Can Great Customer Service Really Be Scripted?

Agent scripts are a powerful tool in call centers, but can they guarantee great customer service? Here’s what you can (and can’t) script.

November 17, 2020
10 min read
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It’s an age-old question − can you guarantee excellent customer service simply by using an agent script? 

The short answer is “no” − it’s going to take more than just a great script for your contact center to deliver fantastic customer service. 

However, a strong script is a crucial first step towards great customer service at scale − allowing agents to follow an effective, compliant call structure that empowers them to do their job to the best of their ability. While the rest is down to talented call handlers and quality training, a winning script will help you to maximize your agents’ potential while dotting the “i”s, and crossing the “t”s. 

Whether you use scripts to give your agents a loose structure for the call, or to precisely manage what to say and when, scripting is an invaluable asset to call centers of every size.

What do we mean by “great customer service”?

At its core, great customer service means being empathetic to a customer’s problem, and providing them a timely and useful solution. 

It means following best practices like being polite, demonstrating a positive attitude, and being knowledgeable and resourceful about the issue at hand. It’s about going that extra mile − exceeding customer expectations to not just fix a problem, but make them fall in love with your product or service all over again. 

How does using a call script for customer service improve communication?

Like all good inbound call center solutions, scripting helps you bring efficiency and accuracy to your customer service. Scripts ensure that each call is structured, the agent stays fully compliant, and that they hit every important item on their checklist without getting sidetracked as they maneuver through the call. 

Following a script also helps optimize workflows, cut down on lull periods, and make the agent feel at ease. Scripts can help newer agents to be on the ball, access vast amounts of information quickly, and feel secure about what to say next.

While scripting helps agents convey complex instructions with uniformity and reduced error rates, there may be instances when the agent alone is not able to provide the necessary support. If an agent is not able to achieve resolution within the first interaction, scripting provides easy guidance towards escalation, so that an agent knows when they need to hand off to someone in a different team, or of a higher seniority. Scripting can also help guide customers towards a preferred outcome, such as an upsell. 

However, scripting certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, nor an automatic band-aid to every customer issue. Scripting should never serve to erase the nuance and attention that should be dedicated to each unique customer interaction. 

Instead, interactive scripting software is highly recommended. Interactive scripting allows you to provide a flexible framework to the call, rather than a rigid monologue that the agent has to follow. This flexibility is key so that the agent can feel confident in the knowledge they have all the key information on-the-fly, no matter what direction the call takes. All they need to do is focus on how to say it. 

So, what should you script?

  • The introduction − Good morning/afternoon, thank you for calling [COMPANY NAME], you’re through to [AGENT’S NAME]. How may I assist you today?
  • Acknowledgement of the customer’s problem − I understand that this is a difficult situation for you / I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing these problems / That sounds frustrating and is certainly not the service we aim to provide. We will get that resolved as quickly as possible for you.
  • Security steps − Before I assist you with this, I’ll just need you to pass some security questions.
  • A request for more information − So, please can you explain to me the problem you’re experiencing?
  • An explanation of the steps that are going to be taken − This is what we can do for you…
  • Escalation or resolution − I’m just going to transfer you to our [NAME OF DEPARTMENT] so we can get this fixed. 
  • The conclusion. 
  • The final question − Is there anything else I can help you with today? 

Following an interactive script allows the agent to complete all of these steps with consistency and coherence, no matter what the customer says next.

What you can’t script

Research from Software Advice found that 84% of customers felt their experience improves “more than slightly” when the representative sounds like they are speaking naturally, without the use of a script. Often with rigid, traditional scripting, agents can sound robotic, and like they’re not really listening to the customer. Naturally, you can’t script real empathy, positivity, or humor into a call. 

However, with interactive agent scripting, agents can rest assured that the important factors of the call are safely covered, allowing them the flexibility to add personal touches. Through effective training, agents can learn to listen closely to customers and focus on peppering their speech with affirmative, positive words like “absolutely,” “definitely,” and “I understand.” 

How does Zingtree Agent Scripting work?

For a flexible, dynamic agent scripting tool, look no further than Zingtree. Zingtree Agent Scripting integrates with your CRM or Help Desk such as Zendesk, Salesforce, or Freshdesk to help you create simpler, smarter call scripts that boost call compliance and guide your agents to excel in complex conversations. 

With Zingtree, you can craft the perfect script for your needs − whether that means a flexible framework to shape the call, or stricter messaging for your agents to follow with precision. Building scripts is fast and easy… The Zingtree Wizard does all the hard work for you. No code or tech teams required!

Customers from all over the world use Zingtree to drive higher customer satisfaction, ensure call compliance, and train agents faster, keeping everyone on track and effective. Want to learn more about how you can optimize your contact center with Zingtree Agent Scripting? Request a demo with our team and find out more today!