Call center scripts: Script openings, best practices, and template
Consistently deliver excellent customer service experiences by using carefully written call center scripts.
By Court Bishop, Contributing Writer
Last updated August 16, 2023
Support agents possess different levels of knowledge and emotional intelligence—which can come with risk when assisting customers. If a new agent is unfamiliar with your company or doesn’t know how to handle a particular situation, they could unintentionally share incorrect information or fail to resolve a customer’s issue during a support conversation.
Call center scripts can help your team stay on track and provide effective (and company-approved) responses to the people who matter most: your customers.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Call center script definition
- How to use call center scripts
- Scripts for openings
- Script replies for common issues
- Scripts for offering advice
- Scripts for ending a conversation
- Call center script best practices
What is a call center script?
A call center script, or customer service script, is a document that outlines what an agent is supposed to say in response to a specific scenario. A script guides agents through customer calls, helping to reduce errors and increase efficiency.
It’s important to note that call center scripts aren’t supposed to sound robotic. They’re carefully and thoughtfully written, and agents often adapt them to fit their own customer service voice and sound more conversational.
Do all call centers use scripts?
Not every call center uses scripts for dealing with customer issues. Even in call centers that do have scripts available, agents may “play it by ear” to determine if they need to use them.
Call centers that provide scripts for agents do so to help produce fast, consistent responses to customer questions. Those that don’t use scripts on some level run the risk of different agents providing customers with conflicting information.
Advantages and disadvantages of call center scripts
When written and used properly, call center scripts can be incredibly helpful for agents. Companies use call center scripts in the hopes of realizing a few benefits:
- Support agents can quickly find and provide the correct answer during a customer interaction, boosting resolution time and productivity.
- Each customer service representative provides the same solution to a problem, creating a consistent customer experience.
- Agents can’t go rogue on difficult calls and say something inaccurate or inappropriate.
If you tell customer service reps the exact words to say, then surely you won’t have to worry about them ever getting a call wrong, right?
Well, it’s more complicated than that. There are some disadvantages of using scripts:
- Agents may rely too heavily on the script and sound robotic or struggle to adapt when given new information.
- Scripts can become long-winded without providing real value.
How to use call center scripts effectively
You can use call center scripts to empower your agents and enable them to act as advisors to your customers. The trick is to ensure they also feel well-trained on how to modify their approach based on the situation.
In theater, a script is usually something you memorize and recite word for word—but customer support calls aren’t Shakespeare plays, so reps should be prepared to improvise and personalize. If you’re hiring awesome customer service reps, focus on giving them the tools they need to succeed and trust them to create a great customer experience.
Below, we have a downloadable template as well as some categorized scripts, snippets, and tips that cover script openings, replies, and closings.
Sample call center script openings
When starting a conversation with a customer, a rep’s first step should always be to pull up the relevant information, such as the customer’s interaction history or account type. This gives the agent the context needed to find the best solution and saves the customer time, creating a positive support experience.
Here are a few example scripts for starting interactions with different types of customers and situations.
If you have some customer details:
- Welcome, [Customer Name]! We’re so happy that you chose [Company Name]. What can I help you with today?
- Hello, thanks so much for calling! Before we get started, can you please verify your full name and phone number?
- Hi [Customer Name], thank you for choosing [Company Name]! I see that you recently purchased [product name]. Is that what you’re calling about today?
If you don’t have any customer details:
- Hello! Thank you for calling [Company Name]. Before we get started, can I please get your name and order number?
- Welcome back, [Customer Name]! What can I help you with today?
- Hey [Customer Name]! Last time you called, you mentioned that you [reiterate issue]. Is [solution] still working for you?
- Hi [Customer Name]. Our records show that you purchased [product name] on [date]. Is that the product you need help with today?
Customer call holds and transfer
- Okay, got it! Is it alright if I put you on hold for a moment to look into that?
- I’m sorry you’re experiencing this issue. Let me put you on a brief hold while I check with [department].
- Understood. Give me just a moment to transfer your call to [department or agent].
- My apologies, [Customer Name]. I know that must be frustrating. Let’s go over exactly what happened so I can fix this for you.
- I’m very sorry to hear about your experience, [Customer Name]. I know we can get this taken care of. Let me see if I understand the situation correctly before we move forward. [Agent restates the problem.]
