Why Customer Service Won’t Escalate

Note: I have always been frustrated by customer support representatives who are reluctant to escalate my case to secure a meaningful solution. For an explanation, I turned to my most knowledgeable and ardent supporter. This is his contribution:

Let’s start with “you are what you measure.”

Many organizations invest heavily in tools and processes and still fail to deliver high customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. Why? What you measure is what creates incentive for the support agents. If what you measure doesn’t align with what creates CSAT, then you have a problem.

For example, you may decide it’s expensive to escalate a call to a supervisor, so you measure your agents based on how often they escalate a call as opposed to handling it themselves. Or you may think you’ve empowered the agents and given them enough tools to be successful so you change the ratio of supervisors to agents. If agents are penalized for escalating a call they will be reluctant to do so. The question becomes, is this in the best interest of the customer?

Customer service is a dynamic process. If you are getting a lot of escalations, what does it mean? It could be a poor product experience that is generating an unusually high number of calls. It could be poorly trained agents. It could be poorly equipped agents (tools and processes).

A single Key Performance Indicator (KPI) like escalations is not the sole measure for CSAT. It’s a combination of KPI’s that leads to high CSAT.


About stanleygraphics

I am a veteran graphic designer who started at the time when cut and paste meant an X-acto knife and rubber cement. I use my experience to educate others. I have an intolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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