Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When Sticking to the Script Can Do More Harm Than Good

Man on the phone reading a script
You know (or should know) the stats by now. It takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for one negative experience. Your probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent versus the 5-20 percent chance of selling to a new prospect. Most buying experiences (70 percent, to be exact) are based on how the customer feels they’re being treated.

These stats have been ingrained in your head, so you’ve trained your staff on exactly what to say to provide top-notch customer service over the phone. But is that really the best approach? No two customers are the same, so should your staff follow the same script with every call? Here are a few mistakes your staff could be making while following your phone scripts.

They Talk Too Fast


If your staff is too focused on saying everything in the script, they may speak so fast that callers don’t understand them. And if you’re evaluating your staff’s calls (as you should be), it might get tricky if your employees sound like auctioneers.

Encourage your employees to take the time to enunciate each word so your customers can understand what the salesperson is saying. What’s the point in training your staff what to say if your customers have to process their words in hyper speed to understand them?

They Don’t Listen


Strictly adhering to a script can sometimes mean your staff isn’t really listening to what your customers are saying. Consider the following example:

Sally Salesperson: Thanks for calling ABC Motors. This is Sally. How can I help you?
Chris Customer: Hi, my name is Chris, and I’m looking for a red four-door pickup.
Sally: Yes, sir. I’d be happy to assist you. Can I please have your name and the type of vehicle you're interested in?


Not only is it frustrating for customers to have to repeat things, but it can also unnecessarily lengthen the amount of time it takes for your staff to address each caller’s request.

Advise your representatives to make a conscious effort to listen to pertinent details the customer gives them. Suggest that they take note of those details so the caller doesn’t have to repeat them.

They Interrupt


Sometimes customers have complicated questions or issues that need extensive explanations, and other times they just like to talk. Either way, it’s never appropriate for the salesperson to interrupt them. But if your representatives are constantly focused on the next line in the script, common courtesy can take a backseat to saying what they’ve been trained to say.

Make sure your salespeople pay attention when customers are talking and only speak when the customer pauses. Your customers should always come before a checklist of things to say.

Do you allow your staff to ad-lib when speaking to customers? Have you had success with using a phone script? Let us know in the comments!