Whether you run a telesales outbound call center or an omnichannel inbound contact center (or both), having scripts or at least a guide to support your agents in how they deal with the calls is a helpful tool to ensure you have good quality, adherence and coherence across your agents. It may seem easy, but it really depends on the type of calls you’re dealing with and the complexity of the products and services your company offers.
Tips and recommendations for call scripting in contact centers
- Think about training future agents
The easiest way to get started on writing a call script is to approach it as if you were onboarding a brand-new agent. As such, you need to consider it as more than just what agents should be saying, but also as a process and troubleshooting guide. It will be helpful is you make a list of all the tasks, processes and experiences of calls you’ve made or supervised.
- Create your own way of handling calls
Define what tone of voice and level of language you’d like your agents to adopt or speak to the Marketing team who have probably gone through that exercise as part of their strategy. Try to make similar calls to the ones agents will be handling and write down things that work well and things that don’t. Remember that regardless of the type of call or product, agents should be looking to establish rapport and trust with the customer from the start.
- Pre-determine answers
What questions or objections is your agent likely to run into when making or taking a call? It’s unlikely you’ll be able to cover them exhaustively in a single script and in fact, scripts are not meant to replace a knowledge base. However, the more different cases you can list with the appropriate answer, the more successful agents will be. In addition, you will want to have coherent and compliant answers ready for some tricky questions.
- Route calls appropriately
A good, personalized script on its own may not be enough to close the sale or solve the issue. Intelligent contact routing will ensure your calls are assigned to the best available agent based on their skills. A contact center software like ICR Evolution supports such capabilities, as well as call redirection and transfer when the customer has landed in the wrong department. Your process guide should clearly reflect which team deals with what type of contacts.
- Establish a clear structure of your guide
Be logical about how the information is presented in your guide, like you would expect from a website or a knowledge base. Ideally, you will structure it according to the various stages of a call and then add a section for objections. Each section should have both an actual script, or at least talking points, and a process for what to do in the software at each stage. It’s essential to have a dedicated person responsible for maintaining an up-to-date script.
- Make it visual
When they’re busy on the phones, agents won’t have time to frantically search through the script for that one answer. Chapters, colors and images are always helpful to bring out important information and support an efficient navigation. Your agents may not be avid readers, so make sure you’ve made your script more accessible than an instruction manual or a history book 😊
Structuring your script
Each step should be clearly outlined. Typically, an outbound calling script would include the following stages:
- Introduction: who I am and why I’m calling you today
- Verbal handshake: who am I speaking to
- Description of the product or service I’m calling about
- Unique selling points: what makes it different
- Objections: dealing with concerns
- Purchase, for example processing an order or setting up an appointment, always being clear about next steps
- Closing the call: Summarizing the key talking points and thanking the person for their time, in a polite and pleasant manner regardless of the outcome
The script should also outline behavioral tips such as being very clear in how we present things to a customer and easy to understand. We want to pique the customer’s interest and open doors for them into an exciting world so the tone of voice should reflect your energy and smile. However, you should always be quite formal and respectful, there should of course be no swearing or inappropriate language of any kind.
Hopefully this article has clarified the key steps to take when writing a call script for your contact center. If you haven’t already, we’d like to invite you to trial this approach starting with the most basic cases your agents are dealing with. Observe their reaction and how they are using the script, chances are they’ll be more confident, motivated and ultimately more productive!