Your Guide to Writing an Effective Call Center Script

By Danielle Antosz

 

Despite the increase in digital communications, call centers staffed by real, live agents remain critical to building customer confidence and excellent customer service. However, many businesses struggle to provide agents with the tools they need to successfully assist customers.

For these businesses, the right call center script can make all the difference when it comes to the efficiency and effectiveness of their call centers.

Here’s what companies need to know when creating or revising a customer service script.

How customer service scripts work

Call center scripts are pre-written response guides that give agents a framework for customer interactions. Depending on the type of business you have, a call center script can:

  • Provide steps to troubleshoot common problems

  • Help reps explain technical details to callers

  • Safeguard the company in regards to legal-compliance issues

The main goal of a call center script is to help agents provide accurate information to customers as quickly as possible.

Effective call center scripts help agents assist customers faster, offer standardized information, and decrease call resolution time. Scripts can also assist agents in building rapport with customers. Companies that use scripts increase agent effectiveness, resulting in lower call back volumes and decreased customer complaints.

The benefits of effective call center scripts

Creating a call center script is a time-consuming task. However, even if your business is facing other challenges, it may be just the right time to focus on customer service scripts. That’s because these scripts offer a number of important benefits.

Consider the following five benefits of using a call center script. 

  • Save time: Scripts serve as a reference tool so that agents can access accurate information in one location. This reduces call resolution time and lessens the number of support emails and service calls. 

  • Reduce human errors: Accuracy is always important but particularly when customers are confused, upset, or frustrated. Call center scripts reduce errors by providing answers to complex challenges in an easy-to-understand format. 

  • Increase consistency: Call center scripts ensure customers receive the same quality of service, no matter when they call or who they speak with. This consistency improves overall customer satisfaction and brand trust.   

  • Make customer service more efficient: When critical information is right at their fingertips, agents can focus on building rapport with customers and ensuring they are satisfied with the resolution. This improves customer service as a whole. Happier customers are also more likely to purchase additional products or upgrade their current plans. 

  • Improve the omnichannel experience: Customers expect to be able to reach brands via social media, phone, chat, and email. Call center scripting helps create a consistent omnichannel experience across platforms, since all customer service channels operate off the same information. This helps build trust with your brand. 

An effective call center script is helpful outside of a call center, too, especially for smaller businesses with only one or two support agents. Call center scripts distill critical information that can also be available as knowledge base content or in chatbot scripts, as well as on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Four strategies for writing effective call center scripts

Some companies are unsure of where to start with their scripts. Here are four strategies to help create or improve your call center scripts.

1. Prompt agents to be personable

Call center scripts shouldn’t read like a textbook — dry and without personality, though technically correct. Use them as a reference or guide. When an agent uses a line-by-line script, the conversation is more mechanical and doesn’t flow easily or feel natural. While a totally scripted conversation might solve the customer's problem, it won't leave them feeling heard or with positive feelings about your brand’s customer service.

Instead, give your agents some structured autonomy. Your script should prompt agents to use the caller's name to help build a personal connection and to ensure you have the correct customer data pulled up on your CRM platform. Then, with a call center script guiding them, agents can answer questions while building individualized rapport with the customer. The script provides responses for common problems, but the agents can fill in the rest. This leaves room for more natural interactions between the caller and the agent. Not to mention, it will save you time by not having to write out scripts for every possible interaction.

Your callers should feel like the entire conversation was customized for them, not like the agent was reading a book. And, with proper customer service training, agents can use call center scripts even more naturally and comfortably.

2. Avoid technical jargon and industry speak

When creating a call script, use simple language that will be easy for all callers to understand. Be careful not to talk down to customers, but to speak in a way that reduces potential confusion. Customers call when they need help — this isn't the time to show off your team's advanced technological vocabulary or marketing jargon.

Keep your script simple and to the point. Save industry jargon for coworkers who understand what a "full-stack, omnichannel support vehicle" is. For instances in which some level of legalese or business jargon is required, agents should preface the section with a note that the information is mandatory and encourage callers to ask questions if any of the information is unclear.

3. Reword negative statements into positive actions

Words are powerful. Negative words create a negative experience, but positive words and phrases reflect empathy and understanding. Positive statements include:

  • “I understand”

  • “I will”

  • "I am happy to"  

An effective customer service script creates a positive experience.Everything agents say should be optimistic and helpful — which can be a challenge when customers aren’t in a good mood. However, certain words and phrases can positively impact the customer experience and de-escalate emotions.  

For example, instead of saying, "Sorry, that item is currently out of stock," agents can say, "The product will be available on January 1. I can go ahead and confirm your order now if you'd like. That way you’ll be one of the first to receive the new shipment." This phrasing offers the customer a solution with action and information, saves the sale, and even lends the solution a sense of exclusivity.  

Here's another example: A banking customer calls because they have not received their new banking card. Instead of saying, "I am sorry your card is taking so long," the agent can say, "I can certainly see why that would be frustrating. I'll get a replacement in the mail to you today with overnight shipping." This phrasing acknowledges the customer's frustration, focuses on a positive and immediate action that resolves the issue, and gives the customer a timeline to full resolution.

4. Before you write the script, take a look at call center analytics

Call center analytics provide scriptwriters with a wealth of information about any inefficiencies in existing scripts, common challenges customers face, and tasks that slow down customer service agents.

Take time to review call center recordings, if you have them, and to look at data to uncover areas that need improvement. For example, you may find that 10 percent of the longest calls focus on one specific challenge. Can you create or improve the script to help agents better explain the issue? Until improved onboarding or product instructions resolve the issue, the call center script can bridge the need.

Or, while listening to calls, you may discover the current script creates some confusion because it recommends a now-outdated process. Updating this portion of the script will improve customer service, reduce call times, and help solve the customer's problems.

Call center scripts should support a personalized customer service experience, not serve as an iron-clad script that agents are required to follow to the letter. The most effective scripts are ones your customers don't even notice.

Make a plan for regular updates to your call center script. As processes change, new products are launched, or technology is updated, make sure your script reflects those changes. Your call center script is a document meant to update and change as your customers’ needs and questions shift. When your script reflects their needs, your customer service truly revolves around the customer.

For more ways on how to meet your customers’ needs over the phone, check out our blog article on Service Cloud Voice.