You're concerned that if you use scripts in your call center then your agents will sound robotic. We get it. In this article, I'm going to discuss the pros and cons of scripts and how to get all of the benefits of providing suggested text (or prompts) without the robotic downside of scripts.
You don't want your agents to sound scripted
We have all had the experience as a consumer of talking to a call center agent that was clearly reading a script. It never feels good. First, there is no personal connection. Second, you don't have confidence that they really know what they are doing. You begin to wonder if they can really solve your problem because an agent who is reading a script doesn't sound very experienced.
So you clearly don't want your agents reading scripts.
You DO want your agents to sound confident and to deliver the right information
We have also had the experience of speaking to a call center agent who seemed unsure of what they were saying, or worse, was very confident in giving us the wrong information. There is nothing worse than speaking to an agent that is clearly confused and that can't help us.
We don't want our agents to make mistakes so we clearly should use scripts.
But we don't want our agents to sound like robots so we clearly shouldn't use scripts.
We are starting to sound a little like Vizzini in "The Princess Bride" and, as Wesley would say, "We are at an impasse.”
Finding the best of both worlds with "Prompts"
This decision doesn't have to be quite so binary. You can provide your agents the guidance they need without causing them to sound like robots. The solution is using "Prompts" with suggested language instead of scripts.
What is a prompt? A prompt is a bit of suggested text that can be inserted into an Interactive Conversation Flow (ICF) in ScreenSteps. An ICF is basically just an interactive help article that guides the agent through a process depending on what the customer needs. We aren't going to dive too much into ICF's here but suffice to say that an ICF is going to show your agent exactly what the next step of the call should be.
Each step of your ICF can contain prompt text that provides a suggestion as to what the agent could say.
By guiding the agent through the process and providing prompts, you can accomplish several things:
- Training time decreases because your agents don't need to memorize as much information
- Agent confidence increases because they aren't worried about whether or not they are doing or saying things "wrong"
- Your QA scores skyrocket because agents aren't making mistakes
- Your agents are able to focus more on the caller and less on the process, developing a more personal connection with the person on the other end of the phone
This last point is so crucial. When agents are stressed or confused it is very hard for them to be "present" while they are on a call. When they have the support of an ICF along with suggested prompts, they no longer have to worry about whether or not they are "remembering" things correctly. They can be completely focused on the customer and their needs.
How ScreenSteps presents Interactive Conversation Flows that guide an agent instead of mandating a script
In order to help agents follow procedures correctly AND not sound scripted, ScreenSteps does a few things. The goal is to give your agents as much information as they need to be confident and successful without overwhelming them with too much information.
As an agent progresses through a call, they are presented with just the information they need for the next step in the call. For example, in this call, a patient is calling to schedule an appointment. This will be a televisit so the agent needs to make sure the customer has access to the right technology. Here is an example of what they would look like in ScreenSteps:
Notice that the heading clearly communicates the purpose of this step: "Confirm caller has access to proper technology". Underneath, in text that is formatted as a prompt, there is suggested language that the agent can use.
This style of formatting allows the more experienced agent to just be guided through the process at a high level (making sure that the patient has the right technology), while the newer or less experienced agent has the support of knowing what they need to say.
The key difference is the presence of the headings. They define the purpose of this step of the call. If all you get is the script then you have to read the script and that makes you sound robotic.
But with the headings in place, the agent can understand the purpose of this step in the call and rely on the prompt text as a support instead of crutch.
With ScreenSteps, your choice about using scripts doesn't have to be an all or nothing. You can choose to support your agents with the guidance they need, without making them sound scripted or robotic. This allows them to follow the right process, deliver the right information, AND focus on the customer throughout the call, which is what we all want.
Do you want to learn more about how you could help your agents be more confident, more connected and make fewer mistakes by using Interactive Conversation Flows? Then schedule a time with a member of our team. We would love to discuss it with you.