Should agents in your outsourced Philippine call center use scripts?

Friday, April 4, 2014

There are several factors that are essential in providing successful customer service. Most of the time, these factors affect one another. For example, how your Philippine call center agents interact with your customers overseas can affect customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, business longevity. If your agents sound insincere, fake, or uninterested over the phone, then your customers will avoid reaching out to you.

The good side

There are pros and cons in establishing delivering scripted customer service. When you implement a call flow or process that uses a script,your customer service agents will know exactly what to do or say when different scenarios arise. This makes training new employees easier. Memorizing controlled responses is easier than formulating unique replies, so new hires will find it easier to adjust.

Scripting also helps in keeping your agents focused on their job at hand. It keeps agents on track and allows them to be more efficient since they do not have to be burdened by thinking of what to tell your customers over the phone. This regulation erases your worries about agents not saying the right things to your customers. In other words, the message sent will be exactly what the brand wants.

The bad side

However, when you impose a script for agents to follow during a call, they usually just read the script provided instead of ensuring a more personal interaction to the customer. Customers have high expectations. When customers call your contact center, they do not want to talk to an agent who is simply reading from a list of template responses like a robot. The customers want to talk to an agent who understands the issue and shows a genuine desire to help.

Your customer service agents can spend the entire day reading lists of responses to customers, but if they don't sound sincere and genuine, the customers will not have a positive experience. Your Philippine call center agents should ask spontaneous follow-up questions, sound authentic, and do whatever action is required to resolve the customers' issues for them to be customer service champions.

The choice you have to make

The answer is to balance a unique and original customer call experience with one that is as equally effective, quick, and accurate. Your customer service strategy must revolve around the expectations of your customers, but that doesn't mean that you should throw those scripts away.

The keyword is guideline. The scripts you provide to your agents must be accompanied with a set of guidelines to follow. Agents must still be trained and entitled to go off-script when they think they have to.

Supplementing scripts with guidelines

Guidelines may include tips on what words or phrases they need to avoid, effective communication techniques in appeasing an irate customer, or even strategies on how to establish rapport at the start of the conversation and ending it with a good, lasting impression. You can even integrate techniques on how upselling can be introduced in the conversation so that your customers can be directed to other services and products of your brand.

One thing you have to remember though is that an effective guideline, just like the script, must be crafted by experienced customer service leaders or representatives who have solid knowledge of the different situations and issues that your customer service line usually receives. It should also be regularly tested in terms of efficiency and commensurateness to make sure modifications can be made when necessary.

The way you manage your outsourced customer service center can affect the reputation your business gets from your customers. Whether you decide to use a script or go unscripted, the most important thing is to make sure your customers' satisfaction is your top priority.

Open Access BPO is an outsourcing firm in the Philippines that specializes in providing rigorous yet effective training to its call center agents. We help our clients reach out to their customer base effectively by having a pool of highly proficient representatives. Know more about our voice solutions by visiting our website and Google+ page.