A big mistake some companies make is they hire and manage people
like they buy and manage equipment. They seem to believe people’s
behaviors can be designed and managed like machines.
And a key tool in this strategy is the ever-present script. Most
employees despise them. So do many customers. To a customer, a scripted
employee sounds like a phony, uncaring employee.
This will not help
you improve customer service.
“Real people rock. If anything, I would always rather meet an imperfect human being than a fake robot. Be proud to be you, mistakes and all.”
When management forces unnatural scripting on employees, they can be
become the robots Chris talks about. They say and do as they are
programmed. And this prevent them from delivering great customer
service. Here’s why:
1. Scripts come from management
How much time does management spend serving customers? Probably very
little. A smart, informed and engaged employee is better equipped to
serve customers than a manager whose contact with customers comes from
reports and surveys.
2. Scripts tend to serve the company’s interest first
Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an employee script
knows they exist to help the company get what they want. But this is
in conflict with our real job which is to help our customers accomplish
what they want, in a way that works for us.
3. Scripts cannot predict or address every situation
Because they are static and based on history, scripts can never
replace the judgment of a well-informed and trained employee. Things
change too fast. There are too many possibilities to plan for.
But the biggest problem with scripting and programming employees is
that is devalues people. It discounts the worth and the capabilities of
employees. It says:
“We don’t trust you enough to do your job so we will map out
every detail for you. All you have to do is follow the road map you are
Scripts disregard customers too. When you script your employees you
are telling your customers, you don’t care about having a relationship
with them. You’d rather just walk them through some impersonal steps
like a machine and hope that satisfies them.
You want loyal customers? Hire real people and let them be real.
Give them the guidance, encouragement and resources they need to help
their customer accomplish what they want. Forget the scripts. Hire real