Tips for Transferring a Call

Are you setting the right tone for your company?

Good phone etiquette sets the tone for how your company is perceived by others. And it takes only one bad experience to undermine your company’s image. Here are some techniques that anyone who answers a phone in your company should keep in mind when transferring a call.

Listen and Learn
Nothing is more frustrating than to be transferred to the wrong person or department. Listen carefully to your caller and do not interrupt. Be sure you understand their issue before deciding where to transfer the call.

Ask Permission
No matter how busy you may be, you never want to make the caller feel rushed or that they are an inconvenience. Explain why you need to transfer the call and who you are transferring it to. Asking permission to transfer the call and reacting appropriately to the caller’s response demonstrates that your company cares and the caller is important.

Provide Contact Information
It never fails. You’ve patiently waited on hold and explained your reason for calling only to be disconnected in the transfer process. You can minimize caller aggravation when this happens by providing your contact information (or contact information for the person you are transferring the call to) before transferring the call. That way, your caller can quickly re-establish contact without having to start the process from scratch.

Keep it Warm
An announced call, also referred to as a warm transfer, is almost always the best choice for transferring a call. This is when you talk to the party you are transferring the call to, make sure they are available, pass along the name of the caller and summarize the purpose of the call before transferring it. If you have to transfer the call directly, without announcing the call, prepare the caller for the possibility of being placed in a call queue or being directed to a voicemail, and again seek permission to transfer. If the caller objects to this, seek alternative people to direct the call to, or take the customer’s information, alert them to the steps you will take to have their call returned, and ensure that they receive the promised call.

Important note: If a caller is angry do not transfer a call unannounced. This is not only unfair to your colleagues, but can inflame a situation.

These techniques will go a long way in building your company’s reputation. Remember every interaction your company has with the public reflects your company’s values, standards, and quality, and consequently your brand.