The Power of Positive Scripting and How to Master It for Customer Service
Positive scripting is a customer service practice that provides preset responses to customer care reps to deal with common queries and issues.
16:06 14 January 2022
The last decade has seen a paradigm shift in the way businesses engage with customers. The strictly transactional relationship of sales and purchase has moved to a more intensive focus on customer experience. According to a recent survey, 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a business following excellent customer service.
This statistic explains why businesses around the world are increasingly adopting a customer-centric approach and spending more time and resources to provide an enhanced customer experience.
Running a company - whether it be managing a small business or a multinational corporation requires a dedicated team for customer care. Business call centers are conventionally at the front end of customer service. It’s imperative to have contact center representatives adequately trained to serve and respond to customers.
What is Positive Scripting?
Positive scripting is a customer service practice that provides preset responses to customer care reps to deal with common customer queries and issues. The idea behind this is to provide a blueprint for productive and positive engagement with customers. Scripts can include generic guidelines on greetings. They can also include more specific lines and phrases for reps to read from.
Positive scripting can also provide prompts for upgrades and upselling. They’re also very useful to ensure that customer care executives are complying with legally required language.
Advantages of Positive Scripting
Customer care centers routinely use positive scripting to train their reps so they can engage appropriately with customers. But what are the specific advantages of using positive scripting?
Faster Resolution of Customer Issues
Call center agents can often struggle to find the correct response to a customer query or complaint. Positive scripting provides them with ready responses to most FAQs and grievances. This facilitates a quicker response time in addressing the issue at hand and provides an improved customer experience.
A pre-set script allows call centers to maintain consistency in their messaging and responses. For example – a customer who speaks to Agent A about their company’s aov marketing will get the same response from Agent B about the same issue.
A script reduces the risk of human error because agents have the benefit of referring to standard responses. For example - a small business owner calls the contact center of a company from whom they’ll be buying computers. They want to know what to consider when purchasing a desktop computer and compare that to laptops. Positive scripting is very helpful here in proving the specifications of each device.
It’s not possible for customer care reps to memorize every product detail and without a script, this can lead to them providing incorrect information.
Disadvantages of Positive Scripting
In spite of the obvious benefits of positive scripting, it also has a few drawbacks. The most commonly cited issue with positive scripting is that it makes customer care reps sound robotic. Customers can mostly tell when an agent is reading off a script. The lack of a “human” feel to an interaction makes customers less likely to engage with a business.
Another issue with positive scripting is that it can often be used as a crutch. For new or under-trained support staff who rely heavily on these scripts, it’s difficult to be flexible in different scenarios. For example, positive scripting may suggest addressing customers by their first names, but this may not go down so well with every customer.
A large part of customer service is gauging a customer’s behavior and adapting a rep’s approach accordingly. Scripted responses don’t allow much spontaneity.
How to Use Positive Scripting for Customer Service
Positive scripting can be a very useful tool, especially for new customer care reps. It’s a great resource to help them learn on the job but can be detrimental to their growth if they rely too heavily on the script. It’s also important to consider your customers before developing your scripts.
You want to respond to them as quickly and efficiently as possible, but without seeming like you’re reading off a page. An example - you may be advising a customer on the benefits of installing a VoIP system for their business. You shouldn’t sound like you’re reading a list - remember customers can read lists for themselves!
Prepare Responses for Multiple Scenarios
The smartest approach to any situation is to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Similarly, for customer service, positive scripting should account for responses to various situations. From generic product enquiries to specific complaints - it’s useful to have scripted responses for a large variety of calls. This makes reps more prepared to deal with customers.
It also gives them the confidence to improvise their responses to unexpected calls. Let’s say your company provides enterprise messaging services for small businesses. Your contact center script includes responses to all the usual FAQs like price breakdown, or special offers. Your reps should be able to provide answers to even unscripted queries like what is A2P messaging.
Include Specific Questions
While positive scripting facilitates improved engagement with customers, the end goal is to solve the customer’s problem. To do this, positive scripts need to include specific questions that can get to the root of a customer’s issue faster by avoiding long conversations.
Imagine if a customer is calling about reconfiguring their byod device. You could ask what the issue is, when the device had been configured last, and also the customer’s name and reference number. This lets you get straight to the issue.
Use Positive Words
This may seem obvious, but using certain “power” words and phrases have been found to instill confidence in customers. These include words like “imagine”, “definitely”, “assure”, “understand”, and “certainly”. However, be careful not to overuse these words just to fill gaps in conversation because that could make your reps sound disingenuous.
On the flip side, it’s also important to know not to entirely ban certain words just because they could be deemed negative. It’s recommended to avoid using phrases such as “no less than” which imply a double negative. However, totally prohibiting them can interfere with the organic flow of a conversation.
Test Your Script
It’s important to test your positive script within your team before using it with your customers. You could set a role-play scenario to see how well your script is working and get feedback from your team members. Script testing is particularly useful for customer care teams who use remote workforce management as it gives remote teams the chance to engage with one another and work collaboratively.
Reduce Restrictive Scripts
Sometimes hyper-detailed scripts can get in the way of natural interactions. It’s important for reps to feel unrestricted by a script. The purpose of a positive script is to guide reps towards a positive interaction with customers. Scripts shouldn’t trump natural impulses like empathy. Understanding the individual needs of customers and responding in a sensitive and intuitive manner forms the basis of customer service.
Sometimes, even during an active interaction with a customer, if you sense a lack of connection or the customer losing interest, don’t hesitate to go off-script.
Review and Revise Your Scripts
Your script should match your brand’s tone of voice. Think of keyword research SEO. The same way digital marketers review and reassess the power of keywords for SEO, you should also review your scripts to ensure they’re relevant to the changing needs of your customers. Scripts should also continue to provide positive responses to customer concerns.
Reviewing scripts allows you to remove any outdated messages or product information. It also gives you a chance to cross or up-sell products.
Give Your Reps Time to Learn Scripts
It’s important to give your customer service teams time to learn your positive script. This allows them to practice the responses and ask any questions they may have. The longer the time teams spend learning the script, the more comfortable they’ll be while using it with customers.
Customer care reps need to familiarize themselves with product details and FAQs in order to provide accurate answers to customer queries. For example, if your company provides social media marketing services and a customer calls about influencer whitelisting services, reps should be prepared to talk them through the process.
To Sum Up
Throughout this article, we looked at the use of positive scripting in customer service. Scripts are a great way to guide customer service teams towards positive engagement with customers.
They provide the blueprint for the ideal conversation and provide guidance on dealing with tricky situations like when a customer raises a complaint or a grievance.
Jessica Day - Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.