Let’s say you’re a customer service rep with a long queue of phone calls from customers. (Managers, I know most of you have been there). You go to answer the first one and — just like that — you’ve practically forgotten how to put two words together. Or, have you ever jumped into a customer service chat, and as soon as the customer’s message pops up…poof!… It’s like all the call center scripts you’ve ever read vanish from your brain. You’re stuck thinking, “how am I supposed to help this customer?”
As someone with phone call phobia, I frequently jump on a call and lose my train of thought. What comes out of my mouth is far from communicating competency. Every day, call center agents talk to complete strangers — over the phone, over live chat, over email. And sometimes, they pick up the phone, get confronted with a new customer and… the mind goes blank. Maybe the agent is left rambling, sharing information that may not be true just to sustain the conversation. Or, they resort to putting that customer on hold. Over and over.
In those moments, one of the best ways you can support your call center agent is to provide them with the words to say with flexible, yet trusty call center scripts. Scripts might seem archaic in the call center world (done the wrong way – they are). And, they certainly can’t solve all of your customer service woes. But, when you provide your team with some malleable talking points for both live chat and the phone, you support agents through sticky moments. Let’s get started with call center scripts you can adapt to fit your team’s needs:
1. Call Center Scripts for Greeting your Customers
First impressions with a customer are important. A kind greeting can go a long way to determine the comfort level of your customers. It may seem like a straightforward part of an interaction. But when you offer your agents a greeting script, it gives your call center consistency and reminds your agents how critical that first “hello!” is. Let’s dive in on the importance of a greeting, no matter how your agents reach out.
Greeting Customers on Live Chat:
Live chat interactions should be a bit more concise and direct than over the phone. It takes more time to type long responses and you don’t have the time to type a paragraph. Plus, you don’t want any overly long detailed scripts that are hard to navigate.
Greeting Customers over the Phone:
Over the phone, your agents have a bit more time to greet your customers and add a personal touch. Make your greeting more conversational. Unlike live chat, your agents might not have customer information shown to them on a call (unless you’re using a contact center like Sharpen). So, have agents exchange names with customers right away. After getting the basic details of an issue from the customer, make sure agents ask them how they’re feeling.
Analyze the customer’s tone of voice and ask questions accordingly. Encourage your agents to make their greeting their own, but provide a sample script to set a standard for the information they should share first.
- “Hello! My name is [Insert Name]. How can we help you today?”
- “Hi! You’re speaking with [Insert Name]. How can I assist you today?”
- “Good morning/afternoon/evening! I’m [Insert Name]. What brings you to our site today?”
- “Thank you for [calling/reaching out]! My name is [Insert Name] and I would love to offer my service today. May I ask for your name? How can I help you?”
2. Call Center Scripts for Apologizing to Customers
Empathy is an important skill for all call center agents to have. Customers want to feel important, understood, and heard when they’ve encountered a problem. McKinsey reports that 70% of a customer’s journey is based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Part of communicating empathy to a frustrated customer is to apologize for their poor experience. Even if it’s not your agent’s fault (and it usually isn’t).
No matter who’s at fault apologies show the customer your company wants to help resolve their issue while also making sure their concerns are heard and understood. Give your agents some guidance to apologize and ask for more information when they need to.
Apologizing to Customers on Live Chat:
Again, brevity is important when communicating over chat. Your agents don’t have the luxury of a tone of voice to illustrate to the customer that they’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience the customer experienced.
Be mindful of time over chat. Agents need to apologize quickly while also not being so concise that it seems as if they don’t care. And, over text, be sure your agents communicate that they’re working on a solution and not just leaving the customer hanging. Communicate when to expect a reply.
Apologizing to Customers over the Phone:
Your agents have the benefit of their tone of voice to help them communicate care over the phone. It’s hard to build tone into a script, but coach agents to read a customer’s voice and consciously use their own voice to show compassion. In your scripts, show your agents several approaches to dealing with a customer who feels they’ve been wronged. And remember, some customers will appreciate an agent who attempts to solve the problem. But you’ll always have at least one who wants to speak to the manager, regardless of the apology.
Here are a few call center scripts to try:
- “We’re so sorry you experienced this inconvenience and I want to be sure to resolve this for you. Please give me a moment to find a solution, and I’ll respond shortly.”
- “That’s not the kind of experience we want our customers to have. I’m so sorry you experienced this. There are a few things I can try to get this resolved. Let’s work on the issue together, and if we can’t figure it out, I’ll tag in manager to help you further.”
- “I know this situation is less than ideal. We are so sorry you’ve experienced this and I want to personally find a resolution for you. Let me talk to [department name] to help resolve this. It will take about 30 minutes, and I’ll call you back after. Here’s my direct line in case you need anything in the mean time.”
- “We apologize for the inconvenience you’ve faced. I’m very sorry and want to make sure I resolve this issue for you. It’s my top priority to take care of your issue and turn your experience around. Give me one moment to look up your information so I can put together a solution that works for you.”
- “I’m so sorry about the mix-up today. Please do not hesitate to air your concerns more and I will be sure to pass your feedback along to my supervisor. Let me see what we can do to resolve your issue, and I’m happy to listen to any other issues you’re having. ”
3. Call Center Scripts for Customer Follow Ups
First Contact Resolution is the ideal scenario with a customer: the customer calls or sends a chat, your agent gathers info, finds a quick solution, and there you go. Another happy customer! But, sometimes, problem-solving can’t happen in just one 15-minute phone call. Your agents may not have the information or ability needed to solve every issue your customers face. And, if the customer’s already reached out once, they’re likely not connected with the same agent who has full context of the problem (that’s why we measure ACR instead of FCR over at Sharpen).
So, how can you help prep your agents to better help customers beyond interaction one?
Following up with Customers on Live Chat:
Follow-ups on live chat are tough. It’s likely that once the live chat ends, your customer won’t reach the exact same agent the next time around. Chats offer their own version of a transcription, giving agents some information to use in their follow-up response. But, it’s also tough to dissect and solve complicated problems over chat. In live chat scripts, make sure agents ask for the customer’s email or other contact info so they can follow up in a separate channel if the problem gets too complex. And, ask agents to prompt customers for details about their issue and record them in case another employee has to handle the follow-up.
Following up with Customers over the Phone:
It’s essential to get all the details and contact information from a customer in post-call wrap-up notes before hanging up. Just in case one agent can’t answer all the customer’s questions, then your other agents still get some context to problem-solve in round two. And, have agents set clear expectations for when they’ll follow up themselves if they can’t solve a problem on the first touch. Give specific time frames and coach agents to avoid vague language where they can.
Here are a few call center scripts to try:
- “Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the information I need to resolve your issue, but I can confirm details with someone in our [insert department name] department. They’ll give me the context I need to get you your answer. Is it ok if I reach out to them and send you an email with an update before the end of day?”
- “I don’t want to leave you waiting on hold while I wait for a response from my supervisor. Would you mind if I go speak with them and I can call you back at this number in the next two hours?”
- “I apologize for the wait, but I won’t be able to get you an answer quickly over live chat. If you send your name and email or a phone number, I’m happy to reach back out via email or by phone in 30 minutes once I have an answer to your problem.”
- “I see you spoke with [agent name] last week about this same issue. I’m sorry we haven’t resolved this for you yet. Here’s what I know about the problem [insert info from interaction notes]. Is this still the issue you’re experiencing? I’ll work on it for you right now.
- “Hi, I’m sorry you had to reach back out again. I see you needed help and worked with [agent name] yesterday. Did a new issue pop up, or do you still need help with the same one? We’ll get this figured out for you today.”