You can always tell when the script is being used. You know what I mean. You're engaged in lively conversation over a meal and your server interrupts with the scripted dessert monologue. Or your talking with customer service on the phone and you don't feel heard at all, because the same script is repeated over and over regardless what you say.
I hate the script. It's annoying and sad. Annoying, because I feel insulted. Sad, because the service rep isn't empowered to think and interact like a person.
Netflix customer service rep Michael wrote his own script a couple weeks ago. Maybe you heard about it. if not, I'll brief you. (If you already know about this, you're already this far into my post... you might as well finish it out. Humor me.)
Customer Norm entered an online chat to find a solution for a non-stop, repeating cycle of Parks and Recreation. He got more than a chat. He was welcomed into a conversation with "Captain Mike of the Good Ship Netflix." Norm played along and introduced himself as Lt. Norm. Here's a portion of their chat:
Whether you're leading a retail storefront, an online service or a ministry team in a local church - throw away the script.
- Jean, owner of a local restaurant fav, J W Chen's, sits at our table and talks with us about our likes and imagines with us a dish from her kitchen that we'll love.
- Starbucks baristas - Mike, Aaron, Chloe, Brandon, and Chloe (to name a few) - don't rush us through the line like an airport coffee kiosk. They take an interest in our day, in our lives.
- Netflix Captain Mike entered a chat with customer Norm and had fun. He engaged Norm as a real person with a "trekkie" sense of humor.
- Last week Mike and Mary Bartkowiak served a group of Innovate Conference guests by leaving our church building (where they had responsibilities) to provide rides for stranded guests and oversee the care of their luggage until the conference concluded. No script.
Scripts are efficient. They're designed to reduce risks. Their goal is to provide a consistent experience. But it's consistently a plastic experience. And there's tremendous risk that people will behave like robots. Efficient but ineffective.
What script do you need to throw away?