Best practices for Customer Escalation Management

Customer Escalation Handling

Ever wondered why customers leave awful comments on their social media about their issues or complaints being neglected by your companies? Those hateful reviews stem from a load of unresolved queries. So what can you do about it? Customer Escalation Management to the rescue!

What is Customer Escalation Management?

Escalation management is a coordinated approach that categorizes customer service issues in order of priority and allocates them to suitable customer service agents. It focuses on customer satisfaction. Suppose you subscribed to a transport providing service that conveys people from one place to another at customers’ stipulated time. If one day, you couldn’t be transported at the designated time, the first line of thinking would be to reach out to the pertinent service to escalate the matter in question, and you wouldn’t want them to repeat the same.

Most of the time, because an agent lacks the authority and experience/knowledge to resolve queries, your customer might experience substandard service. In the worst case, they’d leave you to go to the competitor’s door, before which they might leave a horrid review or comment about the company on this social media.

This is why effectual customer escalation management practices must be available!

Types of Customer Escalation Management

Depending on the customer issues, it is plausible that companies will utilize either one or two kinds of escalations. Different kinds of issues require different escalation courses. Based on this, escalation management falls into two main kinds, and they are:

  • Functional Escalation
  • Hierarchical Escalation

Functional escalation

This is when an issue or query is transferred to a team or person best equipped to resolve it based on their special skill set, expertise, or systems knowledge, not their seniority. It is when a support agent resolves a customer’s request within their standard scope of duties. The most common reason is that the requested service is outside their expertise.

For example, let’s say a customer calls a service provider with a question concerning a payment failure, and the agent they’re speaking with is oblivious to the answer. Under those circumstances, the agent will escalate the query to someone in the finance team.

Hierarchical Escalation

This is actually about seniority. It is initiated when there is a rise in urgency, or managerial supervision is needed. Hierarchical escalation happens when a customer’s request requires the participation of a higher-ranking employee, such as a manager, director, or supervisor. Furthermore, it moves up the hierarchy of command.

How to retain customers with customer escalation management

To ensure the loyalty and retention of customers, we can’t afford customer care to be secondary. There is a need to prioritize demanding and dire issues swiftly and astutely.

If there is an escalation management process in place, your customer support team will know the exact escalation procedure to manipulate delicate support scenarios and ascertain that your customers get the due assistance they need promptly.

Overall, never take escalation as just a complaint, as a chance to intensify your relationship with that customer and retain them for life.

Read more: Top benefits of Customer retention

Don’t let your customer queries escalate!

Before escalation occurs, you should be able to solve queries at their basic stage of severity. Hence, the team can utilize any of the customer success software tools. Staff should be empowered with comprehensive tools as well as solid training programs to be able to make well-grounded acumen.

However, there is no harm in moving along an issue if you or your team can’t solve it. It saves time to pass it to the appropriate department. After all, time is money.

In an industry where a customer may request a response from higher-level members of the company, ensure you forward those escalations to the appropriate members of your company from the inception so as not to waste the customer’s time.

Remember, the goal is customer success.

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Listen to your customers

Listen to understand the plight of your customers thoroughly. The ability to be able to scrutinize as well as process information is a result of attentive listening. Take their queries and complaints seriously, no matter how minute they seem. Allow them to pour out their frustrated grievances and speak to them compassionately as they are already having a bad day. For example, instead of saying ‘calm down,’ you could say ‘I am here to give all the help you want.’ These phrases tend to alleviate strained situations and create a constructive perception about you to the client. Business is all about relationships.

Be accountable for the responsibility

Being accountable means taking ownership of the situation as a team member. One who does not fault others (team members and clients). Even though meeting the customer’s every whim and supposition is unrealistic, picking from an array of alternatives is a step up.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

If you cannot put yourself in the customer’s shoes, it will be difficult to understand their perception. Ask yourself how you would feel and how you would react. Then, try and answer their questions in the same way that you would want if you were the victim. Optimistically, your viewpoint will shift. You will be able to resolve queries fairly and squarely because you will be thinking from their standpoint! And not rationalize their every fear and angst.

Close each escalation in 30 days

Prompt response is vital to every customer because it clarifies that you care and prioritize them. The earlier you round off, the better. Find a fix to issues as soon as possible to curb them from becoming an irritation. To avoid the amplification of ill feelings, which may result in churn, it is better to neutralize that with quick resolutions!


Clearly, customer escalation management is a vital part of customer success that businesses must prioritize to retain customers. To get more valuable insight into the customer success journey, check out the Customer retention software by Churn360

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