Four Customer-Centric Ways a Call Center Agent Can Go Off Script

Call center phone agents often follow scripts as they interact with customers on the phone. These scripts help ensure all the information is properly communicated and that nothing is forgotten. However, they are often too robotic and impersonal. Your business’ call center can do better.

Two weeks ago I got a call from Linda. She called our home to follow up on a program in which my family was participating.

When the call was done, I told Linda that she did a great job on the call because even though she had to follow her script, she still acted like a human and made a connection with me.

What did Linda do that was so special? She did four critical things to improve the call experience:

1. Respond to the Customer

When I answered the phone and Linda introduced herself I asked how she was doing. This is typically how people talk on the phone. However, it isn’t how call center employees typically talk on the phone. Instead of brushing aside my question, she answered sincerely and asked about my day.

2. Acknowledge the Customer’s Environment

Linda asked if I had a few minutes to talk. I said I did but couldn’t grab some paperwork because I was working in the kitchen. She recognized that and even commented that she could hear me cutting in the kitchen. Background noises could be dogs barking, kids playing, or other noises that hint at the situation on the other end of the phone.

Don’t ignore the customers’ environment. Acknowledge it and weave it into the conversation as appropriate.

3. Ask a Follow-Up Question

As our conversation neared a close, Linda asked what I was making in the kitchen. I know this wasn’t in the script but it did show that she was listening to me.

Listen to your customers on the phone. Just because you initiate the call doesn’t make it a one-sided conversation.

4. Talk with Emotion

Call center scripts encourage reading. Reading encourages a monotone voice. People typically don’t talk like this.

Vary your pitch, tone, and the emotion with which you follow your phone script. It will make the call more natural and comfortable for your customer.

The Outcome

A customer-centric call will increase the likelihood that customers will follow through on the action you need them to take.

After my pleasant conversation with Linda, I handled the task she needed me to do. If the call had been robotic and monotone, I would likely have taken a different course of action.

Your business would be wise to learn from Linda’s example. Be personal. Be conversational. Be a human. Why? Because your customers are.

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  • http://www.enkata.com/ Trish Voskovitch

    “Reading encourages a monotone voice. People typically don’t talk like this.”

    A very good point! You have to remember that you’re having a conversation with people, not reciting a script. A little personality and sincerity can go a long way.

    • http://www.returncustomer.com Joe Rawlinson

      @Trish – So true. Customers are people first. Personality and sincerity are always present in a good conversation.