Positive scripting is an effective method for customer service communication if used correctly. Get the essential best practices here.
A great customer experience relies on much more than positivity and kindness — your customers expect personalization at scale, self-service options, and concrete benefits like free shipping. That said, using the right words is an important factor in customer conversations.
Positive scripting is one practice that can help your customer service representative steer customer interactions toward desired outcomes (like upselling shoppers and bringing first-time customers back for a second purchase).
However, over-relying script templates in customer support is a shortcut to unhelpful customer care interactions. Read on to learn how to make the most of positive scripting while also avoiding its pitfalls.
What is positive scripting? (AKA positive phraseology)
Positive scripting is the practice of creating canned responses for customer service interactions that use positive language to limit customer frustration and promote desired outcomes.
With positive scripting, brands can provide support reps with resources such as scripts and templates that they can use to help ensure positive customer interactions. These scripts and templates can also be used as training resources to provide reps with examples of constructive interactions and positive language.
Goals of positive scripting
There are several goals that brands can accomplish with positive customer service scripts, including:
- Promoting constructive customer service experiences that contribute to customer satisfaction
- Alleviating customer frustration and de-escalating angry customers
- Maintaining a consistent, positive brand voice
- Speeding up response times to customer queries
Where can positive scripting be used?
Positive scripting can be used across numerous contact centers and customer support channels.
Like any customer support practice, positive scripting should be tweaked for each channel.
Providing support via a phone call requires reps to be quick on their feet, and this is where the practice of positive scripting first originated.
Providing call center scripts to your call center agents can go a long way toward helping agents stay positive and on-brand when there isn’t much time for them to formulate a response.
Agents have a little more time to think about their SMS responses, but not much. Customers contacting your support team via SMS still expect swift responses, and positive scripting can help ensure that your SMS responses are swift, positive, and on-brand.
Live chat support
Like SMS, live chat conversations tend to be fast-moving — and this is one of the primary reasons why many consumers list live chat as their preferred customer support channel.
With positive scripting and live chat tools like Gorgias live chat, you can provide fast, convenient, and helpful support via this advantageous channel.
📚 Recommended reading: Find out how Gorgias customer Ohh Deer used Gorgias chat to generate $12,500 in revenue — per quarter.
Support reps can typically put a little more time and thought into their email responses.
Nevertheless, email templates with positive scripting can still help keep these responses positive and consistent while also enabling reps to respond to email queries more efficiently.
Social media support
Providing support via social media is a great way to meet your customers where they’re most comfortable — and positive scripting helps keep these responses positive and on-brand.
This is especially important when responding to comments and posts that other potential customers are likely to see.
Scripts and templates
Scripts, templates, and automated responses should all be built using positive scripting.
If you use a helpdesk, chances are you can build a library of templates in the tool for agents to use during customer conversations.
For example, you can use Gorgias Macros to build positive templates and autoresponses. Unlike most templates, Gorgias Macros pull customer information from ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, as well as other ecommerce tools (like Klaviyo and ShipBob) to automatically personalize the response.
Even better? Thanks to automated Rules, Gorgias can automatically send these personalized templates to customers for basic interactions — like WISMO (where is my order), questions about shipping and return policies, and so on.
This way, your customer service team time saves time while still fostering a great, personalized customer experience.
Customer support training programs
You can use positive scripting to guide customer service training by using customer support scripts with positive language as examples of beneficial customer interactions.
This helps new team members get a feel for expectations regarding your company’s voice and tone, which they can reflect in their individual customer interactions.
Benefits of effective positive scripting
When used correctly, positive scripting can improve the quality of a brand’s customer support services in several key ways, including:
Enhance customer experiences to encourage repeat business
Did you know that 54% of customers say they would stop purchasing from a brand after just a single bad experience? If you want to promote customer loyalty and repeat business, it’s vital to provide positive experiences throughout every step of the customer journey.
Likewise, repeat customers generate 300% more revenue than first-time shoppers, according to our data from over 10,000 ecommerce brands. Repeat customers place repeat orders, place larger orders, refer friends to your store, leave product reviews, and more.
While many different elements go into crafting positive customer experiences, facilitating friendly and welcoming customer interactions with positive scripting is one important step.
Avoid or de-escalate angry customers
Using positive words and language may not solve a customer’s problem, but it can help ease their frustrations. Positive scripting is an effective way to de-escalate angry customers — and a great way to prevent customers from ever becoming angry in the first place.
Become more consistent with customer communication and policies
Your customer service agents don’t just need to be positive, they need to follow the same policies and procedures, especially for common customer interactions. Using scripting to guide
Of course, you can also specify which policies agents can bend, and when. For example, if repeat customers ask for an extension on refund eligibility, it’s probably in your best interest to permit the return rather than frustrate a repeat customer.
📚Recommended reading: Our guide to creating a customer service policy that actually provides value.
Maintain a positive brand voice
Positive scripting helps you maintain a consistent brand voice, but, just as importantly, it also helps you maintain a positive brand voice. By using positive scripting to guide your brand’s messaging, you can carefully (and intentionally) design your language to encourage customer satisfaction and beneficial outcomes.
The pitfalls of positive scripting
The biggest potential drawback of positive scripting is one that we’ve already touched on; customers who contact your call center or other customer support channel want to feel as though they are talking to a real human and not a robot regurgitating a script.
It’s also vital to remember that customers are ultimately much more interested in resolving their problems quickly than in the language that your reps use. Many times, a simple message with the information they’re looking for (such as a tracking number) will suffice with no flair or positivity required.