- I understand your frustration, [Customer Name], and I will do everything I can to resolve this for you as quickly as possible.
- I appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention, [Customer Name]. I apologize for the inconvenience and will get this resolved for you immediately.
Call center script replies to address common issues
It’s a good idea to have a few replies ready for common issues to reduce the chances of a communication misstep.
Base these responses on your industry, the specific business, and data gathered from recurring customer questions. For example, some common issues for retail or ecommerce companies include:
- Late and missed deliveries
- Damaged or missing products
- Incorrect orders
Check out the following script examples to see how your support team can respond to these types of issues.
Late and missed deliveries
- I’m sorry to hear that your package hasn’t arrived yet. Can you please provide your tracking number so I can look into that for you?
- I apologize for the inconvenience. Let me review your order and see how we can fix this issue for you.
Damaged or missing products
- I’m so sorry to hear that your product arrived damaged. I am going to create a return label for you now. Go ahead and ship the item back, and we will send you a new one at no additional cost.
- Oh no! I’m sorry your product arrived damaged. Would you mind sending a photo of the damaged item to [email address]? Then, we can ship your replacement right away.
- Sorry about that! Can I please get your order number? (Customer provides order number.) Great, thank you! It looks like you ordered [list off items from the order]. Can you confirm what items are still missing? (Customer replies.) Thank you for confirming that. If I can just verify your shipping information, you can expect to see your order by [date]. I will get that shipped out to you right away.
- I’m sorry to hear there was an issue with your order. Let me go ahead and verify your order and shipping details so we can send the right item to you.
- I’m sorry to hear you were unsatisfied with your order. Can you tell me more about the issue?
Call center scripts for problem-solving
It’s important for agents to be tactful when sharing advice or a solution. Whether walking a caller through complicated troubleshooting steps or explaining why they may need to purchase another product, transparency and clear, in-depth instructions can go a long way.
Reps should also know the limits of what they can and can’t offer and receive training on when to route a conversation to their manager for additional help.
- [Product name] isn’t working, correct? Can you please tell me more about the problem you’re experiencing so I can find a solution for you?
- I understand you’re having problems with [product name]. Can you walk me through the issue and anything you may have tried to resolve it?
Upselling and cross-selling
- Based on the issue you described, it sounds like you may benefit from purchasing [product name] as well. This product can help you resolve [restate the problem] by [explain how the product’s features can help].
- Unfortunately, [product name] doesn’t come with that feature. If that’s a must-have for you, we recommend you also use [product name]. They complement each other well because [brief explanation].
Sharing educational resources
- If you would prefer to handle the repair at home rather than bringing in your [product] to [store location], I can email you the instructions and stay on the line with you in case you have any questions. Does that work for you?
- Is it okay if I email you some resources to help you [reiterate their reason for calling and how the resources will help]?
Updating account information
- Hi [Customer Name]. What account information would you like to update today?
- Hi [Customer Name], thanks for calling! Let me start by verifying your information. [Read off each field.]
Call center scripts for ending a conversation
Round out the call with positivity and professionalism regardless of the outcome. By either recapping the resolution or laying out solution-oriented next steps, you can help ensure the customer hangs up with a good impression of you and your company.
Here are some closing phrases we recommend if the call ends with a successful resolution, a frustrated customer, or an unresolved issue.
- Thank you again for calling [Company Name]. Have a wonderful rest of your day!
- I’m glad we could take care of that for you, [Customer Name]. If you have any other questions, please let us know. Have a great night!
- Thank you for your call, [Customer Name]. Enjoy the rest of your day!
- I apologize for the inconvenience, [Customer Name]. We can resolve this by [explain next steps].
- I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing [restate the problem]. We’re always striving for 100 percent customer satisfaction. I’ll fix the issue by [explain next steps].
- I’m so sorry that happened, [Customer Name]. I want to make this right for you. I can offer [solution or promotion].
- I’m sincerely sorry for our mistake. Let me go ahead and fix that for you. I’d also like to offer you [deal or promotion] to thank you for your loyalty.
- Thank you so much for your patience. I want to assure you that this is a top priority, and I’m escalating the issue to my manager. You can expect an update from us within 24 hours.
