Call centre staff need to go with the flow

Should call centres ditch the script (MW last week)? Certainly not. Should customers have to put up with the drone of robotic repetition? No. So, what’s the answer? Customers are bound to be as equally frustrated with uninformed, unstructured conversations as they are with prompted questions, if not more so.

Our staff are trained so that they can handle impromptu scenarios and deliver their questions in a more natural manner. We now refer to “call flows” rather than scripts. As the name suggests, they should be used to keep the call flowing by supplying data on the customer and providing prompts to aid the caller’s memory, not as a rigid speech for agents to simply regurgitate. Brands and service providers alike must learn to train their staff appropriately, using progress reports, to monitor and improve conversation skills and brand advocacy.

Our recent research found that customers are four times more likely to buy from a company that offers what they perceive to be real customer value. When asked what constituted this value, the “ability to talk to an informed and friendly representative whenever and wherever is convenient” came top of the list.

This study highlights the need for brand advocates across all channels, including in store and on the phone. But they need to be supported with data on the person they are talking to, so that what they say is relevant and informed. Like all other tools, the outcome lies in the skills of the workman.

Graham Ede

Chief executive

Connection

Twickenham

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