What Is Call Transfer Rate, and How do I Measure It?

Gain additional advice to stop passing customers from pillar to post

Measuring KPIs that Matter: What is Call Transfer Rate
Contact CentreInsights

Published: February 1, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

There are many facets of an excellent service experience. But what do customers care about most when reaching out to a contact center?

According to a Talkdesk study, it’s getting their problem resolved quickly.

Indeed, up to 42 percent of customers prioritize quick resolution, followed by personal interaction (40 percent), and being serviced by a skilled agent (39 percent).

Part of resolving a problem quickly is limiting the number of times a customer transfers from one agent to another.

As such, contact centers try to keep their transfer rates to a minimum, aiming for first contact resolution (FCR).  

Let’s explore how operations can do precisely that, serving up a definition for the call transfer rate KPI and formula. 

What is Call Transfer Rate? Definition and Formula

A call transfer rate measures the percentage of all inbound calls that transfer – on one or more occasions – to another agent.

Here’s how to calculate the call transfer rate in a contact center:

Call Transfer Rate (%) = (Total number of queries routed to more than one agent  ÷ total number of connected inbound contacts) x 100  

Contact centers can find the data to plug into this equation within their ACD platforms.

However, it’s also worth considering the different types of transfer.

The first is a blind transfer. This is where the agent does not pass over any context to the rep that the query passes on to. As such, the customer will likely have to repeat themselves.

The second type is a “warm transfer”, which is when the agent does pass on context. Such context will likely include the customer contact reason and any additional information the customer had shared with the first agent. These pieces of information allow the second agent to pick up from where the first conversation broke down.

Contact centers can ensure all transfers are warm with the help of case management tools.

Nevertheless, both types of transfer may highlight knowledge gaps and potential inefficiencies within a contact center routing strategy.

5 Tips for Improving Call Transfer Rates for Better CX

Consider the following five quick-fire tips to help lower call transfer rates and improve the service experience:

  1. Harness predictive routing technologies that match customers with the best-equipped agents at the first attempt. 
  2. Use agent-assist tools to surface relevant knowledge articles and data from various systems in real-time that inform agent responses.
  3. Create subject matter expert (SME) channels, so agents can seek real-time guidance from internal experts. Such support means that agents can give the customer information without a transfer and learns how to handle the query in the future.
  4. Develop a more sophisticated quality management program that uncovers the reasons for transfers and addresses them with targeted coaching.
  5. Split transfer rates between channels – automated and live – as well as contact reasons. Doing so will help spot outliers that contribute most to high transfer rates.

Avoiding transfers altogether is an impossible task. But, developing systems to carry over context between conversations will make for a much more pleasant service experience and limit customer frustration.




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