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Guidelines and talking points sound different to customers than do call-controlling scripts.  A call center agent who sounds like an advocate or advisor because they naturally converse (what they are told to say), deliver a better customer experience.  With your effort to help agents connect with the caller or to control the content of the call, your scripts easily become a cause of poor customer experiences.

You know that being a call center agent is extremely difficult.  Were you aware that multitasking is close to impossible for human beings to do?  Did you know that with each additional task added to the basic task of listening, efficiency and effectiveness degrade?  Add the need to say specific things during the call to the list of tasks that have already decimated the ability to perform and what do you get?  Well, you get call center agents who sound like idiots (and robots) because they resort to reading the script and not one who is thinking about what the caller is saying.  As far as your customers are concerned, you have engineered intelligence, common sense, and human emotion right out the door.

Your customer experience and/or speech analytics can help to identify agents who are desensitized due to over scripting.  If you are only doing traditional quality monitoring then you are not actually listening what your customers are saying.  Here are some examples of what you could hear:

“I called to close my account and the rep ends with the required thank you to me for being a valued customer.  I am not a customer any more!”

“An agent referred to me by the wrong name the entire call even after I corrected her and spelled my name out twice.  If you can’t get it right, don’t keep using my name.  I was so frustrated by the end of the call I just hung up on her.”

“The whole point of the call was to process the return for this XYZ so why would you try to sell me an extended warranty at the end of it all?”

“It seemed like she wanted to help me but I just couldn’t get much more out of her than whatever she was reading to me.  It wasn’t very helpful so why did I bother calling you?”

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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