Agent Scripting to Increase Call Center Efficiency and Close Rates

By Mike StaffordOctober 25, 2016

The agent phone call is still a central step in the lead life cycle. It’s an opportunity to further qualify prospects, gather a great deal of information in a short period of time and nudge leads along in the sales funnel.

However, calls must be efficient in order to be effective. And it’s why agent scripting is such an important practice. Scripting can cut average handle times (AHT), which cuts costs. It can streamline communications, which reduces error and helps meet compliance. And it can support a positive customer experience.

What to Include In a Script
Scripts will vary depending on the vertical, but there are certainly some similarities across the board.

For one, there are inevitable short waits that occur during transfer or while running a search. This provides an opportunity to add some scripted rapport-building, or questions that go beyond the standard “How’s the weather there in (state)?” A little extra effort here can garner some meaningful answers — ones that show intent, build relationships and add true value to the call. It is sometimes those questions alone that help the prospect remember speaking to the initial qualifying agent.          

Here are a few examples of such questions for those in the higher education sector:

“What made you interested in studying (their area of interest)?”

“How long have you wanted to be a (previously mentioned occupation/career they intend to pursue after getting degree)?”

“How do you feel gaining a degree in (their area of interest) would help you in your personal or professional life?”

How to Use Scripts to Better Meet End-User Needs
These questions are a great example of how calls can organically move in different directions depending on the individual. And the most effective agents are able to maneuver accordingly. That’s why agent scripting shouldn’t be a static process, and there are now dynamic agent scripting tools to better guide the direction of calls and meet objectives.

  • Call flow: Agents have many questions that they must ask, but every call will be different depending on the prospect’s needs, interests and concerns. Dynamic scripting ensures that the conversation supports what’s important to them. Here’s how tools help: The answer to one question will change what subsequent questions are asked and the order of follow-up questions, as well. The questions build upon one another to bring the prospect to the best possible – and individualized – outcome.
  • Lead Qualification: Sometimes lead generation partners prefer to include custom questions or collect extra data. These details are very easy to miss if scripting is not tailored for each prospect. When it comes to the higher education industry, for instance, it’s important to tailor for the student and school. Dynamic scripting makes this possible and can help streamline and collect even the smallest details.
  • Compliance: Lead generation partners often have their own preferred phrasing for disclosures. In fact, TCPA disclosures can vary greatly from one school to the next. But static scripting or relying on agents to read from portals can often lead to a greater incidence of human error. Dynamic scripting, on the other hand, places a school’s particular TCPA wording into the same scripting, font, color and location. This greatly reduces error and risk.

When it comes to the contact center, efficiency has far-reaching effects. It impacts the customer experience, compliance and the bottom line. And proper agent scripting is just one way that call centers can continue to meet those aggressive goals and stay competitive in a changing environment.

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