What is a “Warm Transfer?”

Sean Lund-Brown

In the call center and customer service world, there are two types of transfers that take place when an agent can no longer serve a customer and needs to send them on to the next person in line. The blind, or cold, transfer is when an agent simply transfers the call without speaking to anyone on the other end of the line. A warm transfer means a conversation takes place first.

When you perform a blind transfer, the agent will hear the call come in and choose to accept or reject it. Once they accept the transfer, the call will be dropped for the original agent and it is assumed that the customer is getting the assistance that they need.

A warm transfer is often more helpful because it allows receptionists to have a conversation with the person they're transferring to first. This means they can share valuable information about the caller’s needs, including the background, what solutions or issues have been discussed already, and why they are reaching out for further assistance. Plus, you can do all of this without the caller hearing.

Another benefit of the warm transfer is that once the information is relayed, the source agent will have the choice to simply hang up when the call is connected, or remain on the line for a three-way conversation to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

How technology can help

In the past, it was often difficult to use integrated phone systems to make warm transfers, with the worries of the potential for disconnected calls, agents who may not be comfortable making transfers, and other issues. Thanks to innovations in call technology, transfers can now be done on a screen instead of blindly by just pushing buttons.

Not only does this make it easier to make the transfer in the first place, but it also allows you to follow the customer connection better and ensure that their time on the phone with agents measures up to their expectations, no matter why they are calling. The software available today makes it easy to integrate calling features for a more dynamic call center experience, whether you have a small contact center or a large customer service operation.

Virtual receptionists and their role in your support solutions

You can also take your technology integration one step further. Instead of choosing software or employing an in-house customer service team, you can outsource to virtual receptionists who are available 24/7. They will provide the connections and communication that your customers need with a system that is dynamic and integrated. Virtual receptionists use warm transfers to improve the communication between all parties and provide a better customer experience.

Virtual receptionists are:

● Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

● Real people who can seamlessly integrate into your organization by operating as an extension of your existing business

● Able to streamline high call volumes, appointment scheduling, and other customer requests

● Backed by technology that enables them with call screening and routing

● Cost-effective — you don’t have to pay for hiring, training, or benefits

Whether you use virtual receptionists to route calls before they reach your own staff or you rely on the virtual contact center entirely for your customer service, it’s important to choose a company that understands the unique nature of virtual customer service and how to keep up with the growing demands of today’s consumers.

Bonus: 86% of agents report feeling that they aren’t equipped with the authority or resources to deal with customers effectively. That’s a statistic that can be improved with these solutions.

The benefits of the warm transfer

Although some of the perks are obvious, there are definitely some aspects of the warm transfer that people might not think about. Here are a few benefits to keep in mind:

● Your receptionists will get context before handling a call, allowing them to be better able to resolve issues or close deals.

● Customers won’t have to repeat information or provide repetitive security confirmations, reducing their frustration and also reducing the average call time.

● You will see an increase in first-call resolutions by working collaboratively to problem solve.

● Warm transfers can be to anyone on your team — your caller deserves to be introduced to the right person the first time.

● You will improve conversion speed and rates by making sure that customers get the answers that they need and the right people are used for the right contact.

● You can even use warm transfers to promote special offers or encourage people to upgrade their services, offering to connect them personally to someone who can offer them “a better deal” or “better savings.”

Ultimately, the warm transfer gives you the chance to take the work off the customer’s hands. They have already done the hard part of making the initial call — reward them by answering it appropriately and helping them find the assistance that they need, even when it’s not with the first person that answers. Blind transfers are a lot less effective because there is no communication between agents.

Our top picks for digital contact center solutions and phone services

Although the exact needs of your business may be different than others, we have several partnerships that offer digital solutions, including everything from VoIP phone services to full-service virtual agents, and everything in between. If software is all you need, check out solutions like:

RingCentral

Windstream

Vonage

Frontier

Dialpad

Nextiva

AXvoice

eVoice

1-VoIP

In addition to a phone system that can provide warm transfers, consider using a 24/7 virtual receptionist service. After all, you can't transfer calls that are never answered —  whether they are missed after-hours or because your staff is already on the phone.

Take advantage of warm transfers to step up your customer service game and deliver a better experience for everyone in the contact center journey. For more information or assistance in setting up your virtual receptionist service, contact the team at Smith.ai today.

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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