The Difference Between Script Reading and Rapport-Building Conversations

Difference BetweenInside sales representatives hold a lot of power. After all, they are in direct contact with current and/or potential clients on a daily basis. When having effective conversations, they are able to start and build relationships with target audiences to generate sales and gain valuable insight to drive business strategy.

That’s why call performance is monitored closely and why ongoing training is so important. One way call centers ensure performance is by outlining what representatives should say during a conversation in the form of a script. But is script reading the best way to keep customers and prospects happy? Let’s take a closer look at script reading and its alternative:

Script Reading

Scripts certainly have a place in the call center. For example, in highly regulated industries, there are certain things that must be legally conveyed during conversations. Scripts are useful to inside sales representatives and help guide the conversation in the right direction. The person on the other end of the line understands that a script may be used on some level. But ultimately, people want to have a real conversation with a human being. When the conversation is too scripted, it’s unnatural and the insides sales representative can seem like a robot. Nobody wants to talk to a robot.

One problem is that the script may not address the specific and unique needs of the customer or prospect. Successful sales lies in the ability to adapt based on the cues you are given by the other person. Rigidly adhering to the script makes this next to impossible.

For call centers looking to be more effective, it’s worthwhile to invest in the alternative to script reading:

Rapport-Building Conversations

If you’re looking to be effective and not miss opportunities, it’s advisable to keep the scripting to a minimum and give your agents freedom (within reason) during the conversation. A script reader often misses the mark when it comes to building rapport with target audiences. When an inside sales representative has an authentic conversation with a properly trained and knowledgeable human (not a scripted robot!) at your company, it will help the customer or prospect quickly understand how you can help them, and often provide your business with valuable insights.

Building rapport with customers and prospects provides the company with additional information that can lead to up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, but also information as to why they aren’t interested that can help re-direct business efforts. Sticking to a script allows for little leeway in the conversation and important customer insights are often missed. Even at the beginning of the sales cycle, a conversation that builds rapport with the customer or prospect helps an organization build its brand and increase its bottom line.

The ideal approach is to create scripts but to also understand that a conversation may need to deviate in order to be effective. The script should never be used at the expense of building relationships with your market.