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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : December 07, 2015

Scripted call center agents off-putting, finds research

Do your customer service agents sound robotic? Research reveals that customer service interactions with agents that are too scripted are putting off customers as much as long hold times.

by Helen Leggatt

In their annual Customer Service Report, call center software and cloud communications provider Corvisa found that nearly half (48%) of the 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed had stopped doing business with a company after a negative customer service experience.

Millennials were found to be even more discerning with a quarter saying that it took just one negative interaction for them to take their business elsewhere.

Despite the rise of alternative customer service channels such as social media and email, telephone calls remain the preferred method with 41% preferring to talk on the phone.
However, nearly all (99%) of those surveyed said they thought customer service agents sounded too scripted and lack the personal touch. A quarter feel that telephone agents should be trained to sound more natural.

According to Brandon Knight, VP of contact center optimization for Corvisa, companies have more success when they ditch the 'stick-to-the-script' method. "A more effective approach is to instill general conversation guidelines and workflows so that agents can collect specific information and then communicate in a more authentic way", he said.

Moving away from scripting makes sense. When a customer calls they want to speak with a human being who empathises with them, and is not just reeling off scripted material. Furthermore, an agent is more likely to sound like an advocate or advisor when allowed to converse naturally.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: call center, customer service, research

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  • Jeanne Landau

    Scripts, more than likely, come off as disingenuous. Having a natural flow to the conversation will certainly increase the odds of converting a sale.



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