helpdesk for customers and employees

How to Design an Escalation Process That Benefits Customers and Employees

Customer support is one of the most important aspects of any business. To provide fast, quality service, companies are turning to AI-powered support automation platforms, like Capacity, to streamline the customer support process so that employees can focus on more complex tickets.

When customers have a complex issue that automated support cannot solve, they need to speak with a team member who can help them resolve their problem. That’s where a well-thought-out escalation process comes in.

This blog post will cover how you can create an efficient escalation process for your company’s automated helpdesk software and show you how it will benefit your customers and your team. 

The benefits of an automation system.

Let’s consider what happens when there isn’t an automation platform to assist employees with lower-level support items. Employees get inundated with emails, phone calls, and tickets varying across all levels of support.

However, this isn’t just a problem for employee morale and job satisfaction. Customers want answers at all times of day, and they want them quickly. Customers who can’t get their issues resolved rapidly tend to feel that the company doesn’t care about them. Not feeling heard or valued is a primary reason for customer churn and has a massive impact on profitability.

AI-powered support automation platforms like Capacity enable customer support teams to focus on strategic goals and tasks that require higher-level thinking. An automated helpdesk can handle at least 80% of customer inquiries without human intervention.

What should an escalation process do?

An escalation process moves more complex customer inquiries that an AI-powered support automation platform does not have the answer to, to a human-in-the-loop (HITL) who does. 

It’s essential always to have a HITL when planning out an escalation process. The support automation platform allows the HITL to see the question asked, the context around it, and who requested it. That way, customers have a seamless transition between tech and human and don’t need to repeat themselves. It also allows the support team to resolve the issue quicker. 

As the HITL resolves complex customer issues, they also continue to build the organization’s knowledge base. The next time a customer asks the same question, they can receive an instant answer from the automated platform. 

How do you plan your escalation process?

Define the desired outcome for your escalation process.

What do you want the escalation process to accomplish?

Common goals include:

  • Meet the desired outcomes of your customers
  • Empower your customers with quick solutions
  • Support customers throughout the conversation
  • Provide a seamless transition between tech and human when the automated platform is unable to resolve the issue

Create a list of steps that will help you reach this goal.

This list of steps will drive the escalation process and serve as a road map for those implementing it. A list can include determining what info needs to be in your knowledge base, what team members will be the HITL, and more. It’s important not to overlook this step as it can provide valuable insights into how your business handles customer service issues.

Create a chart that visually illustrates expectations during each step of the escalation process.

An escalation process can be mapped out in a simple chart that outlines what customers are expected to do, what the automated helpdesk is expected to do, and what employees are expected to do. This ensures that everyone has clarity on their role, creates efficiency, and makes sure that no procedures are overlooked. Consider what success looks like at every step of the process.

Brainstorm ways to make each step clear for customers and employees.

Design your escalation process with feedback from both customers and employees in mind. For example, should the automated helpdesk send a message to the customer alerting them it is bringing in a support team member to answer the question? Will the customer understand why there’s a pause in the conversation? Considering both the customer and employee experience will help the automated system to provide clear instructions about where people can go for more information or assistance if needed.

Discuss how you might handle common situations when they arise in your business 

A good escalation process should be flexible enough to handle the unexpected and keep customers happy. Think about how you might deal with common scenarios, such as customer service representatives being unavailable when the automated helpdesk needs to escalate the problem to a HITL. Having a plan from the beginning will make the customer experience smoother. 

Monitor your processes and continually optimize.

Every escalation process will have a few glitches and bugs. Taking the time to identify and reflect on these problems can help you come up with ways to fix them. One way to test out your process is by emulating the customer and using your automated helpdesk in the manner they would. This allows you to see what’s working and where there are gaps.

The benefits of a good escalation process.

When you have an automated support system, having an escalation process is crucial for good customer service. The last thing that customers want is an endless loop with a chatbot that doesn’t resolve their issue.

An escalation process that works well also benefits employees because it allows them to jump in where needed and ensure that customers feel looked after. It also helps them to improve the automated system for similar situations, thus saving them time further down the track.

What is Capacity?

Capacity is an AI-powered support automation platform that connects your entire tech stack to answer questions, automate repetitive support tasks, and build solutions to any business challenge. Capacity answers more than 84% of all inquiries without human involvement. If Capacity doesn’t know an answer, the question escalates to the appropriate person or team, and the solution gets added to the Capacity knowledge base.

If you want to learn more about how support automation can improve your customer service, check out our Guide to Support Automation.

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