August 28, 2018

Warm Transfer vs Blind Transfer: What’s the Difference?

Is your phone ringing with all sorts of inbound calls and you have no idea who these people are or why they are calling? Having pertinent information and background about prospective clients when they call helps you to provide better service.

We’re going to take a look at the major differences between a warm transfer and a blind, or cold, transfer. Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of both.

The Difference: Warm Transfer vs Blind Transfer

We’ve all received those phone calls that have outside information prior to answering them. Then, when we answer, we’re either confused or not up to speed on the reason they are calling.

For business productivity, it’s helpful to have the most information you can before picking up a call. That’s exactly what a warm transfer provides.

What’s a Cold Transfer?

A cold transfer transfers to you without any information about who it is or why they are calling. If your business tends to receive a lot of sales or telemarketing calls, cold transfers don’t do your business any favors.

They occur a lot more frequently when your company doesn’t have a receptionist or anyone answering phones. They happen also if your business has a receptionist but they transfer calls without notifying the receiving party. The receiving party can either answer the phone right away or let it go to voicemail and hope they leave their information there.

Disadvantages of a Blind Transfer

Even if your company is on a do not call list, it’s possible there are certain times of the year more calls come in. These involve some clients, some leads, and often a lot of solicitors. With blind transfers, the call might not get to where they need to go.

Some calls might pass to someone, when another employee may have already spoken with them, or there is a position that is more appropriate to handle the request. This wastes important company time and causes unnecessary phone tag and transferring.

These blind transfers happen if you have an employee who doesn’t want to take the call, has a disgruntled customer, or doesn’t think it’s for them. If the conversation had prior to transferring was important, a cold transfer could make for an angrier client when they are asked again of their calling purpose.

It’s a good business objective to provide good customer service over the phone as this could be a prospective client’s first impression of the company.

What is Warm Transferring?

Warm transfers work best when a receptionist is answering the phones. They allow for enhanced call screening and employees are more efficient on a call. They receive the background information they need prior to answering the call.

Some businesses have a receptionist who informs an employee they have a call via instant messaging. Some, a receptionist walks to their desk to inform them. And others may receive a direct call from the receptionist who then explains and informs of the intent of the call and the caller.

Advantages of Warm Transferring

Employees are able to choose whether or not they have the time or want to answer the call or have it sent straight to voicemail. With a receptionist providing valuable information to the recipient, the call recipient provides better customer service for the caller.

With warm transfers, a receptionist alerts the caller if they will go to a person’s voicemail or that the caller is currently busy. If they are just automatically transferred to a person’s voicemail, it’s frustrating for the customer and they may end up hanging up.

A receptionist is able to gather all the information they need, ask great questions about the caller and the reason they are calling, and pass it on to the receiving party so they are well informed. This friendly customer service approach will keep callers happy and help to maintain a high customer retention rate.

Call Transferring

Businesses that are using VoIP business phone service (voice over internet protocol) are able to transfer callers quickly and efficiently. VoIP services make it easier for both the receptionist and the call recipient to view customer data in real time in the business CRM database.

There are also apps that allow for smooth call forwarding so no calls get lost in the process of transferring. If your business doesn’t have VoIP services, it’s important that you put expectations and guidelines in place for the receptionist.

Receptionist Guidelines

What types of things do you need to know about the caller and why they are calling? What other questions do you need to ask so the call recipient is as informed as possible?

Examples of questions to ask include:

  • What is your name?
  • What business are you with?
  • What is your title?
  • Who are you calling for?
  • What is your reason for calling?
  • Is this a tight deadline or an urgent matter?
  • When do you expect to hear back from them?
  • Is there any other important information you’d like to share?

Having a procedure outlined will ensure call transfers, warm or cold, go smoothly and no calls are dropped. Customer service will be better and customers will be happier.

Other things to think about putting in place for your receptionist is a general greeting. This could ring something like, “Thanks for calling (insert business name), this is (insert employee name), how may I direct your call?”

The more informed employees are, the most empowered they are to make appropriate and helpful decisions to better the company.

Warm Transfers are The Way to Go!

Now you know the difference between a warm transfer and a blind transfer, it’s safe to safe if you’re hoping to improve your business customer service, warm transferring is a great step in the right direction.

Are you interested in learning more about how to improve your customer service and client satisfaction through new marketing campaigns? Check out this blog now!