While email, chatbots, and other forms of online support have become common channels for providing customer service, inbound calls aren’t going away anytime soon. Larger companies often have generously staffed call centers and training programs that equip agents with the skills to field a wide variety of customer questions and concerns.
Small- and mid-sized businesses, on the other hand, may not have such resources, and depend instead on members of their team or outsourced customer service reps to handle inbound calls. If you own a small to mid sized business, developing a call script can help you standardize customer calls so your reps are able to serve callers effectively and carry out tasks like scheduling appointments, routing them to the appropriate team member, and addressing customer concerns in a seamless, consistent way.
In this article, we’ll dive into what makes a call script effective and efficient — for both you and your customer.
What is an Inbound Call?
Inbound calls are phone calls directed to a company’s customer support team, and can cover a variety of service requests, questions, complaints, and concerns. It’s the job of your customer service reps — whether in-house or outsourced — to resolve these inquiries to the caller’s satisfaction.
What are Call Scripts and Why Do You Need Them?
A newly hired customer service rep might find inbound calls daunting and be unsure of what to say throughout the interaction. Compared to outbound sales calls, calls made to prospective customers in order to sell them your service, inbound calls are significantly less predictable, as the call will be dependent on the individual caller’s concern or request.
To deal with this uncertainty, it is important for customer service reps to know:
- How to start the call
- How to introduce themselves and the company
- How to ask pointed questions that identify the customer’s issue more clearly
- How to up-sell or cross-sell customers, if applicable
- How to deliver a call-to-action, if applicable
- How to refer callers to the correct team member or representative, when appropriate
- How to end the call after all concerns/needs have been addressed
Many businesses develop call scripts to standardize inbound calls and provide their customer service and support reps a basic template to work from.
Creating call scripts gives you the ability to:
- Determine how your reps introduce your business over the phone
- Establish pre-set responses to common questions and concerns
- Minimize error
- Ensure a level of consistency in customer interactions
As your reps make more calls, they will likely find that they’re able to venture off-script and sound natural while addressing a variety of unexpected subjects and covering the essential talking points of your business to clients and customers. A high-quality call script can get the ball rolling and give them some confidence as they build up their experience.
What Should You Include in Your Call Scripts?
An effective call script will prioritize keeping your business’s basic details top-of-mind. It will include some type of call-to-action and avoid wishy-washy words that don’t inspire confidence, like “maybe” and “perhaps”. Finally, it will provide reps a clean way to wrap up the conversation without being awkward or letting the interaction drag on for too long.
Here are some specifics you’ll want to cover in your call script:
- Greet the customer and introduce the company and the representative calling (“Hi, this is [name] from [company]. How can I help you today?” is pretty standard)
- Ask pre-qualifying questions regarding their needs (“Great, I can help you out with that. Before we start, can I just get a few details from you?”)
- Ask for their contact information in case you get disconnected (e.g. “What’s the best way for us to reach you in case we get disconnected?”)
- Identify their pain points
- Offer your company’s services as a solution
- Anticipate customer objections
- Re-emphasize your company’s services and try to schedule an appointment before ending the call
- Thank the customer for their time and end the call
- Provide answers to FAQs and useful notes on common concerns
- List the names and contact details of essential team members to redirect calls to in emergency situations
It’s also helpful to anticipate the various types of customer scenarios your reps might have to handle and then develop multiple call scripts to address them.
What Should You Avoid in Your Call Scripts?
Knowing what to exclude in an effective call script is just as important as knowing what to include. Let’s establish what you need to avoid in your call scripts:
- Robotic, overly formal, and unnatural wording
- Wishy-washy words like “maybe”, “perhaps”, and “could”
- Too much information
- Too little information
- Demonstrable lack of research and understanding on customer pain points
Call scripts must include relevant information that reflects an understanding and anticipation of customer needs and objections. However, they shouldn’t sound like scripts — they should sound like any other spontaneous human interaction. Take time to adjust the language so that your reps sound like they’re engaging in an actual conversation, not stiffly reading off a teleprompter.
Most importantly, call scripts must leave room for reps to engage in effective dialogue with their customer and find out exactly what their concerns are so that they can be adequately addressed.
Call scripts are a useful tool to help standardize your customer interactions. Whether you’re developing call scripts for lawn care, pest control, or another home service, you want your script to emphasize basic details about your business (e.g. company name and services), ask pre-qualifying questions, and communicate your value proposition and pricing clearly.
Your service reps are critical to your brand, and the way they engage with prospects can make or break your business’s reputation. You want them to sound natural, sell your services effectively, provide constructive support, and build rapport with your customers.
If you’re a small business owner, it might not make sense to spend resources on establishing a full-fledged customer support department. At Slingshot, we give businesses a way to improve their customer service and increase sales without a massive investment in benchmarking, measuring, or training.
Contact us today so we can help you take your customer service game to the next level.
Download your free call script template for pest control or lawn care.