What are cold transfer calls? How are they used? Do they have a place in the modern practices of call centers? The answer is yes – but the key to making that true is knowing exactly how to execute these calls properly.
What is a Cold Transfer in a Call Center?
A cold transfer is something we’ve all likely experienced. It is the most commonly used technique of transferring calls between staff members in call centers and customer service departments. Plainly said, a cold transfer involves forwarding a call to an employee without “warming them up” with details or preparation for handling that call. A consumer calls, their call is received without collecting any information beyond perhaps their reason for dialing, then the call is directed to a representative who handles their call from there.
Another way type of cold transfer in a call center involves redirecting a call from an employee who is not able to be of service to another who might. This happens often in call centers, as one employee exhausts their knowledge or training trying to assist a caller and then transfers their call to another agent with a higher level of experience with that particular area of concern.
What is a Warm Transfer?
A warm transfer is an alternative to the cold transfer in a call center that many people prefer, when available. With a warm transfer, your call is received by a receptionist or automated system that collects information from you, then transfer that information first to an agent or representative who will then accept your call based on what they know if your concern or situation. This allows the person who ultimately handles your call to provide top-notch service and an understanding approach, since they know what you’re dealing with from the moment they say hello.
While warm transferring is an ideal way of operating, it isn’t always practical or even possible. For most facilities, the only option is utilizing cold transfers to get consumers connected to someone who can help them. The key to pulling off a customer-satisfying cold transfer in a call center is to get to the root of the concern and start finding a solution quickly, and to personalize the experience as much as possible.
Best Ways to Handle Cold Transferring
How useful a cold transfer in a call center will be depends on how it is handled. Consumers in the modern, fast-paced world expect their problems to be solved quickly and more efficiently – and with as little face-time (or phone time) as possible. Your call center should seek to meet those demands and surpass them, and it can with the help of the right technology and training.
Employees of effective call center should be trained to gather information using a loosely-scripted template of prompts. While every person who answers the phone shouldn’t use the same dialogue every time they speak to someone, giving your staff a general script to follow will help them collect adequate, relevant information as quickly as possible, and in ways that feel organic and polite for the consumer.
IVR – or interactive voice response – technology is one of today’s best tools for making the most of consumer calls, as quickly as possible. There was a time not long ago when calling a call center meant dialing through endless menus that would still result in you being spat into a pool of waiting callers who seemed directed to agents at random. IVR technology makes that a thing of the past. Today, callers can address their concerns right away and have those concerns help the system direct their call more effectively. This results in less wait time, better solutions delivered by more prepared agents, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Training your agents to handle transfer procedure properly is important, especially if transfers between staff members do have to happen. No matter how well-prepared your agents are, there will always be questions or concerns that are best addressed by specific staff members. The best way for your employees to handle this sort of situation is as follows:
- First, explain the reason for the transfer and ask permission from your caller. This will prevent the caller from feeling “jerked around” by the chain of people receiving their calls.
- Be sure to share your own information. If you were to get disconnected, your consumer can ask for the last person they spoke to by name when being directed, allowing them to cut at least one step out of the process.
- Transfer the call, and - when possible – stay on the line to explain the situation to your peer and make an introduction between the coworker and the client. This will take the call from a cold transfer to something much warmer – and much more pleasant for the caller.
Today’s call centers are combining technology that collects more information upfront with training for employees that enables them to get to the heart of a caller’s concerns right away. If you want to have a call center that continues to grow and continues to solve problems for callers of all kinds, it’s important to take this two-fold approach to equip your staff effectively.
Why Go to Such Extensive Effort?
There are many reasons that today’s call centers go to great lengths to improve the cold transfer experience for consumers. One of the biggest is the reputation that their customer service gives them. We’ve all been on hold for ages with a company, been transferred from one employee to another on a seemingly-endless loop, or bounced from agent to agent only to have our concerns inadequately addressed. This kind of experience is what leads to a general perception of call centers as being dismissive an inattentive of consumer needs and concerns.
Today’s call centers are doing everything they can to change that concept. Utilizing technology provided by companies like Chase Data, they are giving their clients and customers a better place to turn with their concerns and a friendlier presence to meet their needs. Putting today’s tools to work to improve the process for everyone involved makes cold transfers in call centers a whole new experience in the modern day.