Buyers have long-considered scripts voodoo when it comes to customer service and sales. But experts and novices alike agree: Scripts work — when they’re done right, of course.
Scripts in the sales and service process promise seamless customer experiences and efficiency. Using them also puts organizations and front-line employees at the risk of sounding like robots and annoying customers, according to sales expert Laney Pilpel.
So it’s important to craft the right kind of script and train front-line reps to use it as an efficiency tool.
Here are four keys to proper scripting:
1. Keep it fluff-free
A simple script should be more of a guideline than an edict. Keep the fluff out, and allow reps room to ad lib when the situation calls for it.
For instance, create a one-line introduction that is followed by a crisp, open-ended transition question that allows customers to talk about themselves — rather than mapping out a script that says, “If a customer says yes, you say …” or “If a customer says no, you say …,” give them a list of probing questions to use in conversations, suggests Pilpel.
2. Avoid talking about your solution
Even when using scripts, conversations should be more about the customers than they are about your products and services. If you start a conversation or linger with specific product details, you will lose customers’ interest.
Scripts should include more questions that encourage customers to open up about their needs than actual product information. As customers reveal information, sales and service pros can explain in two or three sentences how the product or service will make their lives easier.
3. Be ready for the next step
Every once in a while, a customer or prospect will want more information or help than a front-line service or sales rep is equipped to give during a scripted conversation. So reps need to be ready to accommodate that before customers say, “In that case, I’m not interested.”
A script should include a smooth transfer and exit strategy. Try: “Before I connect you with our technician, can you please reiterate your biggest concerns so I can share them with my colleague and make the best use of your time in the next conversation?”
4. Include follow-up info
A script should include info about what’s going to happen next: “It was great talking to you. To make the best use of your time, I’d like to send you a calendar invite for next Thursday at 2 p.m. so we can finish exploring the options. How does that time work for you?”