What is a Warm Transfer in Customer Service?
Warm transfer refers to transferring customers from one representative to another. Transferring customers to a new representative is an important part of customer service. When done right, it can make the customer feel like they are being taken care of and help them get their issue resolved quickly. But when the transfer is done wrong, it can result in angry customers who have to wait on hold for a long time or who just give up altogether.
Why Warm Transfers Matter
The objective of a warm transfer is to provide the new representative with enough information and access that they can take the call and bring it to a resolution. If done correctly, it can help save time and ensure that the process goes smoothly so fewer issues are dropped along the way.
Clear communication between both representatives before passing over control helps them do this effectively by allowing each party involved in solving an issue to know how it should proceed next, especially if they’re taking over while discussing different steps with someone else through phone or chat.
A warm transfer ensures that the new representative knows as much about the customer’s issue and history as possible.
It also ensures that they know what the previous conversation entailed, which prevents them from repeating questions or asking for information that their predecessor on a call has already mentioned.
Warm Transfer vs Cold Transfer
This type of transfer is different than cold transfer because it gives all relevant information to the incoming agent so there are no gaps in knowledge – not only does this cut down on time spent filling in those blanks, but it can also lead to quicker resolutions for customers who have been waiting too long just trying to get details resolved with an agent right off the bat.
What is a Cold Transfer?
A cold transfer is when a customer’s call gets transferred to another agent without any advance notice. The new representative may not have the same knowledge or understanding of all the details that are relevant to solving the issue, which can lead to additional questions and longer wait times for customers who just want a resolution as soon as possible on their problem.
Which One Should You Choose?
The warm transfer creates an opportunity for reps from different departments or levels in your organization to get involved with resolving issues before they become more significant problems (i.e., escalations).
For an irritated customer, any rep can make a bad situation worse by being too abrupt or not knowledgeable enough about the issue at hand. A slow response time and lower quality of work may lead to additional problems down the line with that caller’s company relationship.
Information to Share with Your Colleague
- The customer’s name, a brief overview of the situation they’re calling about, and any information you’ve already gathered.
- How was your previous conversation with them? What did you learn from that call or email? Did you find out what their main concern is?
- Your colleague should be able to provide additional knowledge on how best to help this caller. Give them as much background information as possible (even if it feels redundant), so they can effectively offer assistance.
- Warmly thank your colleague before disconnecting – it sets up an optimistic tone as soon as possible for whoever may pick up.
Warm Transfer Best Practices
Warm transfers should be only between two employees in your organization who know each other well because they have worked together before or are from different departments with overlapping responsibilities (i.e., marketing and sales).
Strive for empathy—try your best to understand what callers are feeling and acknowledge their emotions rather than brushing them off or not listening well enough. It can be difficult to listen without challenging somebody else’s feelings, especially if they’re in a high emotional state, but try!
The caller should know that he is being transferred from one person (e.g., Rebecca) into another (e.g., Ryan). This helps the caller trust that there will be someone on the other end who will take care of them as much as Rebecca did before they were transferred to
Provide reassurance by telling them their issue can be solved on the other end; let them know you’ll stay on the line until they’re connected, so there isn’t any interruption during their transition.
Always have the warm transfer recipient ask for a detailed explanation of what is happening and summarize it back to the caller. This can be accomplished by saying, “Can you please tell me everything that has happened so far?”
Let the warm transfer recipient know about any escalations or other urgent issues they need to take care of while on this call.
Before hanging up, make sure both parties are clear on the next steps in resolving this issue: when will someone follow up with them again, who should they contact if there’s an additional problem, etc.?
Be warm, empathetic, and engaging. To do this, try to be mindful of how you’re coming across—whether it’s through your tone or the content of what you’re saying. This will make all the difference in ensuring that callers don’t feel like they’ve been transferred from one place where people are unhelpful into another.
Avoid using phrases such as “so first I need to transfer…” or “to get to my next piece of information.” These statements may come off as abrupt and convey a sense that the caller is not worth talking with any more than necessary, even if it’s just for their own good!
If the caller is frustrated, be sure to empathize with them and try your best to understand where they’re coming from. Ask questions that will help you better identify their needs, such as “how long have you been trying?” or “do you know what’s causing it?”
Avoid making insensitive remarks like “I’m sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.” These statements come off as condescending and can make callers feel unheard. Instead, focus on acknowledging their feelings without adding in a negating account. Consider saying something like, “thank you so much for letting me know – I’ll get right on that!” instead of just “okay” when confirming details about the problem they reported.
If the customer has been transferred again before they reach someone that can help them, say something like this: “Apologies for any confusion or frustration here. Let me connect with you directly. Hopefully, this is what you’re looking for!” This statement conveys empathy by acknowledging their feelings without accepting blame.
The warm transfer method has many benefits for both customers and employees in customer service roles. In addition to providing an opportunity for a more personalized experience during the connection process, it also increases efficiency by not interrupting the customer’s current contact. If you want to be successful at transferring calls without alienating customers, then consider these tips!