What is an Escalation Management Strategy in customer support and why do you need one for successful growth?

Happy customers are at the center of every successful SaaS business. Making sure your customers stay satisfied is essential for customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, every once in a while a customer may contact your business with an issue regarding your product or service that you can't handle right away. Being able properly manage and escalate the situation to the right stakeholders in your company is key to maintaining an excellent relationship with your customers.

 

Escalation management strategy is an effective solution for complex customer support issues that may arise in your business. Learning how to implement an effective escalation strategy will greatly benefit your business and customer retention in the long run.

 

What is Customer Escalation Management?

 

To understand what customer escalation management is, we need to know what customer escalation looks like.

Escalation occurs when a customer makes contact with your business about an issue and the original agent contacted either can’t solve the issue, or the customer wants to speak to someone higher up.

The moment the customer’s issue is brought up the chain of command, there is an escalation.

 

Once there is an escalation, escalation management strategy needs to be used in order to resolve the customer’s issue and keep them satisfied.

 

Use these four customer escalation management steps to efficiently provide customer support and keep your customer satisfied:

1.   Listen to the customer and empathize with their problem. Assure them that you are going to do everything you can to resolve the issue.

2.   Follow protocol for resolving the issue

3.   If you are not qualified to resolve the situation, immediately direct the customer to someone who can.

4.   Close the escalation within a reasonable amount of time. Taking too long to resolve the issue could potentially lead to the customer no longer doing business with your company

 

Training your employees on how to properly manage customer escalations is key to resolving these issues.

 

What Does an Effective Customer Escalation Process Look Like?

 

Let’s say a customer calls your business because a they discovered a bug in your system, or ran into a problem. The person who answered the call should listen to the customer’s frustrations and let the customer know this will be resolved.

If the original support agent is not qualified to solve the problem, then the agent should transfer the customer to someone who can, e.g. a technical customer support agent.

If the problem still cannot be solved, a developer might have to step in to fix the problem on a technical level.

Speed and efficiency is important here. However, all too often, by the time an issue lands on the desk of a developer, much time has already passed.

Once the issue is addressed, the ticket should be closed, and the customer should be that the problem has been solved.

The last step here is where many fall short. Yet, it's a crucial step to making your customer support process a personal one.

 

How Does it Help Retain Customers?

 

If a customer has only had satisfactory resolutions with a business, they are more likely to be loyal to that business.

On the other hand, if a customer has only had negative experiences when trying to get an issue resolved, they will likely take their business elsewhere. The customer may even be vocal about their negative experience, either via word of mouth or online.

 

The bottom line is that customers who’ve only had positive customer support experiences are likely to return.

Being able to effectively support a customer will earn their loyalty, ultimately helping with customer retention.

Author

Emma Bakh

CX Manager

Contributor