Understanding the Call Escalation Process in a Call Centre
If you have decided to work with a call centre to help deal with customer queries and customer complaints it is important to choose a service that understands the importance of call escalation. Call escalation is the process in which a customer complains and is moved from the initial call operative to a more senior representative. It is vital that this process is dealt with in a timely, and efficient, manner, as to fail to do so can have long-reaching consequences in terms of customer retention levels and brand reputation.
The escalation process is usually one where the initial person who is conducting the call on behalf of a company passes a query or complaint on to a supervisor or manager. This process is one that is part of everyday life within call centres working within many different industries. It is possible though to reduce your escalation rate as a call centre and achieve a greater number of FCR (First Call Resolution) on a consistent basis. A high quality call centre will be able to deal more effectively with complaints and queries within the first call, but also understand how to best escalate a call, and choose the right time to do so, as to ensure the customer remains happy with the outcome in the majority of cases.
The best approach is to ensure that the customer service agents all feel empowered to act as they see fit, within the framework that they have been taught. There are many different ways this can be achieved, most popularly by going ‘off-script’ and managing the call and the person on the other end on a much more empathetic, human level. Another approach is to empower the team with some tools to de-escalate the call if necessary, through such methods as discount codes or the right to waive certain fees to appease the caller.
Call centres that can provide agents with the necessary wherewithal to work unscripted at times of tension and disagreement tend to offer a high quality of service all round. It means that in these cases, performance can be ranked by a different metric to average call times and speed of answers, and be more methodical by looking at levels of customer satisfaction instead. This is a better way to look at the bigger picture and customer retention, rather than just going through the motions and insisting a call ends quickly without worrying as much about reaching a higher quality solution.
There is always a small window of time to calm a customer down when they have started to display dissatisfaction during a call. It is important that an agent uses all the tools at his or hers disposal to ensure that the situation is resolved. Only then, if everything has been tried, should a call be transferred to a supervisor or manager.
It is important to choose a call centre service that has experience in dealing with tough customer service operations, where de-escalation of calls, and correct handling of call escalation ensures a high level of customer satisfaction and retention.