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A call transfer is a telecommunications mechanism that enables a user to relocate an existing telephone call to another phone or attendant console, using a transfer button or a switchhook flash and dialing the required location. The transferred call is either announced or unannounced.
If the transferred call is announced, the desired party/extension is notified of the impending transfer. This is typically done by putting the caller on hold and dialing the desired party/extension; they are then notified and, if they choose to accept the call, it is transferred over to them. Other terms commonly used for an announced transfer include "attended","consult", "full-consult", "supervised" and "conference" transfer.
On the other hand, an unannounced transfer is self-explanatory: it is transferred without notifying the desired party/extension of the impending call. It is simply transferred to their line by way of a "transfer" key on the operator's phone or by keying in a string of digits which achieves the same function. Other terms commonly used for an unannounced transfer include "unsupervised" and "blind". Unsupervised call transfer can be either warm or cold - depending on moment when B-leg is disconnected. See also Call forwarding
In the Call Centre space, the following type of call transfers can be undertaken and take on a slightly different meaning:
- Warm transfer: In this type of transfer, the call centre operator dials a number and talks to the person who has picked up the call before transferring the caller over to them. This could also be a 3-way conference before the call centre operator drops-off. One common example of a warm transfer is when a receptionist or virtual receptionist takes a call for the business and notifies the party attempting to be reached who the person is and the nature of their call.
- Tepid transfer: This transfer involves the call centre operator dialing a number and transferring the caller on to the called number without conferencing or speaking to the 3rd party. Tepid transfer usually applies when a transfer is being made to a number where queue management has been implemented in some capacity (multiple lines or hunt groups, IVR, voicemail, callback facility etc)
- Cold transfer: This transfer is in reality not a transfer, but a pass-on of information for the caller to call a particular number after they hang up the current call. However, in certain instances a cold transfer may be implemented by calling the desired number on behalf of the caller, the original call handler/operator then drops-off without waiting for the called number to be picked up irrespective if the dialed number had queue management implemented or not (see above in point #2).
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