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June 24, 2015 | By

Helpdesk Skills: Not sounding phony on the phone

Companies often create scripts for their support reps to ensure that reps stay on brand, and provide the right support to customers in the right context. However, there is a downside – sticking too closely to a script may make your reps sound phony and robotic. Customers pick up on this, and that’s not a good thing. Who likes being treated like a robot? Customers don’t, and your support reps don’t either.

This doesn’t mean that you should do away with scripts; scripts are excellent guidelines and provide reminders to reps to be empathetic (e.g. “I’m sorry you’re having this problem,” “I understand completely,” or “Let me see what I can do”). These phrases don’t need to be delivered 100% verbatim, but there are times when your reps will need to make these points.

Educating and training your reps are important so they’ll get used to handling conversations that include both scripted and unscripted elements. Mock phone calls with their peers are a good way to practice. Mix it these mock phone calls with listening games and improv games to help your reps get used to handling situations that go off script. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations – your reps will have encounters with customers who are angry, perhaps even abusive, or maybe just hard to understand, and they need to be prepared.

Once your reps have worked through various support scenarios in mock environments, they’ll get used to handling conversations – scripted or not. They’ll begin to understand how to develop a real rapport with your customers, and how to express empathy for what they’re going through. Customers will be more at ease, and get the feeling that your support reps are on their side.

 

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