- I’m truly sorry that we weren’t able to resolve this today. We are going to [explain the next steps] to fix this ASAP.
Full call center scripts
Hello, [Customer Name]! Thank you for calling [Company Name]. What can I help you with today?
(Customer answers, describing a problem with the product.)
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! Can you walk me through anything you tried to resolve the issue on your own?
(Customer replies. The agent asks follow-up questions as needed.)
Alright, it sounds like you’re having problems with [reiterate the customer’s problem]. I should be able to fix it by [explain solution]. Please give me a moment to take care of that for you.
Okay, you should be good to go! In the next few minutes, you’ll receive a follow-up email confirming that we resolved your issue. The email will also contain some resources in case you encounter a similar issue in the future. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
(If the customer says yes, repeat the process. Otherwise, close out the call.)
Perfect! I’m so glad we could get that figured out for you. Thanks again for the call, and have a great rest of your day.
Hello, thank you for calling [Company Name]. My name is [Agent Name], and I’ll be assisting you. What can I help you with today?
Okay, I’m happy to help you with that! First, can I get your name and account number?
Thank you. [Ask follow-up questions if necessary.]
Alright, sit tight while I [explain the solution].
Okay, the problem has been resolved. Do you have any questions for me?
(If the customer says yes, respond to their questions. Otherwise, close out the call.)
Sounds good! Thank you for the call, [Customer Name]. Don’t hesitate to call us back if you run into other issues. Have a nice day!
Call center script best practices
Now that you’ve seen some solid call center script openings, replies, and closings, let’s get into some best practices. To create scripts that work well and result in positive customer experiences, you should:
- Train your agents
- Avoid insensitive phrases
- Stay positive
- Encourage personalization
- Revise scripts regularly
1. Introduce agents to scripts during training
The best way to ensure that agents use call center scripts correctly is to show them how to do so during customer service training. Here’s how to prepare your team:
- Role-play different scenarios
Train your representatives by having them role-play a scenario and navigate the conversation using scripts as their guide. Once they close the mock call, you can provide actionable feedback, and the trainee can try a new scenario.
- Try visual simulators
Create visual guides to help walk new agents through more complex scenarios. By illustrating each step and providing easy-to-follow instructions, you can create a more accessible learning experience for staff (and subsequently better service for customers).
- Track performance and provide feedback
Once new reps start taking calls, have a more experienced rep listen in to assess their performance and provide feedback. This is also good for business because the seasoned team member can step in if needed.
2. Avoid insensitive phrases when using a call center script
You should also avoid using negative, offensive, or inappropriate phrases that may put customers on edge. Some examples of phrases you should avoid include:
- I can’t fix that for you.
- Can I please get your Christian name?
- Can you please calm down?
- Sorry, it’s just company policy.
- I’m not trying to sell you anything, but…
3. Stay positive
Never say that you don’t know or can’t help. If you can’t help because an issue is outside your realm of expertise, let the caller know you’re escalating the issue to another department.
For example, rather than saying, “I don’t know” or “I can’t help you,” try saying: “I’m so sorry. I’m sure that’s very frustrating. If it’s alright with you, I would like to transfer you to [department or colleague name] for more specialized support.”
It’s important for callers to know that you’re competent and taking their concerns seriously, even if someone else will need to resolve their problem.
4. Go slightly off script with message personalization
Scripts aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Encourage agents to incorporate their voices and adapt to each unique situation. This can help agents establish rapport and provide a positive customer service experience.
But before giving reps the go-ahead to ditch the script, make sure they are:
- Cognizant of their tone
- Trained in call-specific communication
- Tactful about discussing sensitive topics
5. Use call recordings to create scripts that flow naturally
Finally, you should regularly assess existing call center scripts to ensure each one flows well and allows agents to collect key customer data. A great way to do this is to review call recordings so you can identify information gaps and determine if any part of the script seems redundant.
Leverage customer service software to maximize efficiency
When customers call with a problem, your agents need to provide a relevant solution—quickly. Fortunately, customizable call center scripts can help guide call center representatives through tricky situations and leave customers satisfied.
You can also help streamline high-volume inbound support calls by ensuring that your team has access to each caller’s account history with customer service software. These support tools allow teams to find crucial data and close out conversations faster.
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