Spilling the spiels

Most call it script, others call it dummy dialogue, I used to call it calibrated interaction, but now it’s commonly referred to simply as spiels, what contact center professionals use as either guide for managing calls or workflow to simulate calls and come up with the most productive information exchange, with the aim of providing the best possible call experience, for both ends.

Spiels can be in the form of questions and responses for specific call situations, sometimes printed (like a story script) or part of a training manual, or integrated into the CRM applications and call management software, a lot of times remaining unchanged or standard, tweaked only as the need arises.

While it’s not exactly difficult to predict interactions for inbound campaigns (focused mostly on customer service and technical support), and therefore the tendency to standardize spiels, outbound implementation is different, in that, fixed spiels don’t always work, and there’s always the need to develop more fluid and free-flowing telephone conversations, aside from being language-sensitive and creatively-worded, and without sounding too pushy or one-sided.

In my experience working for outsourced companies with local and international campaigns, a good foundation for call center operations is with spiels that are predefined and calibrated, but for optimum productivity, these same spiels must evolve, only to be given up later, for a more natural interaction. That is if the aim is to make rapport-building more strategic – resulting in more prospects and deals effectively closed – eventually accelerating business growth.

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