Introduction to Call Transfer Rate

Call Transfer Rate is a metric which measures the number of times a call was transferred from one agent to another as a percentage of the total number of calls. Quite often, an agent encounters an issue which he thinks may be resolved better by another agent and thus he transfers the call.

What is Call Transfer Rate? 

Call Transfer Rate or CTR indicates the total percentage of calls transferred from one agent to another agent.

After connecting with the customer, an agent listens to their query. When the agent realizes that the issue can be resolved better if they transfer it to another agent or department, they transfer the call to the corresponding number. 

The agent may transfer the call as per the caller’s request, asking to speak to a senior or manager. It can also be transferred due to the inability of the agent to resolve the issue.

Call Transfers are considered to affect the call center’s performance and reputation adversely. Therefore, most call centers try to prevent and reduce CTR. 

Two Types of Call Transfer

The transferring of the call occurs in two different ways.

Cold/ Blind Call Transfer: 

  • The agent who receives the call directly transfers the call to a different agent without speaking or informing the other agent first. This type of call transfer frustrates the customer because they have to go through the same conversation with the new agent all over again. 
  • This transfer is also called Blind Transfer because both the second agent and the customer are unaware of the context of the call transfer.

Warm Call Transfer: 

  • The agent who receives the call puts the customer on hold and speaks with the other agent. The first agent briefs the second agent about the issue the customer has and their need. After informing the second agent, the first agent informs the customer and transfers the call.
  • This type of transfer is more helpful because the customer does not have to repeat themselves. The second agent with all the information can prepare to handle the call and deliver efficient service to the customer.

How to measure your call center’s call transfer rate? 

The formula used to quantify the call transfer rate of the call center is

Number of calls transferred to another agent / total number of calls handled X 100% = CTR

Why Agents transfer calls?

As mentioned above, agents may have to transfer a call when the customer requests to speak to an experienced agent.

This usually happens when new agents are scheduled to answer calls. The new agents who cannot handle complex issues transfer the call to their senior or experienced agent. Either the customer asks for the transfer due to them receiving an insufficient response, or the agent himself transfers the calls.

Skill-based call routing is used in such cases. The system transfers the basic and easy queries to the new agents, and the difficult queries are transferred to the experience reps.

There may also be the scenario of an agent receiving a call with service and technical queries from a single customer. In such cases, it is natural for the agent to transfer the call to the other department.


Why should you reduce Call Transfer Rate?

42% of customers expect quick resolution from the call center agents. Therefore with Call Transfer, the customer feels frustrated. The customers have to explain their issue again to another agent and hope for it to be resolved.

The customers don’t enjoy spending their time on a phone call with a call center agent. And, to stay in line for a long time annoys the customer.

Average CTR indicates how often your agents resolve an issue without seeking help from their colleagues. Transferring a call too many times can annoy a customer.

Reducing Call Transfer can help your call center build better relationships with customers. As a result of providing an effective response and first-call resolution, the agent can improve customer experience and satisfaction.


How to Improve Call Transfer Rate to achieve a better Customer Experience? 

Avoiding Blind/Cold transfer as much as possible is a step forward to a better customer experience. The Warm Transfer allows for a smooth flow of conversation and results in the successful completion of the process.

Some other tips you can use to improve customer service by cutting down on CTR:

  • Call Center coaching is an essential aspect in training agents to handle customers on calls. The agents should learn how to pacify the customer when such a situation arises that they have to transfer a call.
Skill-Based Routing
  • Your system should have the feature of skill-based routing. The system can methodically match the customer query with a best-suited agent. This will ensure that the agent who is better equipped on the subject of the query is connected with the customer.
Agent Script
  •  Create scripts that can help an agent when they have to transfer a call. It should teach the agent how to reassure the customer and explain the reason for transferring the call. Also, the agent should explain why the next agent is a better choice to answer the query.
Ask before Transfer
  •  Before transferring the call, ask the customer for permission. Also, wait for an agent to be available to avoid any awkward silence while the customer waits in the line.