Why are some transferred calls left waiting indefinitely?

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  • Taylor Dally

    We are running into this issue currently. People are being transferred and we are set to away then they email in irate because they sat on hold for 20 - 30 minutes. 

    Is this issue going to be fixed or is it a "just don't use the away status" bandaid? 

  • Josh
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Taylor!
    Thank you for messaging us.
    There are 2 types of call transfer warm and cold. Cold transfers are calls where in the agent does not speak with the one receiving the call while warm transfers are calls where the transferring and the receiving agents communicate before transferring the call.
    Based on what you mentioned, if people are transferred and then they will send an irate email then I would assume your agents performed a cold transfer because even if the status is away calls are still received and the receiving agent did not know they are getting a call. Transferred calls from an agent and calls coming from IVR are both different.

    I would highly suggest doing a warm transfer to ensure that there is someone receiving the call and would improve customer service.
  • Taylor Dally

    Hello Josh, 
    The issue is the same as the issue that was mentioned in the question/answer. 

    When our 2nd tier is set to away status and the 1st tier try to transfer to our group instead of the phone call going to VM the customer sits in the queue for an indefinite amount of time and is not being sent to VM. 

    We do not have the capability of doing warm transfers for every call so when someone is AWAY and they set their status as such it would make sense for ZD to work like it's supposed to and move the call to VM instead of sending the customer to limbo. 

    The mention of irate emails was to give you an example of how we found the issue. Thank you for focusing on that detail. 

  • Josh
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Taylor,
    Thank you for giving me more information on this. If the transfers are getting routed by an agent to a group the call is added to the queue for that group until an agent from the group answers it. When you transfer a call directly to an agent, you can consult with the other agent before handing off the call.
    What I can strongly suggest is instead of a group transfer, try performing a agent to agent transfer. However, if it's a group transferred that is really preferred then the Tier 2's really need not to step away from their Zendesk instance or ateast the Tier 1 should give a heads up that they are transferring.
    You can check this article more on transferring calls. 
  • Adrian Bishop

    How does this work on the 'transfer only' status? If agents are 'transfers only' does this cause the same problem as 'away' status.


  • Jason Schaeffer
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Adrian, 

    An agent would not be able to be transferred calls if they are in the "Away" Status. The Transfers Only status is meant specifically so that agents do not need to worry about servicing standard incoming calls but can still be made available for direct transfers from agents for escalations or high priority customers etc. 

    There is some additional on the purpose and behavior of that status below:


    I hope that helps! Cheers!
  • Lila Kingsley

    +1 to what Taylor said above in their 11/24/21 comment.  It's a terrible customer/caller experience that a transfer to group can result in the caller being in limbo land if all the members of said group are away. That scenario should treat the group as if it is offline.

  • Melanie Hobman

    +1 on this thread, agent to agent transfer is not a good solution to this issue, the transfer should be going to the next available agent in the group not have agents in one group picking the specific agent they want to transfer to in another group.

    Transfers should behave the same as an incoming call and go to voicemail if unanswered.

  • James

    This is ridiculous. It must go directly to voicemail if the system detects everyone in away or offline status. I still don't understand. If agents do a warm transfer and see no one is there, what do they do next? Ask to take a message? Transfer to.... whom?



  • Christine
    Zendesk Engineering
    Hi James,

    It is expected behavior that calls won't be routed to an agent if there are no agents online to receive incoming calls. For warm transfers, and there are no available agents as a recommendation you can offer a callback to your customers instead.

    Also mentioned in our article: Setting your Talk agent state

    Offline: The agent is offline and Talk will not route calls to that agent.

    In a scenario where all agents are in the Offline or Transfers only state, incoming calls will be routed to voicemail.

    Hope this clarifies. Thanks!

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