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Best news I've heard this year

"Workers at Lloyds TSB call centres have been told they must no longer read from scripts when talking to customers because it makes them angry.

Researchers found that 90% of people got annoyed when they were talking to call centre workers who were obviously reading from a script.

Most customers said they thought this led to staff failing to listen or answer questions properly.

Scripted conversations were impersonal and often went on too long, they said.

Call centre staff agreed that reading from scripts slowed down the process and 86% of them backed scrapping them."

from here.

Hah! And also, duh! But I'm glad the company's decided to scrap them, cos usually managers don't take any notice even when all your customers AND all your staff hate something.

(laerad and darth_n_furter, this doesn't affect you, does it?)

Though if you read further down the article, they're talking about templates and things, so I suspect they're not actually getting rid of the scripts, they're just re-naming them. And I know companies do other mad things - one of my friends had to fit as many "sexy words" (they had a list of them, and it was things like "upgrade" or something) into the calls as she could, at an insurance place.

Now we just have to make sure that call centres for UK companies hire people who actually want to help, and who can both speak English effectively (including the jargon of whatever business it is) and understand accents from around the British Isles, not just SE England.

Also, best headline for a while - Internet lampposts to be trialled. In Dundee, for some reason.

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Comments

( 14 comments — Comment )
squirrelette
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
I've banked with LloydsTSB, and mostly they haven't pestered me with the scripted and rote like speech. Egg on the other hand.. gaahh.

What I find most annoying is when there's been a point made about 'personalising' the call, so they say your name so many times it's unnatural and loses all meaning. Must be hell to have to do that with every person you call.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:35 am (UTC)
Oooh, I hate that overuse of your name. And yeah, it must be hideous for them too!
kniblet
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
I read that as "internet lampposts to be trailed" and wondered if they were having a problem getting lost.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
Well, at least they'd be easy to trail - you'd just have to turn them on...
darth_n_furter
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
scripts
you think you can script a complaint call!

no, never had a script. anyway, LTSB got rid of them months ago.

now all they need to do is stop breaking ombudsmans guidelines...

oops, maybe shouldn't have said that
gwinniegirl
Jan. 5th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
Re: scripts
Oh-ahhhhh! Think that counts as gross misconduct :P
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
Re: scripts
Nah, I didn't think you could script complaint calls :)

(Heh, you're so sacked ;))
speakr2customrs
Jan. 4th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
Guess where I work?

The whole script removal thing is a lie. They say that they've got rid of the scripts, but in practice all it means is that they've taken them off the screens where we can read them easily, and moved them to a paper handout that we've got to memorise. It's just made things harder for us and I think that we sound even more like frigging robots these days.

And yes, we've got lists of words that we have to use at every possible opportunity; although at least they don't call them 'sexy' words.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I thought they'd have done. Cos the management are always right, and the staff should be able to work like robots and have the same conversation with everyone, because that makes things easier for the managers to make into statistics! At least, that's how I think it works...
laerad
Jan. 6th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
If you work at LTSB you must have gone through CARE evolution and had those lists of good and bad words, and i am pretty sure he did mention "sexy" words at this.

As to scripts, yeah, our calls at complaints can't be scripted, especially when they keep changing what calls we can and can't accept and keep changing what work we do and what work the other care centres take.

Loved it when west mids set up thier own complaints handling team and didnt tell anyone else about it. Lovely company.
gwinniegirl
Jan. 5th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
pickwick, I assure you they haven't done away with scripts in the "main" call centre (as in the bit that doesn't deal with complaints). You're right, they're sort of disguising them, but the call still has a "set pattern" they'd like it to follow. Most of the UK operators are okay at it but some of the Mumbai ones sound quite wooden (that's how you know!).
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
Heh. I don't have to worry about it, because I bank with Smile and the only time they've ever called me was when I'd spent vast quantities of money online in one day and they wanted to check it wasn't fraudulent. I like Smile!
rhionnach
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
I've worked in a bank's call centre where we never actually used scripts but had a certain pattern to handling the call so this isn't really all that different. What would be different would be if the bank actually LISTENED to what the customers are telling them.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)
What would be different would be if the bank actually LISTENED to what the customers are telling them.

What an outlandish idea! Heh...yeah, the same's true for most businesses, I think. And what the staff are telling them too.
( 14 comments — Comment )

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