Featured Image for the blog: Conversational Customer Service Scripts from Dunder Mifflin (+ Examples)

“Dunder Mifflin customer service, this is Kelly”

If you’ve watched NBC’s hit series The Office, you’ve seen Kelly Kapoor’s mad customer service skills. After nine seasons of watching Dunder Mifflin fight off paper behemoths like Staples and Office Depot (all while computers slowly took over the world) I learned a thing or two about good customer service. As Dunder Mifflin branches closed and mergers took over, Scranton stayed open.

But how?

By now you know your agents throw your customers a life raft when their experience is sinking. In fact, some 80% of customers say your agents have the biggest impact on the customer experience.

Turns out, Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s frontline people differentiated the company against massive competitors. They delivered high-touch sales and customer service. It was the small business feel that kept accounts with Dunder Mifflin. When a customer needed help, they could reach out and know Kelly would be there to help. And if she couldn’t, they knew they could talk to Jim, Dwight or even Oscar to solve their problem, too.


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Among all I learned from watching The Office over and over (and over), my biggest takeaway was to treat people like, well, people. Stiff scripts and robotic conversations don’t give your customers the warm fuzzies. Really, quite the opposite. Research shows making agents adhere to rigid customer service scripts is a leading source of customer frustration.

Instead, take a page out of Dunder Mifflin’s playbook. Today, we’re using Kelly’s customer service knowledge and colloquial nature to draft example scripts for your contact center’s internal knowledge base. You might not be a paper company, but these four scripts from Kelly Kapoor are transferable across industries.

Here are 4 conversational customer service scripts from Dunder Mifflin to inspire better customer service:

1. The script to kick off any interaction.

Your agents have seven seconds to make a good first impression on your customers. After that, your customers form opinions about their experience and any negative perceptions cloud the rest of their customer journey.

Get inspiration from Kelly Kapoor on how to start conversations, then stock example scripts in your knowledge base so your agents always have a starting point.

How Kelly Kapoor would set expectations and start a call with a customer:

“Dunder Mifflin this is Kelly, who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today? 

So nice to meet you (insert customer name here). I’m the go-to person to answer all your paper and printing questions. I’m available here at Dunder Mifflin from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can reach me at any hour via text.

How can I help you today?”

How to translate this customer service script to your contact center:

The name exchange is a crucial part of introductory conversations. When sharing Kelly’s example with your agents, emphasize that agents need to introduce themselves by name AND ask for your customer’s name. Learning names builds trust and sets the tone for a personal conversation.

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 2. A script for when your agents are on break or in a meeting.

How many times did Michael Scott frantically call his entire staff to the conference room to cover urgent topics? Probably 20 times too many. Each day.

In today’s world where customer needs (and expectations) keep growing and queues overflow, it’s hard to find downtime to give agents a reprieve from the phones. But sometimes stepping out of the queue and into a conference room or a team huddle is necessary. In fact, team meetings, 1:1s, and your agents’ coveted break time are essential to their productivity and development.

So rather than pilfering this time from your agents, create customer service scripts that will keep customers informed when agents are away from their desk.

Here’s an example of what Kelly Kapoor would do to keep Dunder Mifflin customers updated on her whereabouts and how to get help:

“Dunder Mifflin Customer Service, this isn’t Kelly. I’m away from my desk right now helping Michael and the Sales Team figure out how to sell more paper than Staples. I went to a business program at Harvard, so they need my input. 

I’ll be back in about 2 hours (after I save the day and get my nails done on my lunch break), so you can reach me then. 

If your request is urgent, reach out to Ryan. He’s taking all my interactions.” 



How to translate this customer service script to your contact center:

Obviously your agents aren’t getting their nails done or spending hours at a time in the conference room. We can’t all be Kelly Kapoor. But use three key points from this script in your own contact center for a better customer experience.

