Can Good Customer Service Ever Be Scripted?

Contact Centre scripting isn’t the most talked about customer service topic, nor the most alluring, but it does play a significant role in boosting sale opportunities, increasing customer satisfaction and winning loyalty. As a result, scripted customer service is employed by representatives to ensure a high-quality service is accomplished daily.

Scripting customer service allows for organisations to provide a clear communication of expectations across all employees. By standardising the customer service process, organisations can ensure the outcome of customer interactions are predictable and consistent. The level of script used tends to vary, from strict and static requirements to more flexible guidelines allowing for use of improvisation as the interaction in conversation develops.

The typical customer will find themselves being involved with scripted customer service encounters every day, whether it is the check-in process at an up-scale five-star hotel, or being asked “do you want salt and vinegar on that?” with each visit at their local chip shop. The success of each scripting depends on the type of script the business uses, and the purpose of their customer service team.
Consistent static scripting

Static scripting involves customer service representatives following the script issued word by word. This type of scripting is often frowned upon, as it can make conversation stilted, impersonal and dull.

However, static scripting can provide a benefit to certain organisations whom are dealing with specific scenarios where a directed outcome is needed (such as collecting and obtaining customer information for banking to adhere to compliance laws). This type of script is often tweaked, as the organisation develops an understanding for what works best, and results in the most beneficial of outcomes.

Personalised dynamic scripting

More organisations are embracing dynamic, personalised scripting to help build lasting relationships with customers. Unlike static scripting, if a customer asks a question which is not on script, the representative can answer the question confidently without the need for passing the caller onto someone more knowledgeable.

A personalised, off-the-script experience can result in customer confidence being restored and help to turn a negative experience into a positive, lasting relationship. By allowing representatives to add personality to calls, customers will acquire faith within the company and become to rely on the service given.
Research shows customers recognise a scripted service

Two recent studies conducted by the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, suggest that customers are sharp-witted when it comes to recognising when they’re being conveyed a script in a service encounter, and that they don’t mind as long as the encounter involves a comparatively standardised interaction, like checking into a hotel.

The studies, which were led by a team of current and former professors and students at the David Eccles School of Business, also show that if businesses heavily script an encounter in which the customer is looking for distinct, individualised information – such as a restaurant recommendation from a hotel concierge – they risk making customers feel like they’re receiving a terrible service quality.

A further survey from Software Advice found that 69 per cent of respondents said their customer service experience improves when agents don’t sound like they’re reading from a script. More than half of those surveyed, 51 per cent, said it bettered their call experience either ‘a lot’ or ‘tremendously’.

Customers want a personalised service

Organisations implement scripts for all different operational reasons. Usually, the reason is to ensure the quality and the encounter is consistent across the workforce, and certain steps are followed by employees. However, organisations should be careful about the kind of scripting they’re implementing.

Customers want to feel like they’re talking to a person who both understands and cares about their issue. Customers desire for natural language, and expect to be treated as an individual. They want to experience, at the very least, a support person who is responsive to their unique needs.

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