You’re sat there tasked with writing scripts for your company’s telephone messages. You’re not a writer – never have been, never claimed to be – yet somehow the responsibility has fallen on you to generate a series of messages that link together seamlessly and reflect your brand.
Your mind goes blank, so you do a little research on the Google machine to get the creative juices pumping. This backfires when you learn that the telephone is still most customers’ preferred means of communication. You also discover that if callers aren’t satisfied by their experience on the phone, they’re highly likely to take their business elsewhere.
Whew! Is it hot in here?
You take a walk to clear your head and see Julie preparing to read your scripts into an old answering machine. Unable to drown out the noise of your busy call centre, some bright spark suggests that she reads the messages under her desk to provide some form of sound barrier.
You sit back down at your desk, the weight of the world now firmly on your shoulders as your boss insists you need to start recording like now! “Oh, and by the way, you absolutely must say this,” says your boss as he slips you a list of bloated phrases that could make an insomniac sleep for a week.
Sullenly, you ask yourself how life came to this.
Believe it or not, this situation arises in offices all over the UK every single day. We know because we’re the ones people call to fix their problems, often after many customers have fled due to poor customer service.
So how about some good news? Here are 5 top tips to help you structure your regulatory messages so they don’t sound quite so gloomy.
1 Understand the importance
If you hate what you’re writing and you script the words begrudgingly, your audience will be able to tell. It’s a magic truth of writing that the author’s feelings somehow come through, and if you write feeling bored and angry, then poor Julie is highly likely to sound that way, too.
2 Seize the opportunity
Any great writer will tell you that no word on a page should be wasted. It’s a chance to convey an emotion and deliver a precise message to your audience. You’ve been given a stage, and your words are your instrument, so knock ‘em dead!
3 Show your callers you care
It’s a given that you’d rather write just about anything else other than tell your callers that your messages have to be recorded because of blah, blah, blah. But what if you highlight your reason for doing this: to offer them the best possible service? Suddenly, the caller will start to feel a little warm inside.
4 Timing is everything
Take a look at how many regulatory messages you have. Is it a lot? Does everyone need to hear them? Might it be easier to subtly slip one on the tail end after the customer has chosen their option, than bored to tears in the welcome message? Put yourself on the receiving end and ask yourself not only if the message sounds okay, but that it’s definitely in the right place.
5 If in doubt, cut it out
The first thing your caller will value is being given accurate information. The second thing they’ll value is time. As beautifully as you may be able to construct a Shakespearian sentence, this is not the time for a work of art. Be direct, cover your points in a way that sounds like your brand, and keep your options as succinct as possible. Never is this more relevant than with your regulatory messages.
If you ever become the unfortunate soul who is forced to write against your will, we recommend you grasp these little nuggets of advice with both hands. Or better still, get your boss to give us a shout so we can do it all for you.
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