In light of our overall desire to standardize processes in order to reduce variation, I’ve seen a fair share of projects in the service or transactional spaces where one of the recommendations is to script key parts of the customer interaction. While this may make sense to help shorten a call or standardize the interaction, it is a practice with customer experience implications that should always be taken into account.

Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to collaborate with an expert in the field of Customer Excellence and this topic came up in a few of our conversations. His research confirmed the fact that scripted customer interactions make it next to impossible to establish a relationship with a customer, which beyond reliability and responsiveness is essential to building the right customer experience.

If you think back to the last time that you had a conversation with someone that was obviously following a script, how did that conversation feel? In all likelihood, you were unable to connect in any way with the person in front of you or on the line. And if you were an employee having to follow a scripted message, you would likely also hate the lack of individuality that you were able to display.

Alternatives to the scripted conversation could include guides that identify the 2-3 key themes to include in key conversations (possibly with a few examples) as well as checklists or decision guides that allow some degree of flexibility if you are improving help desk types of processes. Unfortunately, in some cases, regulatory requirements may force a tighter scripted message but in all other cases, I would advise to find alternative paths to ensure an improved customer experience.

Have you had experiences with successful alternatives to scripted conversations in your projects?

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