To prevent positive scripting from harming your customer interactions rather than improving them, here are a few other key mistakes and pitfalls to avoid:
- Not giving support team members the freedom to deviate from their script or inject their own flair
- Scripting entire customer interactions instead of just using scripts to save time on the most common, process-heavy elements
- Focusing too much on positive language and too little on actually solving customer issues as quickly as possible
- Writing scripts that sound too robotic or overly-friendly
- Using vague empathy statements rather than training your agents to be genuine and sincere
These are all serious mistakes to avoid if you want to make the most of positive scripting. When used appropriately, though, the benefits of this practice far outweigh its cons.
7 best practices for powerful positive scripting
Positive scripting is a powerful tool for ecommerce brands to leverage, but it’s important to use it correctly. Here are the seven best practices that you should employ to make the most of positive scripting (and avoid its pitfalls).
1) Use scripts as a starting point, not for the entire interaction
The scripts you give your support reps should be used for the most common, predictable part of customer interactions rather than mapping out the entire conversation.
For example, your agents might use a script to greet customers and share information about your shipping policy (in response to a question about shipping). But, the agent should be flexible enough to include unique information or handle follow-up questions that may not be so predictable.
“I like to think of Macros as guidelines. When you open up a Macro, it’s not 100% the right thing to say, because you have to match the customer’s tone and specific query. And it’s up to the agent to understand that and adjust along the way — but Gorgias gives you the tools to do that.”
— Leeor Cohen, Founder and CEO at CreateCX
If you require your agents to follow a script from start to finish, you risk sounding robotic and not providing agents with the flexibility they need to keep customers happy.
2) Prepare positive responses for common situations
Customers who cannot track their order, received the wrong item, or want to make a return are just a few examples of common situations where customers are sure to welcome a little friendliness and empathy — along with helpful information and clear next steps.
Using positive scripting to create responses to these common situations helps your brand handle these issues consistently and ensure that they are handled with care and positivity.
All you have to do is identify the questions that your support team receives most frequently and then load positive, brand-consistent responses into your helpdesk:
While each brand varies, some of the most common situations include:
- WISMO, or “where is my order?”
- Questions about refund and returns policies
- Questions about product availability
- Product-related questions (sizing, compatibility, ingredients, etc.)
3) Encourage customer support to enhance scripts with their own unique flair
Customer service reps should be free to deviate from scripts when needed or inject them with their unique flair. Encouraging your reps to use scripts as a guide rather than a word-for-word requirement ensures that your brand doesn’t script away its human touch.
We love this example of an agent bending a policy and sparking up a delightful conversation:
4) Use scripts for training representatives
Along with using customer service scripts to guide customer interactions in the moment, you can also use them as resources for training your representatives. Once again, not everything that your agents say will be scripted, so ensuring they understand the principles behind positive scripting is just as important as providing the scripts themselves.
Using scripts to showcase what positive customer interactions look like will allow your agents to leverage positive language even when they aren’t using a script. For example, you can use scripts to demonstrate mock customer service interactions and then dive into the specifics of why the scripted responses you’ve created work well for those situations.
📚 Recommended reading: Our Director of Support’s guide to customer service training.
5) Avoid sounding like a robot
Several of the tips we’ve already covered are geared toward preventing support agents from sounding wooden or robotic, and this is an essential consideration when using positive scripting.
By using scripts to initiate an interaction rather than scripting the entire conversation, giving agents the freedom to add their own flair to the scripts, and adding personality to the scripts you create, you can avoid this common pitfall of positive scripting.
It’s also vital for your reps to demonstrate genuine empathy throughout customer interactions to avoid sounding uncaring and robotic. This can’t be easily scripted, making it important to ensure that your reps know how to adopt an empathetic tone and approach.
📚 Recommended reading: The ultimate guide to offering personalized customer service at scale.
6) Nail the greeting
Your agent’s initial greeting to a customer sets the tone for the rest of the interaction. It’s also one of the easiest parts of customer interactions to script since the initial greeting will largely remain the same regardless of the customer’s specific issue or sentiment.
Stating the company name and the agent’s name, asking the customer’s name, telling them good morning/good afternoon, and assuring them that you are happy to assist them are all great elements to consider including in your greeting script.
7) Test, iterate, and refine to perfect your customer service interactions
Like almost every aspect of ecommerce, positive scripting in customer service is something you can continually improve with proper testing. CSAT surveys are one excellent way to gather customer feedback following a customer support interaction. You can use the feedback you gather from these surveys to fine-tune your customer support scripts.
For instance, if many customers complain that your reps sound unempathetic or robotic, you may want to revisit the language of your scripts or encourage your agents to inject more of their own personalities. Throughout testing and refining your scripts, keep in mind that script building should be a collaborative experiment, with customer service teams working alongside reps and using data from past customer service interactions to guide the process.
Offer positive, fast, and helpful customer service with Gorgias
Positive scripting is one effective way to improve the quality of your brand’s customer support and encourage more positive customer experiences. However, it’s also just one small element of high-quality, revenue-generating customer support.
If you would like to offer the type of fast, positive, and helpful customer service that will set your brand apart from the competition, it’s important to use the right customer support tools.
With Gorgias’ industry-leading customer support platform, you’ll be able to leverage a range of advanced customer support tools and capabilities — all designed to boost customer satisfaction by improving both the speed and helpfulness of your support services.
To get started offering positive, fast, and helpful customer support via the best ecommerce customer support platform on the market, be sure to sign up for Gorgias today!