If you work as an agent you might have experienced that some scripts work better than others. Sometimes there is not one single explanation to this fact, because it's hard to put a finger on exactly what works and what doesn’t. In other cases, the main explanation is simply that the script doesn’t follow the basic rules for a good call center script.
Some might argue that there’s no recipe for the perfect script, while others might argue that a script can be a constraint for having a natural conversation. There’s some truth to that. Depending on who you are calling and your purpose, you need to adapt your sales techniques, and sometimes a script can really be constraining. But if your agents are working on larger campaigns communicating generic messages, then using a script is highly recommended.
No human being is alike. The human factor is one of the strengths in telemarketing. But it's also a weakness because the human factor heightens the risk of having differentiated communication from agent to agent. Within the risk of having differentiated communication also lies the risk of misinforming and making errors.
By providing your agents with call center scripts it becomes easier to keep the communication aligned and correct, and it ensures that all agents always have answers to possible questions right at their fingertips.
Remember, your agents are the face of your company, which urges the importance of a unified, accurate and consistent communication that always reflects what your company stands for!
And let’s be honest. Not all call center employees have years of experience. Some call centers hire unskilled labor and spend minimum resources on training, just to lower the costs. In these situations, a call center script is likely to be indispensable to avoid the communication getting off track.
As mentioned, no recipe is perfect. But there are some basic rules that are good to have in mind in order to compose an efficient script that helps your agents doing their job the best way possible.
What a good call center script should contain:
Provide your script with generic sentences and phrases worded in a positive tone that can be useful when there is a need of lightening up a conversation
Make sure your script contains the answers to the most critical questions that may be asked
Keep it structured so it’s easy to find answers to any question
Make sure your script is compliant
Make a list of obvious objections you’ll meet and a guideline on how to handle them
1. Introduce a problem-solution pattern
A good approach to your call center script is by applying a problem-solution pattern to it. As you’re probably already familiar with, customers tend to have a handful of questions about whatever you’re offering.
The best way to tackle this is by being fully prepared. What we mean by this is that you should think of all the possible questions that a customer might have, and then provide those with appropriate answers as well.
You'll probably end up with a long list of answers to all your questions, which again leads to your agents easily getting confused, if you don't structure it.
A classic Q&A-format where you divide your Q and A’s into subcategories is preferable. Though, you still need to prioritize what’s most important and localize FAQ’s.
To avoid ending up having a script filled with questions and answers, it can be a good idea to place your Q&A and your FAQ on a separate landing page and link to that page from your script, simply to make the script more workable.
Consider whether it can come to your advantage to have multiple answers for different types of customers. That way, you’re less likely to be caught off-guard by the person at the other end of the phone.
2. Write your script in a positive tone of voice
A positive tone of voice is always preferable. Go through your draft and look for any negative phrases – e.g. phrases containing “not” and “no” and see if you can replace them with a positive phrase.
When you occasionally run into critical points during a conversation, it’s also nice to have phrases ready to ease up any tension. Make a list of generic phrases in a positive tone of voice that might be helpful for your agents, if they run into trouble during a conversation.
3. Know how to handle objections
To deal with objections can take some time to fully grasp, but you'll get a hang of it. One of the best ways to handle leads persistently saying no is to always be at least one step ahead.
Just like you do with customer inquiries, you should prepare a list of reasons as to why a customer would say no to your offer, and then respond accordingly.
Your goal should be to create some sort of a barrier that the customer won’t be able to poke through with an unexpected question. Once you master this, you will be invincible.
Always put legal issues into consideration when you’re writing a script!
Try to figure out what kind of questions related to legislation your agents will meet, and write them down! Pin out all important terms and conditions related to buying a specific product, make sure your script describes how to opt out, and most of all, be aware that everything you communicate is aligned with the consent you have been given. If you need to get consent during the conversation, perhaps for recording the conversation, make sure your script is structured in a way that your agents always act compliant.
To be compliant is not only a way of creating trust. It’s a necessity!
5. Evaluate and adjust your script
As mentioned before, you need to adapt your sales techniques based on who you're calling and for the purpose you’re calling. The same rule applies when using a script.
A script is not a static thing. Besides keeping all basic information, such as pricing, delivery terms, e.g. up to date, it pays off to revisit your script occasionally and adjust it if needed.
Perhaps your agents have been receiving questions about your product, that you didn’t think of while you were writing it in the first place. Or maybe they have discovered new smart phrases that work effectively in the dialogue with the customers, and want to share it with their colleagues.
Recorded conversations can be a very helpful tool to identify best practice among your agents. Go through your recordings of successful sales and try to locate what made the conversations successful.