What makes the best customer service greeting phrases for your contact centre scripts?
We surveyed over 80 of our readers to find out which examples work best.
Our survey involved calling ten contact centres belonging to ten different companies, all of which are household names in the United Kingdom, asking our readers to vote on which examples offered the best greeting.
So, What Makes a Good Call Centre Greeting?
We asked our survey respondents to vote on which companies had the best greeting and also the individual components. This is what we discovered:
A Contact Centre Greeting Should Ideally Begin with Good Morning / Good Afternoon
Despite the greeting that topped our original poll beginning with “welcome to…”, the overall favourite opening to a greeting in the contact centre was “good morning / good afternoon”.
In fact, almost double the percentage of those that voted said that they preferred the greeting “good morning / good afternoon” (40.7%), as an alternative to “welcome to…” (20.2%).
However, these were still the top two favourite openings to contact centre greetings, with “thank you for calling…” the third most popular option, with 18.5% of the vote.
Greetings Are Best Kept Casual – Don’t Be Too Formal
As highlighted in the poll above, double the percentage of our survey participants prefer contact centre advisors to use the opening “hi” instead of “hello”.
This signals that people prefer advisors to keep the conversation informal, maybe so they feel as if the interaction is more natural, hinting that advisors should not be robotic in their use of scripts.
Other examples of openings to greetings which were not in the poll above and were instead suggested by our readers, include:
- Good day…
- [INSERT COMPANY NAME]…
Asking “How CAN I Help You” Is Preferred to “How MAY I Help You”
In the theme of keeping a greeting informal, more of our survey respondents preferred a greeting to include the question “how can I help you?” (52.50%), as opposed to the slightly more formal proposition “how may I help?” (47.50%).
However, this was only by a very small margin, and it is important to remember that a more formal greeting may be more appealing to up-market brands.
Other questions that our readers have proposed using in a greeting, include:
- “How may I be of service?”
- “What can I assist you with?”
- “What may I assist you with?”
An Advisor Should Introduce Themselves in Their Greeting
In accordance with five of the top six greetings made by the companies we phoned, our survey participants overwhelmingly believed that an advisor should introduce themselves in their greeting.
In fact, as evident in the graph above, 94.19% asserted that this was something that an advisor should do.
Yet Phil Anderson, Contact Centre Specialist at The Forum, offers a different opinion, stating: “If you want your customer to remember your name, don’t include it in the opening message as this is likely to be too much information.”
“Ask for their name/reference then introduce yourself; your customer is much more likely to remember.”
So, What Is the Best Contact Centre Greeting?
From the results of our survey, we have concluded that the ultimate example of a contact centre greeting is:
“Good morning / afternoon! Welcome to [INSERT COMPANY NAME] customer service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?”
This is a good example in the sense that it includes our survey respondents’ favourite greeting, opening, and closing question, while the advisor also introduces themselves.
In addition, the greeting contains three personal pronouns: “my”, “I” and “you”, and includes “welcome to”, a favourite feature of Lego’s greeting.
What Do Our Readers Think?
The example above is just our opinion of what is the greatest contact centre greeting. But which statements should our readers have used instead? Here are some of their suggestions:
- “Hello, thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. My name is [INSERT NAME], how can I help you today?”
- “Good day. You are speaking to [INSERT NAME]. How may I assist you?”
- “Thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. I am [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?”
- “Good morning/afternoon, thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME], you’re speaking to [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you?”
- “Thank you for calling [INSERT COMPANY NAME], this is [INSERT NAME]. How may I provide world class service?”
The Individual Voting
1. Lego – “Welcome to Lego Customer Service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How can I help you?” – (62%)
- This statement offers a unique opening in “welcome to…” and was less formal in using the phrase “how can I help you?” as an alternative to “how may I help you?”
2. John Lewis – “Good afternoon! You’re through to John Lewis. My name is [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you today?” – (35%)
- This uses three personal pronouns: “you”, “my” and “I”, in the hopes of establishing a personal connection.
3. DPD – “Good afternoon. You’re speaking to [INSERT NAME]. How may I help you?” – (28%)
- This phrase uses two personal pronouns “I” and “you”, which help to demonstrate that the advisor wants to get personally involved to help the caller as an individual.
4. Visit Wales – “Good afternoon! Visit Wales, [INSERT NAME] speaking. How may I help you?” – (25%)
- As is the case in the first two statements, the advisor opens with a traditional greeting, introduces the company and themselves, before asking the customer how they can help.
5. UCAS – “Hi! You’re through to UCAS, how can I help you?” – (19%)
- Beginning with “hi” instead of “hello” removed the “fake” formality of the situation and allowed the advisor to sound natural and not as if they were reading from a script.
6. Autoglass – “Hello, good afternoon. [INSERT NAME] from Autoglass speaking. How can I help?” – (11%)
- It may seem odd to have two separate openings to a greeting, but by doing so the Autoglass advisor certainly did not sound robotic!
7. British Airways – “British Airways! How can I help you?” – (10%)
- This script is short, sharp and concise, but some would question why this greeting has no opening, e.g. hi/hello/good morning.
8. DW Sports – “Good afternoon! DW Sports Online, how can I help?” – (7%)
- From the popularity of the statements above, it seems as though our readers prefer the advisor to personally introduce themselves, before moving on with the conversation.
9. Lidl – “Good afternoon! You are through to Lidl customer service. Can I take your name please?” – (7%)
- In this example, the greeting could once again benefit from being personalised, before going on to ask for customer information.
10. DFS – “Good afternoon! Welcome to DFS customer service. My name is [INSERT NAME]. Just to let you know our calls may be recorded.” – (0% of the vote)
- Perhaps DFS could consider telling customers that their call is being recorded in the IVR, or the advisor could inform them after they have made their greeting.
[Multiple responses were allowed during this survey, so the total does not add up to 100%]
What greeting would you advise a contact centre advisor to use?
Please leave your suggestions in an email to Call Centre Helper.