Developing and implementing a standard procedure for processes in an organization ensures that each process is executed in a nearly identical manner consistently. This consistency in execution translates into brand identity or service expectations that ensure customer satisfaction.
Customer service telephone scripts help you achieve consistency in customer service on the phone.
How telephone calls are handled in an organization is one such process that can make or mar the reputation of the organization to potential customers. Therefore, Proactive organizations should develop and implement scripts for customer service personnel to use in engaging customers at different points of service delivery.
Etiquette for Using Telephone Scripts
There are guidelines to follow when talking to a customer over the phone. Call center agents need to treat every call with all the professionalism they can muster. This is mainly because every good call with a customer is an opportunity for that customer to advertise your brand, while for every bad call, the customer's armed with all the ammunition they need to tarnish your reputation.
Etiquette for using phone script include but are not limited to
Answer the call friendly and promptly: Every conversation from your call center agent should start with a friendly, warm greeting. This doesn't have to be scripted, an agent should be free to say whatever suits their personalities.
Show appreciation to the caller for calling the business, say your name and go straight to their inquiry: After the salutation, it's usually advisable to appreciate the caller,
“Thanks for calling XXXX today. My name is Jane and how may I help you?”
This is a standard way to show appreciation to the customer for calling and starting the inquiry process.
Invite customers to explain their inquiry: The next stage is inviting the customer to explain their problem or inquiry. Your agent should not say anything here but the occasional “Okay.” to show they're following and seldom reiteration to make a point clearer. This is a chance for the customer to vent their feeling and frustrations.
The next stage is for your customer agent to show empathy,
“Mr John I'm very sorry you had to go through that.”
If there's any part of the customer's inquiry that's unclear, this is the perfect time for the agent to seek clarification,
“Mr John if I understand you correctly you said…”
as they proceed to reiterating the inquiry and after a clear understanding, proffering solutions.
Let customers know when there's a pause in the conversation or if they’re being kept on hold: If you have to hold the conversation for any reason, your agents should let the customers know and not leave them hanging. Also, if the customer is kept on hold longer than the agent expects, the call agent should drop in frequently and explain the reason the customer is on hold while also reassuring them.
Abandon the script when necessary: This may be contradicting given the title of the subheading, but it's relevant all the same. A good customer service agent knows when to abandon the script. This may be a case where the inquiry isn't covered in the script, the customer is extremely upset, you need assistance from another member of your team, etc. Often, scripts don't cover these instances. So, when the need occurs, your customer service agent needs to be spontaneous and go off-script.
Take detailed notes: If you're in the sales team or you're cold calling, this is extremely important, especially if you have to call the person at a later time. Keeping detailed notes about the client could be the difference between landing that client and losing them.
Customers in general do not like to reiterate things. The importance of detailed note-keeping cannot be overstated.
Sample Customer Service Telephone Scripts
Here are some sample customer service telephone scripts for various stages of customer engagement to help you and your organization establish a standard:
When Potential Customers Call In
Customers and potential customers of an organization frequently call designated customer service telephone numbers to make inquiries about a company’s goods, services or operation. Here’s a simple customer service telephone script to ensure customer service personnel are efficient at collecting relevant customer information while remaining friendly and professional.
- Greet the caller (based on the culture of the organization or region e.g. Good morning, Hello)
- Say the name of the organizations (e.g. ABC Industries)
- Introduce yourself (e.g. Elizabeth speaking)
- Find out why the customer is calling (e.g. How may I help you?)
- Listen to the customer. Take note of key information. Repeat information to the customer to clarify if unsure.
- Provide the requested information or offer to call the customer back when you have the information.
- Thank the customer for calling. Add a pleasantry.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Receiving Calls)
Here’s how the call will look when we put it all together:
“Good morning, ABC industries! Elizabeth speaking, how may I help you? *pause and listen* We are open Monday- Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. We do not open on weekends but orders can be placed on our online site on weekends for delivery Monday morning. * pause & listen for more questions or requests* Thank you for calling ABC industries. Have a great day!”
When You Call Out
Organizations often have to call out to customers to confirm orders or relay orders to partner organizations for delivery. Here’s a simple customer service telephone script to ensure seamless execution of such calls:
- State name and organization
- State purpose of call and provide necessary details
- Take down relevant information
- Confirm the information
- Thank the customer for their time
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Calling Out)
“Good morning, this is Jonathan from ABC Inc. I’m calling with respect to an order forwarded to your company for delivery from ABC Inc. The order number is 09****101. Can you confirm if this order has been delivered to the customer? *pause and listen while the receiver responds* *Take note of information provided* Ok, so the order just left the warehouse this morning? And the client should receive it by this afternoon? *wait for confirmation* Thank you so much for your assistance. Have a good day”
When There Has Been a Service Failure
Service failures occur at times in every organization, from minor incidences of late delivery to all out failure to meet a customer request. It is essential to establish a process for receiving or resolving customer complaints. Though most organizations use a feedback form, some customers may call in to report service failures.
Here is a simple script for reassuring unsatisfied customers and collecting relevant information to resolve customer issues:
- Greeting and introduction
- Listen actively while the customer relays the issues (take notes to ensure accuracy)
- Confirm information provided
- Apologize for inconvenience faced by the customer
- Provide feedback/explanation if aware of the incident or offer to make inquiries/follow-up on the complaint
- Apologize once more and thank the customer for calling or provide a timeline for getting feedback to the customer.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Handling Service Failure)
“Hello, Tech Inc., this is Jeromy speaking. *listen to customer* It has been over 2 weeks and you have not received your order? *confirmation* My apologies for the delay Ma’am. May I have the order number so I can check our system. *Take order number, confirm customer’s name and details* The product you ordered was shipped from overseas ma’am. Such products take 2 to 3 weeks to be delivered. *Wait for reaction or further questions* My apologies that the customer rep that called to confirm your order failed to inform you of the longer delivery time. The information is usually placed below the goods on the merchant site. You may also track your delivery on our website using your order number. My apologies once more for any inconvenience. Have a good day.”
When You Want to Market Your Products/Services
Cold calling potential and existing customers is one commonly used strategy to promote a product or service. However, the technique used to execute such calls may be the difference between gaining new business and being blocked as a spam caller.
Here’s a simple script for executing marketing calls:
- Greeting and introduction
- State how you got the customers number or inquire about your service the customer used already
- Pitch your product/service
- Thank the customer for their time.
Customer Service Telephone Script (Example for Cold Calling)
“Good day, my name is Jane and I am calling from Infomat Inc. You recently completed our online business writing programme. I would like your feedback on the programme. Did you enjoy it? * wait and listen carefully to customer feedback* I am glad you enjoyed the learning experience and found the content useful back at work. I also want to use this opportunity to let you know that as a previous customer you are entitled to a 10% discount on subsequent courses. We also have a very practical email writing course that was just added. *Listen actively* Thank you for your time, Sir. Have a good day.”
The telephone is a great channel for customer interactions and provides a convenient means for customers to provide feedback on the products or services of an organization, therefore forward-thinking organizations should invest in developing processes that ensure that customer service personnel are equipped to handle all customer telephone interactions effectively.