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How to Reduce Customer Escalations in a Call Center


In general, a call is escalated mainly because of two reasons. The first is that the issue is so complex that the agent is unable to handle it due to lack of knowledge and resources. The second situation is when the call goes totally out of control from the agent’s hands, due to a number of reasons, and the customer demands to speak to a supervisor or a manager. While it’s impossible to eliminate escalation calls from happening in your call center, you can take measures to reduce the number.

Handling an Irate Customer

It is usually an angry or an irate customer who will ask for a manager or a supervisor to escalate the call. The following techniques can help to calm the customer, and resolve the issue without getting the call escalated.

Determine the root causes

You can make a list of all the escalated calls, and study it for any trends or patterns. Listen to the escalated calls, and check whether the issue was from the customer side or the agent’s side that led to the call getting escalated. A lot of agents do a lot of things unknowingly to make the customers angry. Some agents may become flustered upon receiving an angry customer, and directly escalate the call without the customer demanding for the call to be escalated. Some agents will tag the customer as a bad customer as soon as they hear their angry voice, and the call will go nowhere from there, but down.

Identifying the root cause of the escalated calls will help you make changes in the process, to reduce the number of escalated calls in the future. You can make a zero-tolerance policy for badmouthing customers. You can train the agents more on their respective processes so that they will be better equipped to handle the customer. You can educate the agents when to escalate a call. You can even start a project to reduce escalated calls in your call center.

Escalation calls may not necessarily be a death knell for customer satisfaction, however, they are stressful for all the parties involved, the agent, the supervisor or the manager, and the customer as well. 

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