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The common part of many contact center calls is relaying. While a frequent use, transfers can be full of pitfalls. It can disappoint both callers and their helpers. Callers don’t like to spend more time than a call, or worse, have to repeat themselves. Partners are concerned about the impact of transfers on average waiting times and customer satisfaction.

But not every transfer needs to have negative experiences. When done well, it provides very good experiences for both customers and employees. It often results in a win-win situation. They also easily find those who are looking for partners who can help them quickly. To reach the transfers, it is extremely important to know the difference between warm transfer vs cold transfer and which one should be used when.

The cold transfer is the person who answers a call. First, it transfers the caller directly to a colleague without talking to that person. The warm transfer provides a warm transfer. During the hot transfer, the receptionist talks to the partner who will receive the transfer. So, the partner, caller, and answering the call will have information about the previous situation.

cold transfer

The benefits of a warm transfer

Warm transfer meaning has been created to provide a better customer experience. Unlike cold transfer, when a caller will need to repeat several times to various employees, an employee with hot transfer already knows about the needs of callers. He is also better prepared to help.

Another customer service advantage of hot transfers is that callers are not redirected to the wrong extension number or number that no one answers. In addition, hot transfers also benefit partners. When they have some prior knowledge of searches, they are better equipped to do their jobs. Thus, it is possible to work faster and be solution oriented.

Tracy Shearer, TTEC operations manager, said that hot transfer is always guaranteed when it comes to elevation calls, emotional calls, and identifying those related to sensitive issues. He also stressed that certain types of organizations, such as health care, generally prefer hot transfers to come in standard operating procedures. At the same time, Shearer also recommended the use of a warm transfer every time there is an emotional call. When a caller is upset, a cold transfer alone will lead to a much worse experience. In addition, someone who must call the contact center more than once for the same problem should use hot transfer when dealing with the caller.

If an emotional caller needs to be transferred, it is also important that the employee can empathize with the caller. The best way to move a customer from the online chat channel to the contact center is with a hot transfer. These customers are already waiting to receive services. Therefore, it makes much more sense to use a hot transfer. It also helps provide a seamless cross-channel experience.

Times for a cold transfer

There are many moments in the hot transfer vs cold transfer debate where hot transfers are much better. However, there are times when cold transfers, also known as blind transfers, are the best option. According to Shearer, he stressed that cold transfers are especially useful when everyone is in charge. When a contact center is faced with a surge, cold transfers are the fastest way to get them to someone who can help them while partners try to serve all customers by a certain deadline.

Shearer also mentioned that it can be a good approach for receptionists or those looking for the wrong department. When such situations occur, simply tell callers that they are directed to someone who can help. Tia McDougal, operations manager at TTEC, also said that the key to a successful cold transfer is to communicate openly with the caller. Always keep the call at the beginning of the call to give the caller a callback number if the caller is disconnected or has problems with the transfer.

At the same time, if callers are to be transferred to the cold line, McDougal sees it as more appropriate to direct them to self-service options if available. He added that most of the time, callers would prefer self-service rather than talking to a partner.

Don’t let transfers hinder the customer experience

Communication is extremely important to make transfers as smooth as possible. Any employee receiving a transfer should have all the information needed to assist the customer. Nothing will disappoint the customer more than repeating the reason for the call more than once. McDougal also spoke about the importance of having clear and consistent policies that also state when employees should use cold transfers versus hot transfers. Having such guidelines will empower employees to make the right decision and help all callers have similar experiences.

Finally, brands should not allow their desire for lower AHT to put too much weight on their decisions regarding transfers.