NOTA AICEX: nella maggior parte dei casi gli script del Customer Service rendono i clienti furiosi. Perché? Nella maggior parte dei casi sembrano rendere ogni operatore un robot che si limita ad eseguire senza partecipare emozionalmente alla conversazione.
Scripted customer service isn’t customer’s best friend. In the best case scenario people will laugh at your scripts, but most of the time it actually makes them furious. People don’t hate scripts, they just hate how your business uses them. They hate talking to a robotic customer service rep that can’t seem to think for himself.The truth is people just hate being deceived.
What happens is you make your customers think that they can call you anytime and talk to one of your employees to have their problems resolved. That’s basically what putting a phone number or live chat window on your website means.
Let’s say a customer calls with a problem. Chances are he’s already quite angry with your brand for causing yet another problem in his life. Your only goal from there should be to make sure this customer hangs up with his problem solved and a happy memory of how helpful your staff was. Isn’t that customer service’s ultimate goal?
But instead here’s what happens 70% of the time: After going through an automated answering machine and waiting several minutes your customer finally reaches a live person. Only to find out that person is reading from a script and is no more useful than a robot. This unfortunately happens a lot more than it should.
What’s left for your poor customer then? He might as well get a laugh out of it with his family and friends. Maybe post the story on social media to get more people to laugh with him.
Your brand’s customer service scripts are turning you into a joke.
We know you want to stop that! Here are 5 reasons your customers, their friends and family laugh at you and your lousy customer service scripts.
Reason n°1: You’re using them to turn employees into robots
There was a funny story going around the internet a while ago about a telemarketing woman/robot that was firmly denying that she was a robot. You can find the recording and story here:http://consumerist.com/2013/12/11/its-kind-of-heartbreaking-to-hear-robot-telemarketer-insist-shes-a-real-person/.
From the few recordings that can be found on the web it is quite obvious that the woman is indeed a robot or according to the latest explanation: prerecorded voice messages played by a real person on the other hand of the phone.
I find this story interesting because most real CSRs can’t actually do much better. Not because they can’t form proper sentences (although this might happen with foreign reps), but because they are not allowed to deviate from the script. I know that some contact centers even go as far as deducting money from the reps’ salary for every word off-script. How do you expect people to deliver upscale service in those conditions?
Reason n°2: You expect your scripts to make foreign agents fluent in english
It sometimes seems like companies think that scripts that are learned by heart can easily make-up for poor language skills. Here’s a shocking news for them: it doesn’t.
If you work in customer service long enough you’ll find out that 99% of conversations can’t be fully scripted.You can’t expect your agents to be able to deliver acceptable customer service if they are not fluent in the language they are supposed to be speaking.
I remember this happening with telemarketers a lot. They would call and recite their script, expecting simple answers like a name, yes or no. As soon as you answered something different they would panic and spiral back into a scripted nonsense, making the conversation so absurd it became laughable.
Reason n°3: Your canned answers turn apologies into a joke
After reading few chat transcripts I noticed that what annoys customers the most are the canned “we’re sorry” messages. Receiving an apology because you have been wronged isn’t something that should make you angry.
I know that companies read somewhere that emphasizing and apologizing will make the customer more sympathetic. That’s true but it has to be sincere. As soon as customers feel that your agent is just using a script, they will consider the apology as insincere and it will make them furious.
Keep in mind that your customers are not stupid, they can spot a fake smile from a real one and easily recognize a scripted conversation.
01:03 Supriya (CSA) : I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
01:19 Supriya (CSA) : My sincere apologies James.
01:19 Supriya (CSA) : I am very sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations this time around. I hope that you will allow us another opportunity to serve you in the future
This is an example from an Amazon chat transcript, all are canned answers, some of them were used few times in the conversation making it even more robotic.
Why don’t these apologies sound more human?
– They are general messages that can (and are) used with all customers for many different situations.
– They use really formal vocabulary that makes it quite clear that they were written ahead of time
We don’t use the same vocabulary or sentence structure when we have a conversation than when we write an article or a speech. Using words like “inconvenience” is a mistake, especially in a more casual communication channel like chat.
Try using shorter, simpler words and sentences instead. Just write in the most sincere way possible. Take a second and think about what you would tell a client if you (personally, not another employee) messed up something. Chances are you wouldn’t apologize for the inconvenience and hope to meet the customer’s expectations next time. If I had to do it, it would look something like that:
– “I am really sorry to hear that, let me see what I can do to help!” This also sounds generique but a lot more human.
The idea is to always offer a solution with your apology. The truth is an apology will never be enough, people are always looking for a resolution rather than just a “sorry”. The best way to make your apology sound more sincere is to show that you want to make up for your mistake and help.
Reason n°4: You’re turning customer service into the most boring soap opera of all times: bad actors reading bad scripts
Your customer service representatives are not actors and are not supposed to be. By giving them a strict script to follow you are turning them into the worst actors in history.
This applies to phone, video and in-person service in particular. Everyone has at least one story about being greeted by a lifeless customer service person reciting a script they’ve learned by heart. Some are a bit better at it and will add a fake smile and cheerful voice tone. But let’s face it, they are not fooling anyone.
What’s the main problem here?
You are putting words that are not theirs in your agents mouth. Therefore they feel disconnected from what they are saying and do what any human being will do. Read those words in a mechanical “I learned that sentence by heart” voice.
If you want customer service to get better, you have to trust your agents a lot more. They are the only one that can improve it and giving them scripts won’t cut it.
Reason n°5: You’re just making it so easy to publicly take you down
It’s funny to see how much brands will invest in marketing, social media monitoring and sales to, in the end, push customers away with atrocious service.
With the arrival of text chat it just became so easy to get a transcript and share it with the world. Customer service is a real marketing tool nowadays, your transcripts are the proof of how much your service excells or sucks.
Why do so many brands choose to suck at customer service?
As always, it’s all about cutting costs! It’s just a lot cheaper to get unqualified people, put a script in their hands and consider them trained. That’s because most companies look at customer service like a “cost center” and choose to do everything they can to limit those costs.
Now consider everything customer service can add to your bottom line:
– better customer retention (more sales at lesser cost)
– new users brought to you by referral (the most powerful marketing tool in the world is a happy customer’s referral)
– more insights on what customers want (ways to spot recurring problems and solve them to limit costs and identify new opportunities to create new sales)
– A wonderful marketing tool (use what your customers tell you to talk to potential customers)
Just try chatting with Zappos and you will see how they turn customer service into a clear competitive advantage. And people are talking about it in articles and forums. Which brings them more exposure and new clients.