Creating a Call Center Script
Early in my creative career, I volunteered as a night DJ for a college radio station. I loved playing music and interacting with insomniac listeners, but I really enjoyed reading the news. I tore a copy straight from the cable service printer, and if I was lucky, I’d have a producer convert this raw newsfeed into informational text, which I read into the microphone. The text was broken down into meaningful sentences designed for easy transmission over the air. If my producer didn’t show up for my shift, I did it myself. I marked the page, inserted pauses, and emphasized the words and phrases I wanted to emphasize martineroch.
If I couldn’t understand anything on a fuzzy and weak AM signal, what was the point of taking five minutes on the hour to deliver the message? I had a lot of fun and I learned how to “speak” again. Whenever I speak live today, I use the exact same techniques I learned when the “On Air” sign flashed over the studio. I mark my speech or the passage of text I’m reading because I know that impact is everything. If I run out of breath in the middle of a sentence, it’s too long. If the last word of a sentence is inaudible, my message is lost. When I stumble across an unfamiliar word or name, my audience loses faith in my message.
Live phone operators working in call centers and answering machines need the same help any live speaker needs. It is the call center operator’s job to convey the customer’s business image to the caller and this begins with the first few seconds of the call. The needs of many small business owners never go beyond their representative responses of “Company XYZ, may I help you?” and improvise the rest of the conversation to get the information the client is requesting. When customers upgrade their accounts to more complex services, it is important that they create a script that works for both the company signing up for the service, the operator reading the script, and the customer. Your sales representative will be happy to help you create the best script for all your sales or information requests.
Creating a call center script begins with the “answer phrase,” and the same principles continue throughout the process of creating a logical script. Here are some key points to keep in mind when creating your script:
Avoid tongue twisters
Make your greeting as simple as possible. “Doctor Perkowicz Peoria Plastic Surgery Plaza” is not easy to say even for native English speakers. Make sure your operators know how to pronounce each part of your answer sentence and the rest of the words in your script. Keep sentences short and avoid repeating consonants that might sound awkward on the phone or cause the operator to stutter.
A “good morning/evening” greeting may work for some businesses, but not all. If your company does business across time zones, consider using a simple “Hello, XYZ Company” for your customers across the world.
Humanize your greetings
Have an impartial friend or trusted customer listen to your greeting, especially if it’s a long introductory message of more than a sentence or two. Do you sound like a recording? If you give a caller that impression, the person on the other end of the line may just hang up because they want to talk to a live person and not a machine. Keep all parts of your script short and give the operator who relays your message time to breathe and sound like a real person when you create your script.
Less is more
There is a temptation to cram all the information about your business into your call center script, including providing a copy of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list so he or she can quickly scan the file and answer 99.9% of your questions questions from callers. However, this skill requires practice and training on the part of the operator and patience on the part of the caller. Long pauses to look up information add expensive minutes to the call and are frustrating for operator and caller alike. Extensive customer training is available through most call centers, budget permitting. If this resource is not an option for you, limit the information available to the operators. This can be detrimental to your business. Make sure that you follow up with your call center to make sure they are serving your needs.
Tweak, and tweak again
Review your script from time to time, and see if it’s still leading to action. Ultimately, your script should lead to a sale, an appointment a request for more information or further contact from your office. Check your call logs and any statistics your sales representative provides you with on a monthly basis. If you notice a downward trend in your results, work with your sales rep to change your script.
These suggestions are only the beginning of creating a successful call center script for your organization. Work with your sales representative and listen to their suggestions, add your own, do your market research and your script will be a success. Clear communication starts with clear instructions from you, and clear voices on the answering end of your phone lines. Your call center will work with you to make sure that all of your needs are filled over and above your expectations.