posted September 17, 2012
Have you ever called a contact center and felt like you’re talking to a robot instead of a human being? Often this feeling of “communicating with a computer” can be attributed to how the agent is reading a script, when in fact it's just extremely poor use of an agent workflow.
Agent scripting shouldn’t be applied to a customer experience as a robotic, word-by-word script that an agent follows during a customer interaction. Customers have unique needs, and agents must adapt to them, not based on what to say, but on what process to follow. In reality, agent scripting should be the customer dialog function of a strategic workflow process designed to optimize the customer experience.
Unfortunately, there are several lingering myths around the value of agent scripting in relation to the overall customer experience. We'd like to clear the confusion by talking about four specific myths we hear on a regular basis.
Myth 1: Agent Scripting is Robotic
We're not saying that robotic scripts don’t exist. We’re saying that real agent scripting doesn't need to be robotic. Effective agent scripting should be viewed as a map, guiding an agent in a consistent process to efficiently resolve a specific customer request. Agents are encouraged to incorporate personality and follow the appropriate call flow that fits the conversation most accurately. Great agents who have the best technology at their desktop will be focused on the customer, not on what words to say.
DEBUNKED: Agent scripting is NOT robotic!
Myth 2: Agent Scripting is “Customer Unfriendly”
A recent article outlined a complaint on a well-known social network that said, “The person I spoke with (on a customer service line) would not even listen to anything I had to say, she just kept repeating the same phrase,” and “She was clearly not even listening, just reading from a script.” Is this the fault of agent scripting? No. That’s the sign of an agent sitting at their desk with a script and without a customer interaction workflow. Unfortunately, the customer and the company will pay the price for the unfriendly experience. Agent scripting should always be a part of a well-crafted process that elicits the exact answers to customer inquiries, resolving issues on the first call attempt. If the process is well designed, the "unfriendly" part of the dialog should disappear.
DEBUNKED: Agent scripting can uptick the friendly factor in customer service calls.
Myth #3: Agent Scripting Reduces an Agent’s Capabilities
Agent scripting, in fact, can greatly improve an agent’s capabilities (if done the right way). A crafted customer interaction dialog is an essential part of an overall interaction process. Agent scripts enable an agent to navigate a wide range of questions and inquiries from a customer as part of the process. For this to work efficiently, the agent-facing desktop should be integrated with all of the required systems, delivering relevant information to the agent’s screen. The agent script in this scenario is just the navigation point that grabs relevant and timely information based on direction of the call, essentially increasing the agent capabilities in line with the customer requests. Instead of searching for possible answers to a variety of questions, an agent can follow a consistent business process to provide what the customer needs.
DEBUNKED: Agent scripting increases the capabilities of the agent.
Myth 4: Agent Scripting is Costly
Every contact center executive is aware that great customer service directly and indirectly impacts an organization's bottom line. If effective agent scripting can lower average call handle time, increase first call resolution, and lessen a customer’s frustration, the impact can be measured in hard dollars. Agent scripting via a unified agent desktop should always provide clear, rapid ROI.
DEBUNKED: Agent scripting saves companies money if implemented effectively within a process.
Do you still believe any of these myths about agent scripting? We’d be happy to hear your opinion.