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Is Escalation the Answer? Trading off Skill-Based Routing vs. Escalation to SMEs and Supervisors

OnDemand Webinar (80 minutes)

CSRs have to escalate due to lack of skill or authority, or occasionally because of inability to handle a customer's emotional outburst. Their need to escalate can be reduced via more skill and authority but there is a cost of imparting that to the whole floor. This OnDemand Webinar will provide you with guidance on how to decide when to create highly skilled front line reps vs. using skills based routing to reduce escalations and when escalation will be the easier solution. Additionally, there are many prevalent myths about empowerment, call routing, and service that lead to wasted resources as well as customer and staff frustration. This program, based on 40 years of research on service and complaint handling, will help you understand the key aspects of an effective, best practice system that will enhance first-call resolution while improving utilization. Case studies from technology, financial services, CPG, retail, pharma, utilities, and B2B environments will be used to illustrate.

You will learn the causes of customer dissatisfaction and escalation, customer behavior and expectations (for both consumer and B2B customers), key functions of a best-practice contact handling system that reduce escalations - how retail processes differ from phone and online systems in terms of escalation, using your voice of the customer and quality auditing processes to identify opportunities for more empowerment and reduced escalation, pitfalls in escalation reduction and empowerment and checklist for evaluating your escalation process.


John Goodman, Customer Care Measurement & Consulting LLC


Customer Expectations for a Contact

Causes of Escalation

Elimination of Frustrations and Mistakes in the Phone Tree

Factors Required to Avoid Escalation

• Empowerment

• Tools Including Auto-Retrieval of Data

• Training

• Empathy

• Partners Who Follow Through

Identifying Opportunities for Reduction in Escalation - Pass on to SME or Handle to Completion

Relative Advantages and Disadvantages of the Universal Rep and Skills Based Routing

Prevention of the Need for Escalation Is Still the Best Strategy