Customer Service Scripts Create Bad Customer Experiences – Graziano Associates Offers Six Tips to Train Your Customer Service Team to Effectively Resolve Client Complaints

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Companies that ignore common discord from customers about scripted service and discourage off-script solutions from their customer service team are naive to think they have good client relationships.

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Denise Graziano, President of Graziano Associates, LLC

Customer service scripts create bad customer experiences.

Graziano Associates today introduces six tips for companies with customer service teams to train reps to resolve client issues without rigid scripts.

Scripts don't solve customer complaints and help retain clients, people do — if they are properly trained and granted authority to respond as needed to satisfy customers. Brand ambassadors spread their good experience through social media channels, telling potential clients about what a fabulous service your company offers. Bad customer service experiences go viral quickly and damage your company's reputation.

“Customer service scripts create bad customer experiences,” says Denise Graziano of Graziano Associates. “Companies that believe they can better control customer service outcomes for clients by scripting the employees are naive. Savvy consumers have choices and voices.”

According to the 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey, the majority (57%) of respondents still prefer contacting a company by phone for requesting immediate customer service, with live chat second at 24%, and in person third at 6%. Unlike other methods, contact by telephone (or live chat) allows the consumer to explain their individual issue, and receive a personalized response from an agent. People want to be heard and understood. A single script designed to respond to every call can't satisfy individual customer needs.

To properly train your CS team without scripts, consider these guidelines:

1) Make sure your corporate culture focuses on satisfying your clients with a quick, efficient, respectful, yet customized approach.

2) Assess the common reasons that your clients call. Have a policy in place on how to handle each of these situations. For example, make sure your team knows how to handle a call about a defective product. And when a product is defective, the first thing your team should do is apologize, and offer an acceptable, convenient solution for the customer.

3) Hire people who have good phone personalities, are good listeners, stay calm when someone is angry, and are fluent in your customers' language. 41% of respondents in the above survey stopped doing business with companies due to impolite CS representatives, or those that were difficult to understand.

4) Properly train your CS phone team on the company products, corporate beliefs on satisfying customers, and make them feel invested in the company. Armed with the proper training, they will be able to genuinely interact with and calm your customers down quickly. Investing in this employee training is much better than creating scripts with obviously rote responses, and more formal language than how people naturally speak.

5) Instead of a script, have guidelines in place. Trust your well-trained employees to talk freely and resolve the issue for your client following the procedures you have put in place. When crafting your guidelines, keep in mind that 47% of those surveyed said their most frustrating aspects of a poor customer service experience was having to contact a company multiple times for the same reason. 43% were frustrated when they were passed from agent to agent, while 35% disliked being put on hold for a long period. Make your guidelines simple and responsive, with procedures for client follow up and resolution.

6) Ideally, clients should be able to speak to one person when they call, and that person should have the power to resolve their issue. In some cases, the CS rep may need approval before they can proceed. Make sure your team knows the procedure and contacts to actively and quickly seek the approval to respond to the customer appropriately.

Detailed guidelines and training are essential to successful customer service outcomes. Graziano says in part one of this series, “armed with the proper skills to relate to your customers, and genuinely address service questions, you can increase client retention.” (To read 4 Reasons Why You Should Teach Customer Service Skills Not Scripts to Create Client Retention Departments, click here.)

A strategic thinker and leader with over 27 years of business experience, Denise Graziano is President of Graziano Associates and author of the forthcoming book Once a Client, Always a Client™, and creator of Client Relationship Mastery™—the formula designed to help sales professionals retain clients in today’s competitive business landscape. To have Denise Graziano speak to your corporation or sales team, contact her at 203-254-0195. Please visit http://www.grazianoassoc.com for more information.

Graziano Associates is a marketing and promotions firm which helps clients to get the best results from their sales messaging, client retention, employee motivation, event presence, and trade show performance. Founded in 1992, Graziano Associates is based in Fairfield, CT.

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