Why I don't like customer service scripts

I called a customer service line today to schedule some minor repairs at my home. The person who answered the phone gave me an unusual greeting:

"Thank you for calling _________, my name is Sierra. How can I make you smile today?"

Sounds fun, right? Unfortunately, there was nothing in Sierra’s voice that indicated she was actually interested in making me smile. I’m sure some merry band of geniuses came up with that line during a corporate idea-a-thon, but Sierra clearly wasn’t buying it and I wasn’t either.

Customer service scripts, especially the cheesy ones, tend to take the soul out of service. Remember the Mehrabian rule? Noted psychologist Albert Mehrabian discovered that our tone and body language are more important to our likability than the words we say when all three don’t match:


 “Thank you for calling _____, my name is Sierra. How may I help you?”

That greeting works just fine for me if the person delivering it is smiling and enthusiastic. I’d even be OK if I had to call back and a different person gave a different greeting. *GASP* As long as the person was warm, friendly, and helpful I’m sure I’d be alright.