Learn when and how to properly transfer a contact using customer service best practices.
- So now that we know we need to escalate, we must inform the customer and let them know what the process entails. To do so we really need to relay all the pertinent information, including what the next steps are, who or what group will be handling the issue going forward, and the timeframe for this group's response. We may also want to give the ticket number as well. Then finally, we need to confirm that the customer understands all of this escalation information. Let's look at some examples.
- Hi Brian, since I'm unable to provide access to the site, I'm going to escalate this ticket to our access team. They'll be able to grant the access rights. I'm escalating the ticket through our system now and they'll process the request within 24 hours. You should receive an email confirming that your request has been approved. If you don't receive this email within 24 hours, please contact us via phone, chat, or email and we can further assist you. Do you have any questions? No? Great, thank you for calling and have a great day.
- Many organizations have operating or service level agreements with stated response times, resolution times, and priority levels defined. This makes our job a lot easier as we are able to give our customers specific timeframes. So what if your organization doesn't have any of this structure in place? Like before, we'll relay the information, but this time we'll give a much more general timeframe for when someone will contact them back. It's not optimal, but this is the best we can offer the customer.
Here's an example of what this sounds like. - Hi Brian. I'm going to escalate this to the server team and they'll contact you to resolve this issue. They'll try to respond as quickly as possible typically within the next couple of business days. - So that takes care of the customer facing side. There are also steps that we have to take on our side. You'll want to follow your organization's standard operating procedures to ensure that you are escalating to the right resources. These should be documented in your service management systems, knowledge articles, or other resources.
These steps are very important to the escalation process. We need to ensure that we've documented all the details regarding the customer issue. First, we need to ensure that all the contact information is correct. Name, location, phone number, and asset information. Next we'll document error messages, screenshots, troubleshooting steps, the result of these troubleshooting steps, proper categorization, and proper prioritization.
Also, attach any knowledge articles that were utilized so that the escalated party knows what was referenced. If the articles didn't work or are out of date, we'll need to engage the knowledge management process to update the articles. Documenting all this information ensures that the next level of support won't waste valuable time and they're able to pick up where we left off. There are few things more frustrating for both the technician and the customer than asking questions they've already answered.
- Tino already asked me that when I talked to him. I mean come on, don't you guys talk or take notes, is there any kind of central information over there? - Now, if a customer won't or can't give you information that you've requested, make sure to document this as well, that way the escalated party knows that the information was requested but was not given. They'll understand why the information is missing and what approach to take with troubleshooting. This can reduce a lot of frustration for all parties and speed up the escalation process.
After we have all the documentation entered and verified, we'll select the appropriate escalation group or individuals in our system. This can take the status from opened to work in progress or another status depending on your system. For different organizations, there are varying methodologies for escalation. For some, once the issue is escalated to another group, the original service desk does not see the issue again. Once the issue is resolved, the ticket is closed and we as the service desk don't follow up.
For other organizations, the service desk acts as a single point of contact that manages the entire process. It runs on the premise that even when the issue has been escalated, the service desk still tracks, monitors, and communicates with the customer, even if they aren't the group resolving the issue. Take the time to learn and understand the methodology and associated practices for your organization. Keeping organized helps to make the escalation process run smoothly while reducing frustration for all parties involved.
First, Fancy provides guidance on how to use the right types of questions to gather information about an issue. Then, she explains how to professionally handle common customer service tasks, like escalating and transferring calls. Then, she shows how to hone interactions with customers by refining communications—acknowledging how tone and word choice can diffuse tension. She wraps up by covering common customer behavior scenarios in which the tools, techniques, and strategies from the course can be applied.
- Greeting and validating contacts
- Asking investigative and diagnostic questions
- Confirming and validating responses
- Reaching resolution and closure
- Using mute or hold on a call
- Escalating or transferring a call
- Building rapport over the phone, in writing, and face-to-face
- Refining word choice, style, and tone
- Managing conflict effectively
- Recovering unsatisfied customers
- Redirecting customers
- Identifying customer behavior