Scripted Chats: Are They Good or Bad for Your Business?

Sales managers and consultants can be divided into two groups: those who use scripted chats and calls, and those who are against scripts. There is still a huge debate about using scripts for sales and service.

Software Advice, a consulting company for customer service software buyers, surveyed a random sample of 500 U.S. adults to investigate how customers feel about their customer experience when they think that the agents use scripts.

  • 69% of customers cite improved satisfaction when the agent sounded unscripted.
  • 51% of customers claim unscripted agents would greatly improve their experience.
  • The majority of customers did not believe traditional scripting techniques make agents seem more caring, respective or attentive.

On the other side, scrips allow companies train staff and make sure that all the agents provide high quality service and sales people know how to engage with customers. It works for large companies as well as for the companies with rapid turnover in staff. 

Software Advice asked respondents how much it improves their experience calling customer service if the agent doesn’t sound like they’re reading from a script. More than half, 51 percent, said it improves their call experience either “a lot” or “tremendously.” And 84 percent say that their customer service experience would be more than slightly improved.

Scripted calls survey

For companies there is obviously a room to improve their customer service. But these results do not mean that you should stop using scripts at all. The main point here is that your agents should not SOUND like they are reading scripts. And one of the best solutions here is not reading, but learning them by heart. 

Scripts help close deals and provide high quality service, but you should not forget about the natural conversation. Geoffrey James, an award winning blogger, who interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works, in his article gives a great advice about using scripts.

“Do not read the script, under any circumstances. Instead, practice the script as written, then practice it from memory – so that the words emerge naturally, as if you just thought of them, the moment you began speaking.

This is what great stage actors do. They rehearse until the words are “part of them” – then, when they speak lines they’ve spoken on stage 100 or even 1,000 times before, each performance seems fresh and exciting.

Also, when you ask a question as part of the conversation, stop and actually listen to the customer.  Don’t plow through like a carnival pitchman. This is about having a conversation, not about getting the words out of your own mouth”.

Scripts work for some companies and do not work for others, depending on how agents use them. What do you think? Are scripts good or bad for your business?