Broker Check
The lost art of transferring a call

The lost art of transferring a call

| May 13, 2024

I spent five minutes today trying to login to an annuity website. My password had expired and needed to be reset. In spite of following the 10 rules for a new password (Upper-case, lower-case, special character, a number, no repeating letters, etc.), I could not login. I then called the Advisor Service Team. Whoops!

I kid you not. I spent 45 minutes trying to get through to Technical Support. I did not want to discuss an annuity contract. I was not interested in taking a survey about the service I received. No, I am not calling about New Annuity Sales. And please do something about the automated voice that pronounces GMIB as though it is an elective surgery.

The infuriating thing was the number of Service Agents who told me they had the phone number to Technical Support only to give me the very number I had called. Even better was the one who gave me a phone number to call replete with options to push (ie, press 3 then 5)....only for me to discover Options 3 and 5 do not exist on that number.

I cut my teeth in the US financial services industry in a call center. Here are a few "must-do's" if you ask a client to call a different number or need to transfer a call.

  1. Explain to your client why they need to call a different number and ask them if that is OK. Most clients are understanding.

  2. Make sure you have called the number you are about to transfer them to. Know every option and intricacy of the system. Do not give out a phone number without having called/ experienced it yourself beforehand.

  3. Stay on the line with your client.

  4. When you get the other party on the phone, either introduce the call or give the other party the info they need to take over the call before you connect the two parties.

  5. Make sure both parties can hear each other before you disconnect.

I wasted 50 minutes trying to get my annuity website password reset. I still do not have access to the website. I will try again tomorrow. Know your client whether it is an external person or an internal advisor/ business partner. Walk a mile in their shoes. Wasting people's time is not helpful.