Is call center scripting obsolete?

Faith Ocampo Published on April 19, 2016

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As contact centers are focusing more on the customer experience, would scripting still be relevant?

Making customers happy through seamless interactions has never been more important, especially now that they can voice out their sentiments about a brand through social media. Brands are thus working even harder to meet customer needs, the most crucial of which is personalized service.

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But is it possible that some in-house practices are working against this goal? For example, call center scripts, which are commonly used by agents to give accurate information to customers, may rapidly lose relevance in the industry.
Scripting comes with plenty of pros and cons. The biggest pitfall is that it can curb the individual creativity of frontline employees, making them sound robotic, cold, and mechanical. But at their best, customer service templates aid agents in delivering relevant information to customers.
Meanwhile, brands are facing the need to tailor-fit every single one of their services for an individual customer. It s undeniable that the focus of customer service has started to move away from traditional call center metrics. Everyone s seeking ways to project themselves not as brands with marketing goals but instead as organizations that prioritize helping enhance people s lives. There s thus an ever-growing need for them to reinforce this kind of branding through customer service.
Will this transition render call center scripting obsolete?

Do scripts make agents bad listeners?

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When an agent relies too much on a script, they may end up becoming less attentive to a customer s true needs. They ll be quick to assume that the solution would lie somewhere within a pre-established guide. As a result, they could end up proposing irrelevant solutions to a customer s unique concern in their failure to understand the core of the problem. In such cases, customers become frustrated not just from a heartless, monotonous conversation but also from inefficiency.
Without a script, agents learn how to solve customer problems in ways best suited to their specific scenarios. By becoming more independent, they gain a better grasp on what their responsibility as service providers really is.
Therefore, the central theme of employee training and development in a call center must be service excellence and what it means to customers. Brand representatives must understand that, in delivering the service that customers deserve, they are the most important components. Their skills, expertise, and readiness to help are invaluable assets that would place their brand ahead of the race.

Adding value to services

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As customer needs evolve over time, call centers must also transform to be able to keep up. Traditionally, brands use quantitative call center metrics to gauge customer satisfaction. Although this method remains applicable, more and more managers are tuning into customer feedback, product reviews, and other online insights to know how happy their customers are. Social listening allows them to spot bottlenecks in their services, product glitches, and other points for improvement.
Thus, if a brand’s sole tool in delivering error-free services is a script, they won t be able to ace the performance metrics that really matter. Customers are now looking for brands that can impress them with speed, accuracy, and sincerity all at once. A customer service template alone won t be able to provide that.
Instead, agents must have a broader perspective when it comes to service excellence. They must know what a customer needs and how they can fulfill them using a wide range of tools aside from a script.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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