Customers believe that phone calls are the fastest and most effective way to resolve their issues. But picture this… 

You call a local healthcare practice expecting the assistant to swiftly resolve your issue. She’s pleasant and wants to find the best solution to your problem. So, she transfers you to someone who should be better able to help. The phone line connects, and the person on the other end is oblivious to your issue. 

These situations are likely to move your frustration level from 6 to 10 instantly. According to the Northridge Group, 60% of customers are asked to repeat information as they’re moved from one customer service rep to the next during a call. This leads to slower resolution and, ultimately, frustrated customers. 

In this article, we’re explaining how you can use warm transfers to help customers resolve their issues faster. But first, let’s look at the warm transfer definition. 

What is a Warm Transfer in Customer Service?

Photo by Mart Production

A warm transfer occurs when information is shared about a customer’s issue with each point of contact involved in the call. This provides a swift resolution to a customer’s issue since each point of contact shares details about the issue with the other. This means the customer won’t start a conversation from scratch each time. 

There should be a warm transfer system in place at your healthcare practice. Your virtual receptionist will use this system to:

  • Understand how to connect customers with the right person in your office
  • Clearly communicate issues to the next point of contact
  • Keep the customer calm so that tensions don’t rise

Cold Transfer VS. Warm Transfer: What’s the Difference?

In a cold transfer, the receiving point of contact isn’t provided with information about the customer’s issue. This new person has to hear the customers’ issues from beginning to end. Telephone answering services often use this approach.

But there are instances where cold transfers can be useful, including:

  • Answering a simple question that’s specific to a department. For instance, a customer may call and ask, “What’s the outstanding balance on my bill?” Your virtual receptionist may not have that information and would have to transfer the call to someone in your accounting/billing department.
  • Instances where a team member may be out of the office, and the call needs to be forwarded. 

4 Benefits of a Warm Transfer

Photo by Olha Ruskykh

The most obvious benefits of a warm transfer are reducing customer frustration and resolving issues faster. But warm transfers also provide other benefits, some of which we’ve described below.

  1. Customers get a positive impression of your brand

Any interaction with your customers shapes their opinion of your brand, so it’s crucial to make every interaction great. A study conducted by Khoros shows that “poor customer care experiences make customers feel disappointed, unhappy, and angry. Also, 65% of customers have switched to a different brand because of a poor experience.” 

It may seem simple, but a customer may view not having a warm transfer process as poor customer care, even if the issue is eventually resolved. Always strive to provide the best possible customer care.  

  1. Brand loyalty increases

Using warm transfers show that you value your customers’ time and that resolving their issue is of utmost importance to you, which helps to build brand loyalty. In fact, the same study by Khoros reveals that 83% of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints. Kudos to you if you respond to and resolve those complaints as quickly as possible! Customers will feel less anxious and trust your healthcare practice more.

  1. Revenue is likely to increase 

Warm transfers can also help boost your brand’s revenue because customers who have better experiences are more likely to book again. According to a study conducted by Emplifi, “Consumers place high importance on previous good CX with the brand and speed of availability/delivery as their top two criteria when considering a new purchase.” Happy customers will keep business coming through your doors.

  1. It’s easier to screen calls 

Let’s say you’re not ready to speak with a customer yet about an issue. Maybe you’re preparing for a delicate procedure with another patient or just unavailable for whatever reason.  Warm transfers allow you to relay that information to your virtual receptionist so that a follow-up call can be scheduled for an appropriate time. Either that or you move mountains to take the call because of the time-sensitive nature of the issue.  

Wrapping Up

The customer experience your healthcare practice provides keeps your business alive. Rather than your staff dealing with frustrated customers, why not make the issue resolution process easier using warm transfers? Your customers will thank you for it.

Smiledog has a team of virtual receptionists who not only set virtual appointments but who also deal with customer issues in the best way possible. Find out what our virtual receptionist services can do for your healthcare practice.