3 Ways to Improve your Customer Experience with Warm Transfers

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3 Ways to Improve your Customer Experience with Warm Transfers

“Good morning, you’ve reached Alice at Quality Insurance; how can I help you today?”

You explain that you are following up on your insurance claim for damage to your vehicle that you submitted online using the insurer’s portal. Your experience will depend on the agent’s next few words. What will her response be to your request?

“Please provide me with your policy information, claim number, date of filing and description of the damage.”.”

or

“Thanks for following up, Mr. Jones; I see you submitted images of your 2018 Camry’s left bumper yesterday. The damage is indeed covered by your policy and your claim is currently being processed. Your bank details are on file so you should see a deposit from us in the next 24 hours. Have a great day!”

The Modern Call Center Customer Journey

The unpleasant experience of being bounced around, waiting on hold as you are passed from one customer service agent to the next is why many consumers dread contacting customer support. The need to save every scrap of paperwork and constantly repeat oneself is frustrating. According to HubSpot Research, one in three customers say the most frustrating aspect of customer service is having to keep repeating information. Beyond frustrating the customer, this wastes valuable resources, irritating agents, increases average hold time, and lowers overall efficiency. 

Companies looking to improve their customer journey can  use an omnichannel approach that delivers an integrated, continuous customer experience. This omnichannel customer experience enhances operational efficiencies, drives both customer and employee satisfaction, and, importantly, is increasingly expected by today’s customers. While there are multiple ways to implement an omnichannel experience, a quick win is to expand the way you deploy “warm transfers.”

What is a Warm Transfer?

In the simplest form, a warm transfer occurs in a call center when one agent answers a call, collects the necessary details from the customer, and then passes on the relevant information to the specialist or expert who will help the customer. This eliminates the need for the customer to repeat themselves – as would be necessary in a cold or blind transfer – and allows the follow-up conversation to be seamless and productive.

However, the concept of warm transfers has grown well beyond an agent-to-agent escalation in a call center context.   

Beyond Call Centers: Bringing Warm Transfers to Service Organizations

Having one agent brief the other is a good first step, but warm transfers in 2022 have grown to improve both agent efficiency and customer experience beyond the call center. The information collected and managed by the first agent – or chatbot – as part of the workflow are now being transferred along with the call, such that the next agent is quickly and easily briefed, up to speed, and ready to deliver exceptional support. For example, when Mr. Jones calls to follow up, Alice already has the account information on the screen, including policy number, claim history, and the pictures of the damage Alice uploaded via a self-service wizard on the insurer’s website. Not only does Mr. Jones not have to repeat himself, but the insurer is already two steps ahead.

To put it another way, warm transfers now blend a customer journey across channels into a single continuous brand experience.

Why Organizations Should Embrace Warm Transfer In their Customer Journey Strategy

Whether in assisted service or self-service interactions, by implementing warm transfers and eliminating the need for a customer to have to repeat their information during a cold or blind transfer, organizations benefit from several key advantages:

Better Customer Experience

Warm transfers deliver an effortless and seamless customer experience. To customers, the brand is a singular entity, regardless of whether they are engaging with the sales teams, support agents, self-service chatbots, virtual assistants, the website and the product. Warm transfers provide the context and insight needed by the next party making every interaction personal, continuous and efficient. If and when escalation is needed, the follow up should be a continuous part of the previous engagement, just like a warm transfer.  This approach not only reduces customer effort, but creates a personalized and friendly engagement. For example, you can greet the customer by name, inquire about their last engagement with you and continue through to resolution quickly and easily on any remaining issue. Implementing this warm transfer strategy in an omnichannel customer journey has been proven to boost KPIs such as CSAT and NPS. Customers are particularly appreciative when agents answer the phone prepped with relevant details and ready to assist.

Optimize Efficiency

While some organizations may assume that warm transfers will negatively affect productivity, companies that utilize this technique generally find the opposite is true. When properly executed, warm transfers are generally supported by automation and process design, with each agent receiving the required information automatically, in a clean and digestible format. In some cases, one agent may have to brief another on the case while the customer waits on hold, but this is the exception and not the norm.

By design, warm transfers should simplify the process for the entire service organization. Customers are not required to repeat their issue and their personal information, expediting the entire service flow and minimizing the likelihood of human error. This results in increased FCR and decreased AHT, both contributing toward better organizational efficiency. 

Better Employee Satisfaction

The best employees are those who take pride in their work. This is particularly true in a service organization. Providing your teams with the insight they need to better support their customers will not only improve your customer experience and your operational KPIs, but your employee satisfaction as well. On that note, engaging your frontline employees when designing your warm transfer handover process is a great way to not only demonstrate that you value their input, but to implement the processes and technologies that are most likely to deliver real world returns for all parties involved. 

Simplifying Warm Transfers through Technology

Several technologies exist that can automate the warm transfer process, making the entire adoption process seamless for your agents and customers. Typically, when thinking about call center transfers and routing, one thinks of ACD and IVR. Automated call distribution (ACD) technology collects core information from callers and then routes the call to the correct department or agent. IVR solutions offer automated voice-response-menus that helps callers navigate through multiple options so their call is routed correctly. In today’s digitally managed call centers, organizations optimize their CRM and support center software to provide agents with the optimal account information at each stage to create as much “warm” in the interaction as possible, allowing agents to more easily understand and address customer needs.

Though incredibly popular, service chatbots, visual journey workflows, and online knowledge bases are not able to address every customer’s support needs. Often, customers unable to resolve their issues through self service channels will be directed to contact a live support representative. By relaying the relevant images collected from the customer, as well as the information from the self-service interaction to the live agent, the live agent can better address the customer’s needs.

Download our brochure to explore TechSee Live Visual Journeys for the creation of fast, customized self-service flows

For example, a major telecom organization uses the EVE computer vision AI platform as part of their self service flow. Customers were asked to share images of their router, EVE interpreted the images, and customers were then walked through how they could fix their home internet. Those customers who needed further assistance were directed to a live video chat with a contact center agent. When joining a call, the agents were shown the customer’s name, their issue, what steps they had successfully completed, the images collected and the relevant metadata EVE generated from those images – such as the router model, the device state, what lights were on, blinking or red, etc. This provided the agent the ability to greet the customer by name, to easily understand the issue, and to guide the customer to resolution. In this case, the agents used TechSee Live’s augmented reality tools to walk the customer through the fix. This customer-centric approach resulted in a 34% improvement in FTR, a triple digit improvement in DO%, an over 50% increase in CSAT and a 12% decrease in AHT.

Conclusion 

Warm transfers represent a strategic quick win for organizations looking to boost their customer engagement with an omnichannel experience. Warm transfers eliminate the need for customers to repeat themselves, thereby improving the overall customer experience, optimizing efficiencies in customer service processes, and enhancing employee satisfaction. So, when Mr. Jones is on the line asking about his vehicle claim, the correct response is: 

“Thanks for following up, Mr. Jones; I see you submitted images of your 2018 Camry’s left bumper yesterday. The damage is indeed covered by your policy and your claim is currently being processed. Your bank details are on file so you should see a deposit from us in the next 24 hours. Have a great day!”

Jon Burg, Head of Strategy

Jon Burg, Head of Strategy

Jon Burg Led product marketing for Wibiya and Conduit, bringing new engagement solutions to digital publishers, in addition to launching Protect360, the first big-data powered mobile fraud solution. With 15 years of delivering value for several other technological brands, Jon joined TechSee to lead its product marketing strategy.

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