The Difference Between Script Reading and Rapport-Building Conversations - Volkart May - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Call center agents hold a lot of power. After all, they are in direct contact with current and/or potential clients and customers on a daily basis. If the conversations go smoothly and have a positive outcome, the company as a whole comes out looking good. If the conversation doesn’t go quite as well, it can negatively impact the overall brand reputation of the company. That’s why call center agent performance is monitored closely and why ongoing agent training is so important. One way call centers ensure performance is by outlining what agents should say during a conversation in the form of a script. But is script reading the best way to keep customers and clients happy? Let’s take a closer look at script reading and its alternative:
Scripts certainly have a place in the call center. For example, in highly regulated industries, there are certain things that must be legally conveyed during conversations. Scripts are useful to agents and help guide the conversation in the right direction. Customers understand that a script may be used on some level. But ultimately, a customer wants to have a real conversation with a human being! When the conversation is too scripted, it’s unnatural and the agent comes off as a robot. Nobody wants to talk to a robot! The unique needs of the caller may not easily be addressed by the script sitting in front of the agent. Once it becomes obvious to the caller that the person on the other end of the connection is just reading a script, it can fuel their frustration with not just the agent, but the company as a whole. It can result in a negative brand experience which can translate into lost business opportunities.
For call centers looking to be more effective, it’s worthwhile to invest in the alternative to script reading:
If you’re looking to avoid customer frustration in your call center, it’s advisable to keep the scripting to a minimum and give your agents freedom (within reason) during the conversation. A script reader often misses the mark when it comes to creating a rapport with the customer. When a caller has a pleasant and beneficial conversation with a properly trained and knowledgeable human (not a scripted robot!) at your company, it can establish a positive brand experience and even brand loyalty. In addition, it provides the company with additional information about the customer that can lead to up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. Sticking to a script allows for little leeway in the conversation and important customer insights are often missed. Even at the beginning of the sales cycle, a conversation that builds rapport with the customer or prospect helps an organization build its brand and increase its bottom line.
Publish Date: June 24, 2015 5:00 AM
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