According to Khoros (2022), 83% of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints. Businesses that want to retain their customers need to put more effort into ensuring that internal (or outsourced) incident escalation processes such as Escalation Management run as efficiently as possible and follow a specified Escalation Matrix. If these processes are inadequate and critical systems issues fail to get resolved quickly, it will impact the productivity of normal operations. Your customer service team is directly responsible for managing your customers, who cannot access your services while your systems remain inactive. Quality customer service has the potential to turn up to 86% of one-time clients into long-term brand champions (Khoros, 2022).
By understanding the complete process of Escalation Management, you can ensure you return your business to normal operations timeously; this will restore and reinforce customer confidence in your business and secure the long-term loyalty of your customers.
What is Escalation Management?
Escalation management is a form of ITOM and help desk services.
Companies implement Escalation Management to mitigate and manage critical services and restore normal operations as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The core of Escalation Management involves
- Prioritising customer service or operational issues
- Classifying problems according to their severity level.
- Assuring problems get handled by proper representatives with the necessary skill sets.
- Ensuring the business returns to normal operations as fast as possible.
Escalation Management also acts as a communication bridge between technical support, business operations and the customers most affected by the technical issues. When presented with critical technical issues, companies can use Escalation Management to analyse the risk, remediate problems and swiftly return the business to normal operations.
What is an Escalation Matrix?
When your company reports critical errors that requires escalation management, the best-case scenario is a quick and internal resolution. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes the solution requires a larger team who are able to orchestrate the critical error and possess more experience. An escalation matrix is a document or system that defines at which point escalation should happen and who takes responsibility for handling incidents at each escalation level.
What Are the Different Types of Escalation Management?
When facilitating Escalation Management, there are two types of escalations, hierarchical and functional.
Hierarchical Escalation: This type of Escalation Management ensures immediate attention if the incident is severely critical. The appropriate IT managers receive notification to provide insightful information or take the necessary action steps.
Hierarchical Escalation will continue up the management chain, so senior managers are aware and ready to take necessary action, such as allocating additional resources or involving other teams/suppliers/maintainers etc. Hierarchical Escalation will also get implemented when there is contention about who should deal with the incident.
Functional Escalation: This type of Escalation Management is priority-based and takes precedence when there is no possible known resolution or when the target time for first-point resolution is overdue. Whichever comes first, the incident will escalate for further support.
Functional Escalation ensures immediate attention for notification to take necessary action steps within the defined time limit. The escalation process gets determined based on the reported issue’s priority and service-level agreement (SLA) for resolution.
Why Does Your Business Need Escalation Management and an Escalation Matrix?
Critical incidents almost always require a professional approach. Often, these issues require differentiation and redirection to the right people with specific skill sets that can correctly handle the problems efficiently. There is always a sense of urgency to orchestrate solutions when a problem arises. Escalation Management ensures you have access to resources 24/7 to resolve issues quickly with your planned-out Escalation Matrix, with people on standby and hands-on skilled human resources.
Users require translated communication to understand issue-specific terminology as tech language differs from business language. It is vital to have a technological and business understanding and to know who to contact based on the problem.
Escalation Management Improves Customer Support
Someone should always remain on standby or readily available before a customer pushes the panic button; technical support staff must communicate information to ensure customers understand software or an application and how to use it properly.
To maintain a good business reputation, the quality of information to the end users must always be standard. Escalation management streamlines processes and ensures that there is no miscommunication.
Escalation management also improves customer support by offering immediate assistance and customer satisfaction. Since customer support is the primary source of information providers, it is pivotal that the organisation acts correctly in certain situations. Effective communication is integral to getting the right message across at the right time.
Escalation Management guarantees the most accurate information to ensure transparency; it also provides an anchor, gives indicators of how the business should act and keeps communication services authentic. Escalation Management also helps the company to pinpoint areas of improvement and formulate contingency plans. The most crucial element of Escalation Management is that customers remain constantly informed and up to date; this leads to satisfied customers and improves customer retention.
Challenges Businesses Face Without Escalation Management
Challenges are unavoidable, but prevention is imperative. A business must be proactive in handling cyber threats, system issues or crashes. If a company does not adequately and swiftly address its critical technical problems through efficient Escalation Management, severe consequences such as system collapse are inevitable. If contact points are not structured correctly or the support function fails to orchestrate the entire operation appropriately, the nature of an issue can escalate to catastrophe.
However, if a business effectively implements Escalation Management, all issues will reach a quick and decisive resolution at the point of alert. A company without escalation management will have too many challenges to focus on, resulting in business panic and communication turmoil.
Best Practices of Escalation Management
A customer is more likely to remain loyal to a brand that timeously and effectively handles an issue while providing consistent, transparent communication. A satisfied customer is never hesitant to recommend a business that delivers an excellent product or service. If a consumer experiences an issue and receives excellent customer service, this will reinforce customer confidence in the company.
Here are some of the best practices for Escalation Management:
Make The Customer The Hero
You must always treat the end users of any product as the hero; the saying, “the customer is always king,” isn’t far from the truth. By listening intently to the customer and honestly communicating the situation and estimated recovery time with an interim solution, you will create a positive impression that builds trust and customer confidence in your business. Over time this reinforced confidence will become customer loyalty and result in the repeated usage of your business’s product or service. You cannot expect customers to understand or remain patient without an explanation and insight into the problem. You can implement automated responses with real-time solutions to swiftly assist customers, find and evaluate their problems and resolve them timeously.
Avoid Delaying Issues or Alerts
Once an issue escalates, your team must manage it effectively; you can quickly resolve an issue by paying attention to error alerts and communicating correctly with the right senior employees or outsourced help. Your team needs quick thinking and clear judgement to resolve critical issues in as short a time as possible.
Businesses are often reluctant to give resources or freedom to experiment; however, the problem then has the potential to escalate internally, wasting valuable time and delaying the resolution. It is essential to make an effort to settle disputes between teams (inter-team) and/or within the team (intra-team).
Why Choose solverASSIST for Escalation Management?
The solverASSIST team is your frontline warrior against issue escalation; we develop specialised escalation management solutions to address your company’s specific needs and requirements. Our integrated workflow solutions and technologies adhere to the ITIL service management framework. As a business, you are challenged with problems that might take longer than anticipated, but we ensure that we handle the issue properly.
At solverASSIST, we provide an Escalation Management solution far exceeding other service providers.
In contrast, most Escalation Management solutions get outsourced; solverASSIST offers everything under one roof for all significant incident management services with vendor participation. As part of our offering, we create bespoke Escalation Management models to meet your business needs, including vendor collaboration via the incident ownership method. This method is whereby we resolve problems quickly and collaborate with particular team members depending on the level of escalation.
Our connected workflow solutions and related technology fully comply with the ITIL service management framework. Many of our workflow features offer complete customisation and automation to simplify the process of handling escalations, ensure we remediate the issue in the shortest possible time, and return your business to normal operations.