“Hello, how can I help you?” This is a phrase that ALL callers of ANY business should hear only one time per call. Naturally, the question should be asked by the phone agent who picks up the call. Once the question is answered, the representative (and any other representative who speaks to the caller) should already have the information necessary to provide the appropriate customer service.
During phone calls when “Hello, how can I help you?” is asked more than once, it is evident that there has been a communication breakdown and therefore, poor customer service is provided. It all comes down to avoiding the dreaded blind transfer.
What is a blind transfer?
A blind transfer is when a phone agent informs a caller that he/she will be transferred to another department and then simply transfers the call to another line. The rep doesn’t wait for anyone to pick up the phone before dumping the call. So, when the new phone agent picks up, he/she is forced to start the call over again from the beginning. The caller hears “Hello, how can I help you?” for a second time. It is not pleasing.
No matter what type of business you own, your phone agents should be advised to never blind transfer calls. They are nightmares for customers. The opposite of a blind transfer is commonly referred to as a warm transfer.
What is a warm transfer?
As you may have guessed, a warm transfer is when a phone agent transfers a caller to another phone agent and stays on the line to explain the caller’s needs. As a result, the caller does not have to repeat himself/herself and customer satisfaction is vastly improved. Warm transfers are highly recommended by customer service experts.
“Don’t blindly transfer the call as soon as you hear the other phone ring,” advises James Bucki on TheBalanceSMB.com, “Wait for the other person to answer and explain why the call is being transferred. This step gives the next employee a chance to prepare for the call and prevents the caller from having to explain their situation or problem all over again.”
Always explain the reason for the transfer.
Making warm transfers an essential part of your customer service routine will greatly improve customer satisfaction. But it’s just as important to explain to each of your callers why their calls are being transferred. While most customers would prefer to simply speak to one person, there will be times when your agents can’t answer every question. Be sure that explanations for transfers are common practices at your company.
“Politely explain to the caller why you need to transfer the call,” instructs Bucki, “It could be that the caller reached the wrong department or the wrong extension in the right department. Another reason for transferring a call could be that only another department can answer the question, or you don’t have enough authority to make the decision the caller is seeking. Regardless, make sure callers know exactly why their call needs transferring so that they don’t think you’re just passing the buck.”
Contact MeloTel today for a dose of our customer service style! Call us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website and be sure to ask us about our cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services which include Call Transfers as an automatic feature!