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Do you want fries with that?

Oct 22 2016

Do you want fries with that?

Customer Service Scripts are not to be confused with Customer Service

In retail, fast food chains, and other front-line jobs we see the usefulness of giving new or junior employees a script to follow in order to serve the customer, but this should not be confused with customer service. Once your customer-facing employee understands the basic mechanics of the job and the “why” behind some of the procedures, you then want him or her to go off-script as quickly as possible in order to actually provide good service.

If you do give your employees a script and expect them to follow it strictly, think of why you ask them to do so. Is it to ensure there are no mistakes?

It will also help to accomplish something else. It will ensure that they don’t make improvements or innovations. You can also pretty much guarantee that you will not surprise or delight your customers in any way or do anything that might encourage customer loyalty.

If your employees are not empowered to think, and if they are not tasked with solving customers’ problems, you (and your employees) are destined for a minimal existence. Minimal in terms of minimal effort from employees, minimal value for your customers, and minimal results for your organization.

What is the risk of letting or encouraging your employees to go Off-Script?

What is the risk of not letting them?

Employees that face the customers are your best source for ideas and are the best, easiest and cheapest resource to satisfy your customers and gain their loyalty. Your front line folks should be your customer service innovators; their job description could simply state, “solve customers’ problems”.

Tech support, for example is one of your greatest opportunities to learn about your customers and build customer loyalty. Your customers may spend only a few minutes purchasing the product but could spend up to an hour with your tech support to solve a problem. Don’t waste the opportunity.

I recently called Sony tech support because my favourite Sony Voice Recorder wouldn’t let me record. I was not happy and would rather have been spending my time using the recorder than calling the Sony support line. I was greeted with, “How can I make your day fabulous?” I knew instantly that this person was there to help solve my problem, and he did.

Now I know what you’re thinking, that may not have been the first time he used that smooth line. It may actually have been scripted, but it’s an example of a good script. This warm unexpected and relevant opening line captured my attention, made me smile and made me decide to partner with my tech support representative to solve my problem. He stayed committed to solving my problem and to making my day fabulous. His approach to helping me was genuine, and he stayed on the phone with me until I was satisfied.

Counter this with the blank stare that I received at a coffee establishment the same day when I asked if I could substitute a cookie for a donut in the “combo”. This person followed the blank stare with a statement that made perfect sense to her in her scripted environment “No, we don’t have a button for that”.

Remember, if you don’t service your customer’s needs, someone else will.


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