper dialogue or input from the customer, and then modifying them accordingly.
Mistake #16: Failing to prepare your agents for dealing with ad hoc questions
Another common issue is when the agent follows the script successfully but then fails to respond effectively to questions or remarks from the customer which are off script.
Real-time speech analytics can provide a solution by evaluating dialogue pairs consisting of a phrase and a predefined answer, which can be used to ensure the agent is giving a correct response to questions such as ‘is there an early repayment charge?’, as well as ensuring that the customer is confirming agreements for compliance reasons.
With thanks to Jeremy Payne at Enghouse Interactive