Whether you call it a script, a dialogue plan, call guide, or another phrase, a plan for managing the interaction with customers and prospects is a vital component of a successful contact center campaign, and applies to both inbound and outbound programs, no matter the size of the job, industry or audience.
Hearing the word “script,” usually invokes words of a movie, play, broadcast, or speech, as defined in a dictionary. A script in the contact center industry provides agents with the road map of how to control a conversation positively and professionally, resulting in a successful customer experience. The value of an effective script cannot be overstated.
Scripts can be rigid or fluid. On specific programs, like those found in the energy industry, for example, a script must be read verbatim when a call center provides third-party verification services. In most settings, companies don’t want agents to sound rigid, preferring that scripts be used to prompt a dialogue. A dialogue plan is a script that helps manage the flow of a conversation. It allows an agent to project their personality and express sympathy or empathy, as needed, to customers. A good call center will train agents to effectively use a script to correspond with customers vs. sounding rehearsed or robotic.
Through repetition, the flow and terminology of a script eventually become second nature to staff. Many agents’ mental muscle memory allows them to manage interactions reflecting the details of a script without referencing it. Think of the numbers and letters on keyboard keys. Once you know where specific keys are from experience, you don’t look at them when you type. A well-written script, applied repeatedly, will have the same effect.
Considering the many benefits of using scripts, allow sufficient time to develop a powerful one. Begin by creating a draft, conferring with your team, and seeking the help of contact centers that offer experience in your vertical. Contact centers have the unique position of serving many brands, absorbing best practices across numerous industries and audiences, and this knowledge could benefit your program in ways you might never think of.
Scripts must be custom developed to achieve program-specific goals. For example, if you have an eCommerce business and are developing a script for a pre-sale interaction, your script should include offers to increase the average order value through upselling and cross-selling pitches. A successful call center will have scriptwriting down to a science and will be able to create a script that perfectly aligns with your program and audience.
Even so, scripts should be considered a work in progress throughout the duration of a program. When your program is live, be prepared to make script modifications based on customer interactions and agent feedback. Making script modifications is not an admission of defeat; it is an opportunity to improve customer experiences and results on the program.
Effective scripts provide many benefits, a few of the most important ones are:
- Scripts manage the flow of the conversation. This process helps keep interactions on track, providing the resources required to accomplish interaction objectives without missing details.
- Scripts maintain consistent messaging. Agent training should cover scripts extensively. Once training is complete and agents are tested for content retention, they begin live service with the tools required to represent your brand consistently.
- Scripts service efficiency. A compelling script helps minimize the handle time on interactions, which results in a more cost-effective program.
- Scripts provide an introduction and reinforcement of your brand messaging – in a word, advertising. On a phone call, for example, agents should reference your brand a minimum of three times – at the beginning, while providing support, and in closing. Furthermore, if you play a call recording before customers are connected to live agents, include brand messaging in the recording (it’s a great spot to promote any current specials!).
When thinking of scripts and call centers, most people associate them with phone calls, but the content of scripts can be employed across all contact channels. For example, when providing customer support through email and chat, the script’s function exists in the form of templates. These templates should be consistent in the way they influence the customer experience. Consistency is critical, and a contact center that offers the latest technology will offer the features needed to provide a consistent service experience regardless of how customers interact with you.
When selecting a contact center partner, experience does equate with a higher quality of scripting. An experienced partner will happily work with you to design the best scripting plan for your program.
Telecom, Inc. has been providing contact center services to leading brands, across numerous industries, for nearly thirty years. Contact us for a no-obligation complimentary consultation about our services and learn how our custom solutions align with your program needs.