The Right Way to Transfer Customer Calls without Damaging the Customer Relationship
February 11, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
, TMCnet Contributor
By If you made a list of top 10 customer irritants when it comes to interacting with a call center, chances are you’d find long hold times and poorly designed interactive voice response (IVR) solutions near the top of the list. Another frequently cited irritant – one that would probably make it into customers’ top 10 list – is frequent call transfers.
While modern call routing solutions have helped many contact centers cut down on the number of call transfers, they will inevitably crop up; customers might push the wrong buttons on the IVR or describe his or her problem improperly to the first department that receives the call. Perhaps the first individual who picks up the call lacks the expertise or authority to complete it. When the need to transfer a call does crop up, however, it’s critical that customer support organizations have the ability to transfer that call, preferably alongside the customer’s data.
It doesn’t stop here, though, according to a recent blog post from call center solutions provider AVOXI. Writes AVOXI’s Aida Kamber, “Just because you have the call transfer feature, don’t ignore proper phone etiquette. The way you transfer the call can also have an impact on your callers. Make sure to train your employees to explain why they are transferring the call to avoid customer frustration.”
By remaining aware that frequent call transfer is a customer irritant, any steps agents and representatives can take to properly explain the reason for the call (and offer an apology) will go a long way toward preserving the customer relationship. It’s also important to ensure that agents provide callers with the direct phone number to the correct department in case the call becomes disconnected. Finally, turning it into a “warm” transfer – that is, having the agent transferring the call remain on the line to explain the customer’s problem to the next agent – can help customers feel that their business really is valued. (There is little more irritating to customers than having to explain their problem repeatedly to different people at the same company.)
By following a few simple rules, you can turn a premium opportunity to irritate a customer (frequent transfers) into a premium opportunity to build and improve the customer relationship.
Edited by Rich Steeves