Break the 80/20 Rule to Scripting


The Pareto Principle

As with many things in life, the Pareto Principle, named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, applies to contact center efficiencies, too. And in a call center, it might mean that the 20% of calls that go off script require 80% of the time agents spend on the phone.

We also see it in the inverse relationship between call scripting and agent institutional knowledge.

You’re Not Alone

For most contact centers, efforts to manage this 80% usually go one of two ways. Leaders are faced with the problem of increased call volumes while trying to reduce call times. And many aim to streamline processes by making their scripts overly simple, leaving out crucial information that might be needed to complete a customer’s request or appropriately triage.

When this occurs, sales and service representatives have to improvise and use excuses such as, “Sorry, my system is running slow,” while they navigate their way to the tool that can help them help you. In even more frustrating scenarios agents can end up giving incorrect answers to specific questions or even immediately send the caller to 2nd tier support too early in the conversation.

Others make workflows so complex and rigid, that it can be a challenge for agents to grow comfortable and gain the knowledge required to be successful.

Simplifying scripting increases the training time required to establish institutional knowledge. But attempting to anticipate everything risks overwhelming new agents. Neither of these options serve the objective of increasing productivity, reducing handle times, and making training and coaching more efficient.

If this sounds relatable, you’re not alone. Businesses are constantly trying to solve this problem and get time back. Tools and trainings are offered constantly to help develop more robust documentation and agile scripts. But what if it’s easier than that?

Don’t Let Process Disrupt The Conversation

What would it look like for an organization like yours to rethink their agent desktop—to mitigate redundant conversations and duplicated efforts and reduce the volume of paper all over an agent’s cube? It shouldn’t feel impossible to make onboarding efficient or streamline your various systems and technology.

The 80/20 rule originated as a commentary on the distribution of wealth and became an essential business philosophy, informing the way we run our organizations and manage our teams. But it certainly isn’t the law. You don’t have to resign yourself or your team to long calls and inadequate scripts.

Think about what it means to break that rule. Perhaps you need to automate more of your process. Or maybe the key is in developing new ways to put knowledge at your agents’ fingertips. Whatever it is, implementing it successfully could optimize both scripting and training in the process.

What steps can you take to centralize your processes and ensure your agents are handling calls the right way, every time?


Cue® provides a simple agent desktop that streamlines workflow and enables phone-based agents to complete all functions of their job in one place, instead of having to navigate between multiple systems. With Cue®, agents can better assist customers, streamline training, reduce talk time, and eliminate after-call work—all with the confidence that they possess the right tools to engage every person they speak to.