Trainual Homepage

Customer Escalations Process Template

This process template outlines how to deal with customer escalations.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Customer Escalations Process Template

This process template outlines how to deal with customer escalations.

About Customer Escalations

What Qualifies as a Customer Escalation?

A customer escalation is a situation in which a customer's issue or concern is escalated to a higher level of dissatisfaction, or requires authority or expertise to be resolved. Here, we consider escalations any time when the customer is particularly unhappy or frustrated with the resolution provided by the initial point of contact.

There are several factors that may contribute to an issue qualifying as a customer escalation.

Escalations often:

  1. Are high-priority or time-sensitive.
  2. Affect a significant number of customers.
  3. Result in significant implications (especially financial) for the customer and the business.
  4. Are complex, requiring specialized knowledge or expertise to resolve.
  5. Involve multiple departments or stakeholders.
  6. Involve the potential to damage the customer's business or reputation.
  7. Happen with customers identified as high-risk for termination due to past experience.

Escalation Example

Here is an example of a customer escalation:

A customer orders a product online, and it arrives damaged. The customer contacts the company's customer service department and reports the issue. The customer service representative apologizes and offers to send a replacement product at no additional cost.

However, the customer is not satisfied with this resolution and feels that they should also receive a refund for the damaged product.

The representative explains that per policy, they cannot receive a refund for the damaged product. The customer becomes angry and hostile with their communications as they begin speaking with the representative. They eventually refuse to speak with the representative and request to speak about the issue to the representative’s manager.

Why Customer Escalations are Challenging

Customer escalations can be challenging to deal with for a number of reasons:

  1. Emotions are often high: Customers who escalate their complaints or issues are usually upset or frustrated. This can make it difficult to have a productive conversation and find a resolution.
  2. Time pressure: Escalated issues often need to be resolved quickly, which can create a sense of urgency and pressure to find a solution.
  3. Complexity: Escalated issues are often more complex and may require a deeper understanding of the problem and the customer's needs.
  4. Limited information: It may be difficult to fully understand the situation and identify the root cause of the problem when dealing with escalated issues, as there may be limited information available.
  5. Stakeholder involvement: Escalated issues may involve multiple stakeholders, such as managers or team leaders, which can make it difficult to coordinate and come to a resolution.
  6. Risk of damaging the customer relationship: Dealing with escalated issues requires a delicate balance between addressing the customer's concerns and maintaining a positive relationship. If not handled well, escalated issues can lead to further frustration or even the loss of the customer.

TLDR: Customer escalations can often be intimidating and stressful. But have no fear! We have resources to guide you in preventing escalations before they happen, and to help you know what to do when they do happen. Plus, you can find comfort in knowing your manager will support you along the way if you ever get stuck.

Let's go over how to prevent and handle customer escalations next.

Preventing and Handling Customer Escalations

How to Prevent a Customer Escalation

There are several steps you can take to prevent customer escalations from happening:

  1. Provide excellent customer service: By consistently providing high-quality service, you can keep customers from becoming frustrated and escalating their issues.
  2. Respond promptly: Customers often escalate their issues when they feel that their concerns are not being addressed in a timely manner. By responding promptly to customer inquiries and concerns, you can help prevent escalations.
  3. Listen actively: Pay attention to what customers are saying and ask clarifying questions to fully understand their concerns. This can help you identify and resolve issues before they escalate.
  4. Empathize with the customer: Show that you understand and care about the customer's situation. This can help build trust and reduce the likelihood of an escalation.
  5. Communicate clearly: Clearly explain the steps you are taking to resolve the customer's issue and provide updates as available. This can help manage the customer's expectations and prevent misunderstandings.
  6. Seek help when needed: If you are unable to resolve an issue on your own, don't hesitate to seek help from a manager or other team members. This can prevent the issue from escalating further.

How to Handle a Customer Escalation

Sometimes, escalations happen even when you do everything you can to avoid them. By following this SOP, the customer service team will be able to effectively and efficiently handle customer escalations, ensuring that customer issues are resolved to their satisfaction and that the company maintains a high level of customer satisfaction.

  1. You'll know you are dealing with a customer escalation when you can sense a customer is dissatisfied with the response or resolution provided by the customer service team or when the customer service representative requires additional support to resolve the issue.
  2. When a customer escalation is received, the customer service team will immediately notify the appropriate manager or supervisor.
  3. The manager or supervisor will review the customer's issue and the actions taken by the customer service team to resolve it. They will also review the customer's support history to identify any previous issues or concerns.
  4. The manager or supervisor will then contact the customer directly to discuss their issue and concerns. They will listen carefully to the customer's perspective and provide empathy and understanding.
  5. The manager or supervisor will work with the customer to determine the best course of action to resolve the issue. This may involve providing additional assistance or support, offering a solution or resolution, or escalating the issue to an even higher level of support if necessary.
  6. The manager or supervisor will keep the customer informed of the status of their issue and the steps being taken to resolve it. They will also provide regular updates to the customer service team on the progress of the escalation.
  7. Once the issue has been resolved, the manager or supervisor will document the resolution in the customer's support history and close the customer escalation.
  8. The customer service team and management will regularly review customer escalations and their resolutions to identify any trends or issues that may require further attention.

Manager Support During Escalations

There are a few ways that your manager can support you when you are dealing with an escalated customer:

  1. Provide guidance and coaching: Your manager can provide guidance and coaching on how to effectively handle escalated customer issues, including communication strategies and problem-solving techniques.
  2. Offer additional resources: If the issue is complex or requires specialized knowledge, your manager may be able to provide additional resources or support, such as access to subject matter experts or additional training.
  3. Serve as a mediator: If the situation is particularly contentious, your manager may act as a mediator to help facilitate a resolution and manage the customer's expectations.
  4. Protect your time: Your manager can help prioritize your workload and ensure that you have the time and resources needed to effectively handle escalated customer issues.
  5. Be a supportive presence: Your manager can provide a supportive presence and serve as a sounding board to help you stay calm and focused when dealing with difficult or escalated customer situations.
  6. Follow up with the customer: After the issue has been resolved, your manager can follow up with the customer to ensure their satisfaction and address any lingering concerns.

Similar Templates

No items found.