The defining question for all live receptionists is this: What do I say when transferring a call?
The question brings up ideas about phrasing, pacing, and connections to callers and fellow employees, all of which we’ve discussed at length in a previous blog post: “Phone Etiquette: 5 Steps To Better Call Transfers”
Today’s follow-up blog offers you some actual scripts to use in a variety of situations. Whether or not your phones are linked to our Business Phone System, you can use these short scripts to address your customers and co-workers.
1. Speak to the Person Who Will Answer the Transfer
As the caller’s initial point of contact, you have heard their initial request for information. You know why they’re calling. However, the person to whom you’ll transfer a call won’t know. This can be frustrating for your caller, so do them a favor and warm up the transfer by first speaking to your business contact.
- Situation: You want to let your colleague know that they’ll be transferred a call, and you want to let them know what the caller has requested.
- What you can say (to your colleague): “Hi, [colleague’s name]. I have [caller’s name] on the other line. They’re asking about our [product] and want to know about the [product feature]. Thanks. I’ll transfer them right now.”
2. Explain to the Caller Why You’re Transferring Them
A common type of call in any business is a general, information-seeking call. You may, for instance, answer a call from a customer who’s looking for details about your product or service. Though you might not have the technical resources or knowledge necessary to respond, you know exactly who has those qualifications.
You can use this script in tandem with #1 in this list. If you speak to your colleague first, you can inform the caller that you’ve warmed up the call. Furthermore, if your colleague is unavailable, you can let the caller know to leave a voicemail after being transferred.
- Situation: The caller wants more information about your quarterly product sale. You need to transfer them to your Sales department lead.
- What you can say (to the caller): “Hi, [caller’s name]. The best person to answer your question is our Sales VP, [colleague’s name]. Their extension is [x123]. I already spoke to them, and they’re ready to receive your call.”
3. Ask For the Caller’s Permission
Receptionists can let callers control their own destiny. When callers are asked permission to initiate a transfer, it gives them control over the situation and lets them define the pace of the call. You can easily ask for permission with any other script you use. Just remember to be sincere with the caller about their choice in the matter. This is a great way to clear up any confusion and make sure you and the caller are on the same page.
- Situation: You wish to ask the caller’s permission to initiate a call transfer.
- What you can say (to the caller): “Our Sales VP, [colleague name], is the best person to answer your question. They’re ready to receive your call. Can I transfer you now?”
Transferring a Call Needs Personal Connection
Personal connections hold the key to effective interactions with customers. The scripts shown here help you build quick, meaningful connections in the seconds between call pickup and initiating the transfer on your phone system.
As the receptionist, you’re the first contact a caller has in their journey through the company. You develop brief relationships with every caller by being personable through your etiquette. Transferring a call with an ask for permission and with extra explanation, like the recipient’s extension, builds trust from the moment the call begins.
Take these scripts and modify them to your own needs, always remembering to give the caller all the information they’ll need for smooth problem resolution. We hope they serve you well.