Natural Communication Skills for Charity Call Centre Teams

When it comes to putting together a conversation process when working as a call centre operative for a charity, the approach should be very different than when dealing with any company that is selling items, or makes a profit. For charity, there is often a need to deal with vulnerable callers, or those who have been prompted to make a call in order to make a donation after being moved by information relating to that charity that may be upsetting or of a sensitive nature. With this in mind it is important to choose to work with a call centre service that is aware of the nuances required when answering calls for a charity.

The better approach than using a script, as with many other call centre projects, is to instead use prompts and signposts. Using a set script does not work well within call centres aimed at assisting charities, as this does not lend itself to a compassionate conversation that can become personal with the user in a way that is helpful to both parties on the call.

Of course, in a commercial environment there are many benefits to reading from a script. It provides a solid foundation for each individual call operative to work through a call, hitting set marks along the way that help to measure the success of the call and to get the caller to the desired end destination that the call operative wants them to reach – whether that is to leave personal information willingly, to make a purchase over the telephone, or another metric that can be easily measured. A script for a call centre operative must be learned and practiced many times over, and it will get better over time the more you speak with real-life, human callers. In a commercial landscape the call operative is tasked with upholding the reputation of the company brand.

This is where things differ with a call centre operative working for a charity. In this instance there isn’t a desire to cash in, to uphold the company brand recognition. Instead there is something more altruistic about the conversation and potential transaction, and that is why it is important for the conversation to flow as naturally as possible. For a conversation between a charity call centre operative and a potential donor, instead of sticking to a strict script, the team are better served to have a vague script in place, with signposts and nods along the way that helps to get the potential donor to make a real donation.

A script can sound formulaic, detached and impersonal, because it is that! It is easy to detect a script sometimes, and in many cases when dealing with a commercial company it doesn’t necessarily matter to the caller, especially if they are already interested in that company’s product or service. With a charity they are much more likely to need persuading, or talk about sensitive and potentially upsetting matters before committing to a donation. Work with a call centre set up to work with charities and that understand that nuance and natural conversation is much more suitable in these circumstances that a set script.

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