Managing and transferring customer calls is a vital aspect of customer service. Not only do you have to provide helpful and accurate information to assist customers on the phone, but you have to make sure that, if you must transfer the call, that it actually gets through to the next agent and that the customer is taken care of throughout the process.
The following are some points (obvious as they may seem) that will help you and your team to provide great customer service, even during a transfer.
#1 Don’t hang up.
On behalf of those of us who have been dropped by an agent while waiting on hold, please avoid this at all costs.
Not only will it infuriate your caller, but if they hear a dial tone instead of being successfully transferred, you might have just lost this person’s business.
It seems to me that while most of the time this happens accidentally, some customer service agents just don’t want to deal with certain callers and decide to hang up on them. That’s just not good business, no matter how unruly the customer is.
#2 Don’t make them listen to every agent giving the same spiel.
This is where good communication between agents comes in. As with our Live Call Transfer at Talkroute, for example, the representative who is transferring a call has the ability to speak with the representative to which they are sending the call, before they complete the transfer.
This is very helpful to explain things like how long this person has been waiting for an answer, or if they have already heard a promotional message.
#3 If you transfer a call more than twice, something’s probably wrong.
There are many factors that go into a failed or redundant live call transfer, but you can overcome these factors more efficiently if you gather and communicate information before transferring a caller to someone else.
For example, before you send a call to another agent, it’s a good idea to first of all, find out whether they are available or not.
If you transfer a call, and the agent on the other end is not even there at the moment, then the call may be dropped or the customer may be connected to a voicemail when they thought they were going to speak with someone directly.
#4 Don’t make your caller start all over again.
This is a classic mistake made by customer service agents all the time. They speak to a customer, and then after they discover this person needs to be connected with a different department, they transfer them back to the beginning of the call menu, where they will have to listen to all the menu options all over again.
That’s one way to do things, but it’s far better to have a system in place which allows agents to transfer callers directly to other agents.
#5 NEVER speak badly of a customer during a live call.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re speaking to a customer, then you either place them on hold or transfer them to another department (or at least you thought you did).
At this point, you begin to say some choice words to yourself or to the person sitting next to you, about the customer, who is hearing every word because the transfer never completed.
It definitely happens, so unless you want your customers to hear you bad-mouthing them, you might want to make sure that your team is being cautious during a live call.
#6 Learn to manage your caller’s anxiety.
Sometimes there is no way around it—and you have to transfer a customer a couple of times. This is usually not a problem, and they will most likely be fine with it as long as you are attentive to the mood of your caller.
If you can tell that you are dealing with someone who is already upset (or just a jerk who wants to yell at somebody), then the best practice is to remain calm and try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. When you respond emotionally to someone like this, it will only make matters worse.
Transferring a call is a small thing, but remember that the person who is calling you has a problem that needs to be solved and depends on you to help them find an answer.
We’ve all been in that position. If your caller can successfully get connected with the right person, then that’s one less thing that you, or your customer has to worry about.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.