Impact Learning Systems

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Escalation Rate

Esca­la­tion Rate

What is an esca­la­tion rate? Why is this an impor­tant metric?

In a per­fect world, cus­tomers would always be delighted with our prod­ucts and ser­vices. In a slightly less-perfect world, front­line rep­re­sen­ta­tives would be able to han­dle any prob­lem to a customer's full satisfaction.

Ours is a slightly less-perfect world than that. In the real world, we know that some issues will need to be esca­lated to higher tiers of man­age­ment in the course of sup­port­ing our cus­tomers. Keep­ing the esca­la­tion rate low helps boost cus­tomer con­fi­dence in our prod­ucts, ser­vice, and com­pany, and sup­ports over­all cus­tomer satisfaction.

Whether an esca­la­tion is requested by a cus­tomer or ini­ti­ated by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive, the rea­sons for the esca­la­tion are often that:

  • The cus­tomer real­izes that the rep­re­sen­ta­tive does not have the author­ity or knowl­edge required to resolve the prob­lem, or
  • The cus­tomer has become angry, and speak­ing to some­one of higher author­ity will be a pre­req­ui­site to calm­ing this cus­tomer down.

In either case, the best way to deal with esca­la­tions is to try to pre­vent them from hap­pen­ing in the fi rst place. The best pre­ven­ta­tive steps include:

  • Mak­ing sure that all rep­re­sen­ta­tives have ade­quate tech­ni­cal train­ing and cus­tomer han­dling skills. Mon­i­tor the per­for­mance of rep­re­sen­ta­tives through the use of your con­tact center's mon­i­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy by lis­ten­ing to live calls. Coach and pro­vide addi­tional train­ing as needed.
  • Teach­ing team mem­bers how to project con­fi­dence when deal­ing with cus­tomers. Speak­ing with con­fi­dence includes using an up-beat tone of voice and choos­ing pos­i­tive, service-oriented words that demon­strate com­pe­tency and self-assurance. The more con­fi­dent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sounds in her/his abil­i­ties, the less likely a cus­tomer will be to request esca­la­tion to a supervisor.
  • Illus­trat­ing the dif­fer­ence between con­fi­dence and arro­gance, mak­ing sure all rep­re­sen­ta­tives know how and where to draw the line between these two very dif­fer­ent ways of com­ing across to a customer.

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