How To Enrich Customer Interactions With Call Scripts

24-08-2017

When I utter the word call script, I am sure you’ll imagine a call center agent reading from the screen or a piece of paper – just like those Bollywood actors who memorize their scripts.

But this is not what your customers expect of you. Instead of listening to those repetitive answers, they want you to listen to their issues and resolve them; this makes personalization of utmost importance.

Wondering a way out? A well-crafted script, backed by call center software, can facilitate meaningful conversations and can accommodate creativity, to avoid monotony. Agents should stay spontaneous and should do a quick situational analysis, depending on the nature of each case.

I know you can easily get off with this by not using a call script. No call script, no unnatural behaviour! But what if I told you that call script is a customer engagement tool, you shouldn’t miss out on? When used effectively it can benefit you to the best of it. Want to know how? Scroll through:

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1.    Evade human errors: When you have a call script, your agents can refer to it; reminding them about the process you have in place. If you miss out on a call script, agents could over look the introductory or closing aspects after a few repetitive calls.

2.    Encourage consistency: Irrespective of the agent who’d answer the call, a customer expects you to make consistent efforts to resolve their issues. As a company, you’d want your customers to have the same experience, each time they come to you. Thus, maintaining consistency in the approach is significant.

3.    Boost agent confidence: Call script can act as a guide for your agents; they’ll know they can rely on it to solve customer issues. This way they will tend to spend more time listening to customer queries rather than worrying about a possible solution. In all, your agents will know what they are talking about.

4.    Optimize training time: Generally, you have to spend, a minimum, 1 month training time with new hires. In such cases, call scripts act as a guide and will help them learn the process, reducing your training time. Additionally, agents won’t feel nagged to learn everything at a go; reducing your employee turnover. Learning is an ongoing process and call scripts let you keep it that way.

5.    Enhance the call center performance to augment customer satisfaction: There is always room for improvisation and reviewing performers can help you adapt best practices or learn new techniques. Resultantly, increasing customer satisfaction and facilitating improvement.

6.    Legal compliance: In certain cases, you need to abide by the legal norms and ensure your agents read the exact copy – as mentioned in the call script. You can spare the script, only to stay compliant.

7.    Easy integration: Have an IVR or a PBX system? Doesn’t matter. Call scripts are easy to integrate; so your agents can get the necessary customer information and respond to specific queries.

If the reasons listed above make little sense to you, you could use the script to get rid of those old perceptions people have about call scripts and use it wisely to enhance customer satisfaction.

Now since you know the benefits, how do you use a call script effectively? Here are a few hacks you can use:

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1.    Customer interactions are the key: An efficient script will always sound natural to agents and customers. You could draft a good script using the tools offered by call center software solutions – call monitoring and call recording to get a better picture of customer concerns and how they were resolved.

This way you can use customer interactions to draft a call script that sounds natural.  Using a courteous introduction is important but engaging the customer in the interaction is equally important.

2.    Ongoing improvisation: You should keep a track of ongoing trends and improvise your scripts accordingly. This will help you monitor customer queries, possible solutions and come up with new marketing techniques. Don’t forget to involve agents while creating or improving a script, as they have more insights to offer.

3.    Say no to customer interruptions: We live in a customer centric world and listening to the customer is significant for the growth of any business. Irrespective of what your script says, listen carefully and let the customer explain his concerns before you go back to the script.

Asking the customer to repeatedly provide the same information, could be frustrating; resulting in a negative experience.

4.    It’s ok to ditch the script: Yes, call scripts can be a guide for your agents but the most important thing is to comprehend their problems. So don’t be reluctant to make changes, shuffle the order or even ditch the script when needed.

Call scripts act as an arsenal for your agents when used strategically with an emotional appeal; the tool is sure to intensify customer experience. But like other times, I’ve got an experience to share – what we call as the case study.

CASE STUDY

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Well, I have two examples for you right now. But I guess we should look at a call center to understand how it used call scripting to improve the various operations.

The case in point is a call center, founded in 2000, providing outsourcing services to their clients in the banking, retail, insurance and investment industries. With its operations spread across the country – in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune, the call center aims to deliver quality service at minimal rates.

PROBLEM

Operating with over 1200 employees across the country, the call center started noticing a few issues lately. They were as follows:

1.    The high expectations laid by the company resulted into employee attrition that was approximately 20 percent of their hiring.

2.    Agents were unable to complete the given projects in time. This resultantly caused unhappy clients and incurred losses for the call center.

3.    After a few calls were monitored, the call center witnessed lack of confidence due to insufficient product knowledge.

4.    The call support team was often unable to resolve customer concerns and had a high call wait time, causing call drop-outs.

5.    The telemarketing team was unable to market any products. This caused frustration among employees as well as the staff.

6.    Hand-picked employees performed well, however, the rest were unable to.

Various teams were appointed to resolve these issues but the outcome was equal to nothing. The management decided to increase its training sessions which resulted in heavy losses – as employee attrition was high and most of the new hires quit their jobs in less than 3 months. The management was unable to identify the root cause of these problems.

SOLUTION

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It soon decided to monitor its competitors and a few leading call centers, only to notice that they were using the best call center software backed by the call scripts.

Call scripts was a new concept for the company and it took time for them to get acquainted with it. The very first question was, would this be useful to them in any way? It could incur more losses, but taking-up the risk was a much-needed thing for their survival.

They wanted to take the chance. As a first step towards the change, they made a call script for telemarketers and monitored it well. It was their first ever call script and sounded robotic to the caller but agents looked more confident now – in terms of the product knowledge.

The call center monitored a few customer interactions and spoke to their agents about how this script could be crafted well. Five teams were given the chance to improve the script; later tested with prospective customers. After reviewing, one out of the five scripts was finalized and shared with all their agents.

Now was the time to implement the concept among their customer support teams. This was a little difficult as customers could come up with unpredictable questions.

Instead of using a formal call script, the management decided to outline a layout which could then be used as a guide by their staff. They conceptualized an introduction, listed the product offerings and put forth a concluding message in this layout.

Their next step was to monitor calls; for which, they adopted an upgrade of their existing call center solutions. Quite a few calls were monitored and customer concerns were noted.

The new revision was based on the concerns pointed by the customers and their possible solutions. After a month, both – telemarketing and customer service, call scripts were finalized.

The outcome was terrific!

•    New hires had all the product information in their hand. This made them confident enough to pitch the product to customers.

•    The process was outlined and was in-line with the client requirements.

•    Customers were willingly listening to agents and there was a phenomenal drop in the call wait time.

•    The training cost had reduced substantially after call scripts were introduced.

•    Both – customers as well as employees, were now happy; resulting in a wider clientele.

CONCLUSION

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With all the operational improvements happening, the call center witnessed an overall increase in their revenue and a significant increase in employee performance; on the other hand, they noticed a decrease in the employee attrition rate.

Further improvements were made to the scripts used and they were then crafted based on the suggestions put forth by agents or clients.

They had realized that improving the script was an ongoing process which would require continuous call monitoring and would need to keep a track of the latest trends.

All of this made it easier for agents to manage customer queries and had budged in a zeal for work.

Ah, wait! Before you think of implementing the call script in your contact center, don’t forget to back it up with the call center technology! You surely want to find a call script that will do its bit for you so, here is a small checklist:

    Craft a script

    Share it with the agents and let them learn

    Monitor calls and keep a track of latest trends

    Allow employee suggestions

    Keep improvising

    Most of all, don’t forget that it is ok to ditch the script or mould it as required.

Now you are all set to formulate a script so, get going!

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