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What is a warm transfer and how does it improve the customer service experience?
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What is a warm transfer and how does it improve the customer service experience?

Not every customer is going to get through to the right person first time, but a big part of customer service is making the process of communicating with you as easy as possible.

Most people have been in the situation where they’ve called a company and explained a situation or problem and then been transferred to the right person or department, only to then have to repeat themselves and explain the problem all over again.

This cold transfer (or ‘blind transfer’) of customer calls is a symptom of poor customer service, leaving the door open for customers to get frustrated at having to repeat themselves each time they’re transferred, and also wasting employee time asking for information that’s already been passed on at least once.

The solution to this is easy though and ensuring transfers on the phone are “warm transfers” is a quick and simple way to improve customer service on the phone and make your team’s lives easier.

What is a warm transfer?

A warm transfer is a call transfer between employees when the background of the call (or context of what the call is about) is passed on before the caller is transferred.

It essentially means that when the caller is transferred to a new person, that employee already knows why the person is calling, saving the customer from having to repeat themselves.

This is compared to a cold transfer, which is when a caller is passed between employees with no context given on what the call is about and the onus is put on the caller to repeat themselves once they’ve been transferred to a new person.

How does a warm transfer improve customer satisfaction?

It may seem a small thing, but the few seconds it takes to pass call information between employees can make a huge difference to the perception of your business’ customer service and the overall customer experience.

Here are a couple of reasons warm transfers can improve customer satisfaction:

The customer doesn’t need to repeat themselves

70% of customers believe companies should collaborate on their behalf, so they don’t need to repeat themselves, according to data from Zendesk.

Warm transfers of phone calls take the leg work away from the customer, removing the need for them to repeat information multiple times before they get an answer or a problem resolved.

If information is shared between colleagues when a call is transferred, teams can simply pick up the enquiry and immediately start to help the customer based on the information they’ve given. If new information is then needed, at least the customer isn’t repeating themselves and they know progress is being made with their enquiry.

Warm transfers make the customer feel valued

Around 70% of the customer experience is based on how customers feel they’re being treated – especially during the buying experience – according to research by McKinsey.

Making customers feel valued is a critical part of the overall experience and is relatively simple to do by following some basic principles. 

For example, not making customers repeat themselves on phone calls gives the impression that enquiries are being dealt with as effectively and efficiently as possible and stops customers thinking they’re being passed on blindly.

A good way to do this is to take influence from warm transfer examples that use this formula:

  1. Call the customer by name as soon as the transferred call is picked up
  2. Immediately try to pick things up where they’ve been left in the form of a question

“Hello, John? This is Steve, the manager. I understand you’ve been having some trouble with your subscription payments, is that right?”

This is a very direct way to show the effort has been taken to learn who the customer is and to engage with their issue.

Warm transfers speed things up on the customer’s behalf

Asking customers to repeat themselves whenever they’re transferred between teams or departments doesn’t just create the impression of poor customer service, it also wastes a huge amount of time that could be better spent resolving a problem, rather than going over it multiple times.

By providing context to the call before the customer is put through, your teams can get straight into the detail of helping the caller with their issue, instead of wasting time asking them to go through everything again.

This isn’t just better for the customer and can prevent issues from escalating, it also makes life easier for teams as they can help customers more effectively.

Warm transfers make your company appear professional and efficient

Professional call handling gets the customer to who they need to speak to quickly, and ensures whoever is handling the call has all the information they need to deal with it effectively.

By taking the work away from the customer, you can show professionalism and a commitment to better service – which is something customers value greatly today.

On the other hand, if you’re constantly passing customers from one person to the other and asking them to repeat themselves at every step it gives the sense of unprofessionalism and a disconnect in your customer service.

This creates more potential for customer enquiries to escalate – especially if the call relates to a complaint – and increases the chances of you losing a customer.

A warm transfer adds the human touch

Customer service is all about the human touch and building relationships with customers. The best way to do this is treat customers like people and have conversations with them, rather than have them passed robotically from one phone to the other.

Even simple things can go a long way.

“Hi John, I’ve got Julie on the other line who’s going to help you with your billing issue ok, I’ll transfer you now.”

This sounds a lot better to a customer than:

“That’s not something I can help you with so I’m going to pass you over to someone else, hang on.”

Ensuring customers are dealt with empathetically by real people and that information is passed on properly between teams is a critical part of the customer experience and something that needs time and investment.

Could you benefit from a call answering service?

If your company struggles to deal with inbound calls effectively then investing in a telephone answering service could be the best option.

With a team of dedicated, professional PAs behind you, you can be confident that not only will you never miss an inbound call or new business enquiry, but that customer calls will be dealt with properly every time.

Whether it’s dealing with customer enquiries directly or executing warm transfers, ensuring your team has all the information they need to do with calls while making sure customers get transferred to the right person first time, every time a professional telephone answering service can help.

By professionalising your company’s telephone answering service, you can improve service in a key communication channel that greatly enhances the customer experience and makes life easier for your team.

Try our telephone answering free for 7 days

If you’d like to find out more about how a call answering service could impact your business for the better, get in touch with Face For Business today to start a 7 day free trial of our telephone answering service.

With over 3,000,000 calls answered, we’re highly experienced in the call management space and are ready and waiting to help your business thrive.

11th August, 2023

Posted by Face For Business

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