For years I have been working with companies to upgrade, tweak and help with scripts their sales and/or customer service reps.
Now we're trying to get our clients who ask for help with a script to consider going to conversations with aided recall.
There is danger and pitfalls to both scripts and conversations though. Let me explain.
Scripts were designed for actors. Actors know how to read a script. Most folks don't. It's that simple.
When you give a person a script they tend to 'read' it. Well what's wrong with that Nancy? Aren't you suppose to read a script?
Yes, but it's the old 'HOW' you read it that counts. We have all been accosted by a phone call and someone poorly reading their script. Yawn, yawn or worse.
And in the professional scripts there are words for everyone (all actors) to respond. In your business script there's normally only words for what the rep is saying. There are no words for the customer - the responder (the other actor).
Oh there may be some things like "if the customer says this, you say that;" "if the customer says that, you say this." Do we say, "Excuse me, sir, that's not in my script?"
Here's a big time tip: If you want to continue using scripts, that's fine; however, we suggest you have the person who will be reading the script READ the script to you.
Or better yet, over the phone to you, as well. How does it sound? Tape it. Let them hear it too. Let them go to another room and call in on your cell or another phone. It's not a big deal. And the best time to do this is in the interview.
But what happens if you already have them on board and now after reading this you realize they're just reading the script blah, blah, blah? We can lose a lot of business that way.
That's when you have someone you really want to hire (or is already on staff), but you're not happy with the 'read' or the audition.
Bring in a newspaper or magazine article. Tell them they're being interviewed for FOX News or CNN and have them read the article as they would on the air. It's very sobering.
Scripts are ok and if used right, even great.
But those that use scripts need to be great IMPROV folks. Improv isn't easy. But it's a great exercise in having a conversation. Some of us are good at it; some are not.
Let's face it. The folks coming into the workplace today, the millennials and such, aren't very versed in 'conversations.' After, "Hey, how ya doing?" or "Hey, what's up?" there's not much else. So we're going to need to teach them - show them -
One other thing about scripts.
I'm a professional actress and have worked with some big names over the years. We all memorized a script. What you find when you read a script is a possessiveness from the author. Anyone who has written a script doesn't like you to change the words. And you shouldn't. They were written with a reason.
Take Neil Simon, the brilliant play writer. If we changed his words we might not get the same laughs, the same reaction. So when you're given a script and you want to change stuff, ASK about changing words before you do it.
Changing authors words without permission could cause collateral damage. Like your job!
(Next post, I will give you a quick tip on on converstaions.)
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