14 call center scripts to empower your agents through every interaction
Let’s say you’re a customer service rep with a long queue of phone calls from customers. (Directors, I know most of you have been there). You’re going to answer the first one and – like that – you practically forgot how to put two words together. Or have you ever jumped into a customer service chat, and as soon as the customer message pops up… poof!… It’s like all the call center scripts you’ve ever read disappear from your brain. You get stuck thinking, “How am I supposed to help this client?” “
As someone with a phobia of phone calls, I often jump on a call and lose my train of thought. What comes out of my mouth is far from being communication skill. Every day, call center agents talk to complete strangers – by phone, live chat, email. And sometimes they pick up the phone, meet a new customer, and… their minds go blank. Perhaps the agent is being left to ramble on, sharing information that may not be true just to keep the conversation going. Or, they resort to this customer waiting. Again and again.
In these times, one of the best ways to support your call center agent is to give them the say with flexible yet reliable call center scripts. Scripts can seem archaic in the call center world (done the wrong way – they are). And, they sure can’t solve all of your customer service issues. But, when you provide your team with malleable talking points for live chat and phone, you’re supporting agents through tough times. Let’s start with the call center scripts that you can tailor to your team’s needs:
1. Call center scripts to greet your customers
First impressions with a customer are important. A friendly greeting can go a long way in determining the comfort level of your customers. It may seem like a simple part of an interaction. But when you offer your agents a welcome script, it gives consistency to your call center and reminds your agents how that first “hello!” is. Let’s take a look at the importance of a greeting no matter how your agents contact you.
Welcome customers on Live Chat:
Live chat interactions should be a bit more concise and direct than over the phone. It takes longer to type long answers and you don’t have time to type a paragraph. Plus you don’t want too long detailed scripts which are difficult to navigate.
Customer reception by phone:
On the phone, your agents have a little more time to greet your customers and give them a personal touch. Make your greeting more conversational. Unlike live chat, your agents may not have access to customer information during a call. So, ask agents to exchange names with clients right away. After getting the basic details of a customer problem, make sure the agents ask them how they are feeling.
Analyze the customer’s tone of voice and ask questions accordingly. Encourage your agents to take ownership of their greeting, but provide a sample script to set a standard for the information they need to share first.
Here are some call center scripts to try:
- “Hello my Name Is [Insert Name]. What can we do to help you today? “
- “Hi! You are talking with [Insert Name]. How can I help you today? “
- “Hello / afternoon / evening! I am [Insert Name]. What brings you to our site today? “
- “Thank you for [calling/reaching out]! My name is [Insert Name] and I would like to offer my service today. Can I ask for your name? How can I help you?”
2. Call center scripts to apologize to customers
Empathy is an important skill for all call center agents. Customers want to feel important, understood and heard when they encounter a problem. McKinsey reports that 70% of a customer’s journey is based on how the customer feels treated. Part of communicating empathy to a frustrated customer is apologizing for their bad experience. Even if it’s not your agent’s fault (and it usually isn’t).
No matter who is at fault, an apology shows the customer that your business wants to help them solve their problem while making sure their concerns are heard and understood. Give your agents apology tips and ask for more information when they need it.
Apologize to customers on the live chat:
Again, brevity is important when communicating via chat. Your agents don’t have the luxury of having a tone of voice to show the customer that they are deeply sorry for the inconvenience the customer has suffered.
Be aware of the time on the chat. Officers should apologize quickly while not being therefore concise that it seems they don’t care. And, via SMS, make sure your agents communicate that they’re working on a solution, and not just leaving the customer hanging. Communicate when you expect a response.
Apologize to customers on the Call:
Your agents benefit from their tone of voice to help them communicate care over the phone. It’s hard to fit the tone into a script, but coaching agents reading a customer’s voice and consciously using their own voice to show compassion. In your scripts, show your agents several approaches to dealing with a customer who feels they have been wronged. And remember, some customers will appreciate an agent trying to fix the problem. But you’ll always have at least one who wants to talk to the manager, regardless of the apologies.
Here are some call center scripts to try:
- “We’re sorry you encountered this inconvenience and I want to make sure we fix this for you. Please give me a moment to find a solution, and I will get back to you shortly.
- “It’s not the kind of experience we want our customers to have. I am so sorry that you went through this. There are a few things I can try to resolve this issue. Let’s work on the problem together, and if we can’t, I will contact manager to help you further.
- “I know this situation is far from ideal. We are sorry that you have gone through this and I personally want to find a solution for you. Let me talk to [department name] to help resolve this issue. It will take about 30 minutes, and I’ll call you back after. Here is my direct line in case you need anything while waiting.
- “We apologize for the inconvenience you have encountered. I am so sorry and want to make sure this is resolved for you. It is my top priority to take care of your problem and transform your experience. Give me a moment to research your information so that I can put together a solution that works for you.
- “I am very sorry for the confusion today. Please feel free to express your concerns further and I will be sure to pass your comments on to my supervisor. Let me see what we can do to resolve your issue, and I’ll be happy to listen to any other issues you have.
3. Call center scripts for customer follow-up
First Contact Resolution is the ideal scenario with a customer: the customer calls or sends a chat, your agent gathers information, finds a quick solution, and off you go. Another satisfied customer! But, sometimes problem solving can’t be done in one 15-minute phone call. Your agents may not have the information or the skills to resolve all of the issues your customers face. And, if the customer has already contacted once, they are probably not logged in with the same agent who has the full context of the problem (which is why we are measuring ACR instead of FCR at Sharpen).
So how can you help prepare your agents to better help customers beyond interaction?
Customer follow-up on Live Chat:
Live chat follow-ups are difficult. It’s likely that after the live chat ends, your customer won’t reach the exact same agent the next time around. Chats provide their own version of a transcript, giving agents information to use in their follow-up response. But it is also difficult to dissect and solve complicated problems via chat. In live chat scripts, make sure agents ask for customer email or other contact information so they can follow up in a separate channel if the issue gets too complex. And have agents ask customers for details about their issue and record them in case another employee needs to take care of the follow-up.
Customer follow-up by phone:
Getting all the details and contact details of a customer in the post-call briefing notes is essential before hanging up. Just in case one agent can’t answer all of the customer’s questions, your other agents will still have context to resolve the issues in the second round. And ask agents to set clear expectations about when to self-ascertain if they fail to resolve a problem on first contact. Set specific deadlines and coach agents to avoid vague language where they can.
Here are some call center scripts to try:
- “Unfortunately, I do not have access to the information I need to resolve your issue, but I can confirm the details with someone in our [insert department name] department. They will give me the context I need to get your answer from you. Can I contact them and email you with an update before the end of the day? “
- “I don’t want to leave you on hold while I wait for a response from my supervisor. Would you mind if I spoke to them and could call you back at this number within the next two hours? “
- “I apologize for the wait, but I will not be able to get a quick response to you via the live chat. If you send your name and email or phone number, I will be happy to email or phone back to you within 30 minutes once I get a response to your problem.
- “I see you spoke with [agent name] last week on this same problem. I’m sorry we haven’t fixed this for you yet. Here is what I know about the problem [insert info from interaction notes]. Is this still the problem you are having? I’ll work on it for you right away.
- “Hello, I’m sorry you had to come back to you. I see you needed help and worked with [agent name] yesterday. Did a new problem appear or do you still need help with the same? We will solve this for you today.
Say this … not that
9 phrases to teach your agents to improve the customer service experience