  • Show some personality. According to Kelly it’s important to brand yourself. It’s okay to include a personal anecdote in your customer service scripts. Injecting personality into your messaging connects your agents to customers on an emotional level, and data shows those emotional connections correlate to more repeat purchases.
  • Offer alternative ways to find help. If your agents do have to step out of the queue, make sure customers have a clear path to answers. In your scripts, include links to other resources your customers can use (like an FAQ page or knowledge base). Or, direct them to another employee who can help (like Ryan).
  • Be transparent with your customers. If agents will be away from their desks for an extended period of time, don’t sugar coat it. Operations leaders often see time out of the queue as time and money wasted. But your customers (and certainly your agents) don’t always feel the same.

    At a company I used to work for, we took a half-day off for field day every June. It was typical for our customer service team to send out a generic message telling our customers phones would be out of service from 10- a.m to 2 p.m.

    But one year, we tried something different. We told our customers we were having a field day to celebrate our employees and that’s why the phones were out of service. We offered alternate ways for them to reach us, encouraging them to reach out via email or leave a voicemail. Not only did our customers appreciate the expectations we set ahead of time, but we got dozens of replies to our email update commending us for taking time to celebrate our employees.

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3. A script for when you need to transfer a customer.

Customers hate being transferred. We know. But transferring a customer fast (and only once) is better than keeping them on the line with an agent who can’t solve their problem.

Still, it’s important to approach these situations with careful consideration. One misstep and you can send customers on a downward spiral. At Dunder Mifflin, the team’s always in sync, so transferring calls is simple. I mean, Pam’s certainly mastered it. And I have a feeling Kelly knows just what to say too.

Here’s how Dunder Mifflin customer service transfers calls:

“Dunder Mifflin customer service, this is Kelly. What can I help you with today? 

I’m sorry, it sounds like you’re having issues with billing. That’s not my forte, so I’ll transfer you to Kevin in our finance department. He can tell you why he used a kelevin on your invoice.

Oh, and I have to say this to all my customers, but if your Sabre printer is catching on fire, you’ll need to talk to Jo or Gabe about that.”



How to translate this customer service script to your contact center:

  • Put up a united front. Give customers peace of mind that your company is working together to solve their problems. Coach your agents to explain their area of expertise and why someone else would be better suited to solve their problem. It shows you work cross-departmentally and communicate openly to help customers.
  • Tell the customer who they’ll talk to next. It’s okay for your agents to admit they don’t have all the answers. But it’s also on them to find someone who does. Agents should clearly explain where they’re transferring a customer and, if possible, who they’ll talk to next. That way if a customer gets disconnected, they can call back and ask for the right person.
  • Tell the customer what to expect once you transfer them. If wait times are long for billing, tell the customer. If you identified the issue and know how billing will help, tell the customer. The more info your agents can reasonably share, the more trust they build with customers.

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4.  A script for handling misaligned expectations

When the intricacies of your product or service aren’t explained well or customers get oversold, it fuels frustration and problems in the customer experience. And often, your agents are the ones who deal with those problems. So, how can you help them eloquently tackle customer issues? Learn from Kelly.

How Kelly would handle poor expectation setting:

“Dunder Mifflin customer service, this is Kelly. Who am I speaking with today? I’m going to pull up your account information so I can see what issues you’re having and how we can remedy them. 

I’m sure Jim would be happy to throw in a free shipment for you next month for this inconvenience.”

(Please note: Kelly is only ratting Jim out because he forgot about her birthday last week. We don’t recommend that agents call out coworkers by name.)



How to translate this customer service script to your contact center:

When you stock customer service scripts in your internal knowledge base, use real life scenarios that might pop up post-sale for your agents to handle. And, make it clear in the scripts that agents can (and should!) use customer information during their conversations. The more customer knowledge your agents have, the more they can clarify issues and get to the root of the problem. Then, encourage your agents to remedy the issue on the spot. Empower them to use their judgement and offer customer incentives that make sense.

What’s more? Once your team can diagnose and treat customer expectations that didn’t come to fruition, they can also share the feedback internally, so painful experiences don’t repeat themselves. Kelly can make sure Jim asks customers clarifying questions before they sign on the dotted line next time.