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.
- A Correlation Analysis Concerning Customer Satisfaction and Business System
- The Insider’s Guide to Knowledge Management ROI
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