Scripted interactions turn people into automatons

Scripts are a great way to learn. We get scripts from our parents and our peers. We repeat, internalize and refine. Kids with Asperger's couldn't function without scripts. But if you're going to tell employees to read verbatim from a script, you might as well automate the whole process. Because rather than pay a person to use a computer, you're paying him to be a computer. Says David Heinemeier Hansson at 37Signals:

Most corporate customer service departments seem to have been reduced to call scripts of apologies with no power whatsoever to actually address the problems they encounter. That’s the conclusion I’m left with after dealing with three business bureaucracies this year: Comcast, Verizon, and American Airlines.

PhoneRobotThe only reason to talk to a  person is that a person can solve problems that a machine can't. Generalized scripts are great: These are your options, this is what I can do, here are some alternatives. Then the general script gets translated into human-speak: open, immediate, smart, honest, and informal. It starts as a script and a person makes it human. And even if the problem can't be solved to the customer's satisfaction, most customers - not all, but most - will walk away from the call feeling better for having touched someone.