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Escalation Management

1. What is an escalation?

An Escalation is a procedure that occurs of the pre-established collection of parameters that moves a customer’s complaint, requests, or concern to either a more senior representative or an immediate superior.

2. What is escalation management?

Escalation management is a process to deal with queries and problems within a system, assuring complaints get resolved and issues are addressed to the top-level management. An organization has procedures to deal with escalation management under a variety of circumstances.

3. Why does Escalation Management matter in Customer Service?

You cannot please your customers every single time. When the current customer service agent simply can’t solve the problem, this is when escalations need to come into the picture. The customer service employees must be trained on proper escalation management procedures under different situations.

Companies must have an escalation management workflow in place that guides customer service agents through the actions they are supposed to take. It’s also important to hire customer service managers with a strong ability to handle escalations.

As automation and AI take care of more and more of the customer service issues, the “complex” issues will fall into the hands of humans and the supervisors. The ability to reduce tense situations is very important in an age when frustrated customers have an instant vent on social media.

4. What does an escalation manager do?

Key Responsibilities of an Escalation Manager include:

Analyzing the queries, locating, and highlighting certain issues that need immediate responses enables the organization to track the critical problem areas, control it appropriately, and effectively manage escalations.

5. How do you know when to escalate an issue to a supervisor?

A representative should escalate a call when they no longer think they can resolve a customer's complaint. Since the customer is a very important part of any company or organization, difficult calls are escalated. A customer service representative should always treat the customers professionally.

5 Scenarios where you should escalate an issue:

  • When the representative doesn't know who will make the decision.
  • When the representative is not the person making the core, strategic decisions.
  • When the representative can't control the extravagant changes.
  • When the representative can't meet unrealistic expectations.
  • When the representative can't manage the politics involved.

6. What is the escalation matrix?

An escalation matrix determines who you should notify on the management level for various types of issues like resource shortages, technical issues, delivery problems, etc. Setting an escalation path takes away the uncertainty about who to contact when you're facing big trouble that a representative can’t potentially help you with.

7. What are the 5 Best Practices For Effective Customer Escalation Handling?

a. Listen to customers.

Listen and learn why your customer is upset. Then, summarize and repeat it back to them so as to show that you’ve heard and understood their concern. Show understanding to your customer and you’ll notice their frustration level will start to go down. Best of all, it establishes a human connection, setting your company apart from businesses that don’t take the time to truly understand their customers.

b. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

Take a moment to analyze things from the customer’s point of view. The customer reached out to you because they want a human response to their concerns. They could have just canceled their service or returned the product. View their willingness to talk as a good sign, and be sure you understand what is needed of you as a customer support executive.

c. Understand a customer’s value to your business.

Customers are essential. If the escalation is so uncertain that the customer is seeking compensation, review their purchasing history before extending a compensation offer.
Pull up their record history and think about how long they have been a customer and how much money they have paid.
High-value customers are more worthy to retain, so you may want to give out more fair compensation offers.

d. Route customers to the right person from the start.

Many companies are afraid to give escalation response teams room to compensate or close escalations but then the complaints rise within the organization, probably wasting the time of management and drawing out the escalation. Instead, try to resolve things at the primary representative’s level.

Empower your team to analyze escalations and make fair compensation offers. Or else, if you’re in an industry or serving an audience that always demands a response from higher-level representatives of your organization, make sure you route those escalations to the appropriate executives of your organization from the start so that you don’t waste the customer’s time.

e. Close each escalation within 30 days.

Responding quickly is essential, as it shows customers that they are a priority. A good aim is to try to complete the escalation, including resolving, within 30 days. If it gets extended, it will start to feel like a real nuisance for the customer, and they may start to develop negative feelings toward your company or maybe decide to simply unsubscribe.
You may need to investigate incidents, try different solutions, and even extend a compensation offer.

8. What is an escalation policy?

An escalation policy is intended to engage one person in incident response, and it will escalate until one person has responded. Once one person responds, the escalation policy will stop escalating, and no further notifications will be sent.

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