Imagine this – you dial a toll-free number, navigate through the IVR gauntlet and finally reach Steve, a friendly voice on the other side who’d love to help. The only problem is, Steve works in billing and is ill-equipped to handle the troubleshooting questions you’re about to throw his way. You really need to speak to Susan in technical support that happens to work for an outsourced call center thousands of miles away.
We’ve all been there. What seems like it should be a simple support call can turn into a wild goose chase resulting in frustration and a lot of your time. In this hypothetical scenario, our proverbial Steve will either connect you to Susan or he’ll give you a different number so you can call back into technical support. What happens next (and your experience with the call) will depend on how and if Steve’s employer has enabled the ability to transfer calls. Here are three basic possibilities:
- Call transfers are not enabled. This scenario will require the customer to dial back into an alternative phone number in order to reach their desired party. This undesirable customer experience will likely result in frustration, brand degradation, and, ultimately, customer churn and revenue loss.
- Home-grown call transfers. In this scenario, calls are “transferred” by bridging Susan’s call center to Steve’s call center (i.e. hairpinning the call). This accomplishes the desired outcome; however, it can result in audio degradation, including call latency or an echo. In addition, it is capital intensive, as the bridged call consumes three customer ports.
- Network-based call transfers. Here, the interaction is the same as in the second scenario, but it is less resource intensive, without the audio quality pitfalls. The network-based call transfer enables efficient port utilization by freeing up the first port. Therefore, the caller is connected directly to the agent rather than being routed through the first call center which minimizes any latency or other audio issues and reduces bandwidth utilization between the two centers.
IntelePeer recently announced the launch of Cloud Transfer, a new feature which empowers call centers to use SIP Refer as a means to provide callers a better experience through network-based transfers. With an elegant billing model that does away with the nickel-and-diming of comparable features from other carriers and a SIP-centric, cloud-based model, we think you’ll like it. Granted, in a perfect world Steve would be able to handle all customer issues. Still, if and when he can’t, it’s good to know Cloud Transfer is the next-best alternative.