Beyond the Script

Nurturing Authentic Customer Interactions

The Flow of Customer Interactions

The PSP Approach

There are a diverse number of methods or techniques when it comes to the art of teaching and learning. Within this variety is neither a right or wrong approach, as everyone has their preferences.
In the customer service industry, we often see training materials in the form of procedural documents, video how-to’s, checklists, and perhaps most of all: scripts.

Some people hear the word “script” and run the other way. We recognize that a good script can serve an important purpose. It ensures consistency throughout a team, reduces the risk of liabilities if there are important clauses that are required to be shared with a client, and serves as a stepping stone during the onboarding phase for new employees. I was once a new employee myself, working as a CSR at an HVAC and plumbing company. My script gave me a place to start, rather than a completely blank slate.

Power Selling Pros utilizes scripts as a sort of guideline for this exact purpose: giving our CSR’s a place to start. But then we go one step further; we encourage our CSR’s to make that script their own. We want them to be flexible and adaptable to our concepts. Our principles. Principles identify the specific characteristics in a conversation flow that have been researched, studied, and applied by the Power Selling Pros team to ensure our customer interactions are efficient, effective, and enjoyable.  This gives space to mix the best of both worlds – a structured call flow with the freedom to make a conversation an organic experience for both customer and CSR.

Script versus Principles

Scripting Cons

While scripts can be valuable tools in customer service, they also come with potential drawbacks. Here are some of the negatives associated with using scripts to consider when training your team:

Rigidity and Lack of Flexibility: Scripts, by nature, are structured and may not allow for flexibility in responding to unique customer situations. Service representatives might struggle when faced with scenarios that deviate from the scripted path, leading to a less adaptive and potentially frustrating customer experience. This is one of the primary concerns we hear with our CSR’s; they feel that a script disallows them from being themselves and forces them into a box.

Impersonal Interactions: Overreliance on scripts can make customer interactions feel robotic and less personal. Customers may sense a lack of genuine engagement, which can impact their perception of the company’s commitment to their individual needs. Imagine yourself as a customer – what sort of service would you want for yourself? Tailored and personal, or a standard, uninvolved exchange of information? If CSR’s sound overly rehearsed or insincere while delivering scripted responses, customers may perceive interactions as inauthentic. This can undermine trust and hinder the establishment of genuine connections.

Reduced Employee Empowerment: Strict adherence to scripts can limit the autonomy and decision-making capabilities of service representatives. Employees may feel constrained in their ability to address unique customer needs or provide personalized solutions. In addition, scripts may not cover every possible scenario, especially those that are uncommon or require creative problem-solving. Service representatives might struggle when faced with situations not explicitly addressed in the script.

Employee Frustration: If scripts are too rigid or perceived as cumbersome, employees may become frustrated. This frustration can lead to disengagement and a decrease in morale, potentially impacting overall job satisfaction. A CSR can take dozens of calls per day, every day of the week. The repetition of the same script over and over becomes exhausting – sometimes going so far as to cause burnout and high turnover due to unsatisfied employees.

Resistance to Change: A reliance on scripts can create resistance to change within an organization. Employees may resist adopting new approaches or adapting to evolving customer needs if they are accustomed to working within a scripted framework.

To mitigate these negatives, we like using scripts as guidelines rather than strict rules, allowing room for individualized and authentic communication. Ongoing training, feedback mechanisms, and a culture that encourages employee empowerment can also help strike a balance between structured scripts and the need for personalized, customer-focused interactions. Next, let’s take a look at some of the positive components of using the PSP principles.

Script versus Principles

Principle Pros

Using principles as a guideline offers several benefits in the realm of customer service. Here’s why incorporating our principles into a call flow is advantageous:

Consistency with Values: Integrating principles into a conversation ensures that customer interactions align consistently with the values of your business. When utilizing principles (such as building value in your technicians) interaction becomes an opportunity to reinforce the company’s commitment to high business standards.

Enhanced Customer Experience: The PSP principles are designed to enhance the overall customer experience. By infusing these principles into a call flow, organizations create a framework for interactions that prioritizes positivity, active listening, empathy, and a focus on exceeding a customer’s expectations. This leads to more meaningful and satisfactory experiences for both CSR and client.

Empowerment of Service Representatives: The principles provide an outline for service representative – from answering the phone with a positive greeting, to closing the call with gratitude. This empowers team members with a clear set of behaviors to embody in their interactions. This clarity can boost confidence, reduce uncertainty, and foster a customer-centric mindset among CSR’s (as well as the rest of your office and field crew).

Unified Approach: Using principles in scripts ensures a unified approach across the organization. When every service representative adheres to the same principles, customers receive a cohesive and standardized experience, reinforcing the brand’s identity and commitment to customer service excellence.

Efficient Training: The principles serve as a foundation for training programs. When integrated into your call flow, they become tangible examples that new hires can follow, helping them internalize the characteristics expected in customer interactions.

Customer Trust and Loyalty: Customers appreciate authentic and personal interactions. While a script can be rigid, pulling out the primary principles create a more open-ended structure that allows for affability, letting a CSR’s personality shine and extend the opportunity to create rapport. It doesn’t take long to build a connection with your client; however, when it happens, that connection is the foundation for a loyal customer who wants to keep coming back to you.

Adaptability to Different Scenarios: The principles provide a flexible framework that can be adapted to various customer scenarios. While scripts typically provide structure, the incorporation of principles allows for personalized, empathetic responses tailored to the specific needs of each customer.

In essence, build your scripts with the mindset of an open-ended framework. Prioritize the principles that highlight what your business stands for, ensuring that every customer interaction becomes an opportunity to embody the values that define exceptional customer service. This approach not only benefits the customer, but also creates an engaging, empowering environment for your customer service team.

For more guidance on how to effectively use principles in your call flow, reach out to our team! We’re more than happy to get the ball rolling.