Cold Transfer Vs. Warm Transfer: Everything You Should Know

Well-handled call transfers are essential for the smooth operation of a professional, streamlined office. Depending on the nature of your business, a warm transfer call distribution system where the intended recipient is directly contacted may be the best choice over a cold transfer system which simply routes the call, but there are pros and cons to weigh with both. Read on for more information.

Cold transfer

In a cold transfer system, callers may either encounter an automated system or a live operator that simply transfers their call to the intended party. If the intended party is already on the phone or away from their desk, the call will revert to voicemail. This type of call distribution is the easiest for a busy multi-line receptionist to complete, because incoming callers don’t have to wait through long hold times before the receptionist handled the previous callers.

This is also a common type of call distribution used for basic automation systems, and since most phone equipment comes with a caller ID screen, known callers are easily determined. On the downside, callers can often become frustrated when a caller doesn’t answer, and they may call back several times. This can result in everything from missed deals to wasting your employees’ time by dealing with multiple messages upon their return.

Caller dissatisfaction tends to be higher with these systems when your employees are not prompt about answering or returning calls, which can damage client relationships or customer service ratings, so some companies adopt specific use policies to ensure employees answer calls in a timely fashion instead of avoiding angry customers.

Warm transfer

Warm transfers give callers more of a sense of connection with the company, but this practice is time-intensive and can quickly overwhelm a multi-line receptionist.

While the cold transfer of a call takes only a matter of seconds, a warm transfer call can take up to a minute or more. Especially if your receptionist has to call around to locate an employee for an important call or if the employee is not prompt about deciding to take the call and asks the receptionist to ask the caller for additional information.

This can cause hold times for new callers to quickly spiral out of control and can even lead to dropped calls and angry customers. When taking the time requirements of a warm transfer system into consideration, think about how many receptionists you have available onsite and how many lines could potentially ring at once.

If providing top quality phone service to your clients and customers is a priority for your business, outsourcing to a virtual call center could represent the best of both worlds. Hiring local staff to your brick-and-mortar location to adequately handle the call volume to your satisfaction may mean purchasing additional office furniture, installing additional phone lines and paying for additional phone equipment or upgrading current systems. This also means increased payroll and benefits costs and can skew the administrative-to-sales ratio of your staff.

A virtual call center can seamlessly handle volume increases without increasing caller wait times. They can also operate during off-hours as an answering service or even answer basic customer questions using AI, and they can significantly reduce the time burden on your existing administrative employees.

Virtual call centers can immediately scale with your business, eliminating months of hassle during the new hire process. They also work well when dealing with unsuccessful or inexperienced candidates. No matter whether the cold transfer or warm transfer system is best for your business, a virtual call center can alleviate the strain on your existing employees in so many ways.

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