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 The Complete Guide to Ticket Escalation Management

The Complete Guide to Ticket Escalation Management

Did you know that businesses often receive 900 – 20,000 ticket escalations a month. However, only 1 in 25 unhappy customers complain directly to you!


Businesses often assume that customers who lodge complaints do so because they are bored, or worse, trying to gain the product for free or get a discount on products and services. But in reality, most customers who raise complaints do so because they have no other means— and want a resolution.


Customers expect businesses to be present on at least one social media channel, if not all. Customers and prospects will use these channels to directly interact with companies by replying to brand stories or commenting on posts. Some even start new threads, specifically on Twitter.


Companies are being held accountable for their lack of response online by an increasingly digitally connected community of consumers.


In fact, a recent regulation (RG 271) introduced in Australia seeks to modernize the way financial institutions manage complaints from customers and small businesses. It mandates major financial institutions respond to complaints made on social media and other digital channels.


To stay relevant in this increasingly competitive market, you need to adopt a solid ticket escalation management to help your agents resolve cases more efficiently.

What Is Ticket Escalation?

Ticket Escalation is the process of identifying tickets that require additional assistance and routing them to the appropriate agents. This ensures that tickets with high importance & complexity are addressed and resolved as quickly as possible, resulting in more efficient operations and satisfied customers.

What Is the Process Behind Ticket Escalation?

Ticket escalation is based on a multi-tiered support system.


Depending on the intricacy of the problem and other essential aspects such as topic and priority, each team member manages distinct client concerns. Customers usually begin the escalation process by interacting with a chatbot or via self-service.


If the customer requires additional assistance, they are directed to an agent; if the agent is unable to resolve the issue, it is routed to a different agent or someone with greater expertise.

Ticket Escalation Matrix

An escalation matrix is a series of gradually increasing levels of support based on the nature of the problem at hand. The goal of any escalation matrix is to leverage live one-on-one interactions with the appropriate and accurate support team member or self-service to reduce customers’ wait time.

Ticket Escalation Matrix Template

For Example

A popular food delivery service accidentally delivered a meat-based dish to a strictly vegetarian house.


What happened next couldn’t be hard to predict! The customer became furious and contacted customer support. They initially had to interact with a chatbot before speaking with an agent. The customer expressed his distress and soon the agent found that he couldn’t help the customer out.


The agent labelled the case critical (Code Red) and the escalation team reached out to the customer. Though the team offered a full refund and apologized saying it was a genuine mistake by the delivery partners, the customer wasn’t ready to settle for it. Instead, he demanded compensation for the sanitization process of the home. Turns out the customer is a well-known lawyer around!


The case was further escalated to the management team where they apologized and settled the dispute for $5000 compensation. Good for the customer!


If you can see, the same case has been transferred to multiple agents and teams depending on the progress & nature of the issue. From the chatbot to an agent and finally, to the management team, there were four transfers in between.


The support team knew when they had to take the case to a higher level in order to resolve the issue. And it worked out well for them, most importantly without having their brand reputation damaged!

Why Is Ticket Escalation Important?

When customers reach out, they expect you to respond instantly with an effective solution to their problem. Making them wait adds to their frustration and a long wait time is the most frustrating part of any experience, especially customer service.


Approximately 60% of customers say wait times are the most frustrating parts of a service experience.


People don’t like to wait anymore. So businesses that provide products and services need to have a good game plan for their escalation management.


And worst-case scenario, if you don’t have a solution for their problem, you can let them know that you are working on finding a solution and when they can expect an answer.

How to Streamline Your Ticket Escalation Management Process?

Good news! There’s technology that can automate that for you. Here are six tips that will help you leverage technology with your ticket escalation process:


1. Deploy Chatbots and Self-Service

This is the first step, to make it as easy and convenient as possible for customers to get a solution. And since most customers prefer to help themselves rather than reach out, giving them the option to help themselves first improves their experience with your brand.


Self-service and chatbots also help reduce the volume of tickets coming in, reducing ticket escalation.


Build and customize chatbots conveniently with Simplify360; our bots resolve issues within the first interaction and have seamless agent fallback.

2. Empower Your Agent With Technology

With the right customer service management tool, you can streamline your workflow and automate the most tedious and fundamental work.


A streamlined ticket escalation system includes automatic triggers, priority tagging, sentiment tagging, and routing. It helps optimize workflow and reduce the amount of time needed for tickets to reach the appropriate person.


You can use triggers to set up alerts to agents or other team members if a customer brings up any specific issue. You can customize triggers to any particular action customers initiate.


Suggested responses standardize messaging and help agents respond faster, especially when they are still working on finding a solution or routing the ticket to a different team member.

3. Gather and Review Everything

Gathering, sharing, and reviewing the knowledge you gain from previous escalated tickets will minimize the number of incoming ticket escalations in the future.


For example: If a level 1 support agent cannot resolve a customer issue promptly, the ticket can be escalated to a senior or level 2 agent. That senior or more specialized agent fixes the problem and then documents the issue and solution in the organization’s knowledge base.


Next time a customer raises a similar problem, a level 1 agent can refer to the knowledge base and resolve it instantly without escalating the ticket. Another way to approach it is by deploying chatbots that automatically direct customers to the right articles to minimize ticket escalation.


Furthermore, having well-established processes and resources makes onboarding new customer service agents significantly easier. They can learn as they work and be prepared from the beginning as they’ll have all the information they need at their fingertips. This way, senior agents can prioritize complex cases and resolve more tickets faster.

4. Follow Up and Keep Customer In the Loop

Escalation may delay the process and make the customer wait longer.


So let your customer know what’s happening behind the scenes when you’re escalating the ticket to the right person. This interaction decreases customer frustration while also promoting transparency.


Use your SLAs as a guide in these situations; define goals and expectations if you don’t have SLAs. This ensures everyone in your organization is on the same page when it comes to communication and services. Try to inform your customers about ticket statuses on their preferred platforms, such as messaging or social media platforms. With Simplify360, you can automate this process, removing the need for agents to follow up manually.

5. Invest In an Escalation Team

Most businesses still don’t have an escalation team in place to manage cases that need a little bit of extra attention. Having a dedicated team on stand by ensures tickets are processed faster, tickets are sent instantly to the right team or member for resolution.


By allocating a dedicated team to escalations, not only do customers receive faster support but you also follow the SLAs set accurately. An escalation team helps set a clear and defined process, avoiding any confusion and ignored critical cases.


With the right software your team can seamlessly set up automated escalations based on tags like priority, sentiment and issue category. Your team can also set a time limit, to ensure that cases are resolved in the least amount of time possible.

6. Influencer Handling

Your mind immediately jumps to the worst-case scenario when you think of escalation, but escalation can help with so much more. Influencers are the most powerful and effective way to spread awareness about your brand. So it makes sense that you want to be attentive to any mention or interactions about your brand by an influencer.


Put your best agents forward when working with influencers with a huge following. Influencers will always be a high priority since they have a massive following. If they feel like the issue is ignored or taking too long, the chances of sharing their experience with their followers are high, which can hurt the brand image.


Ticket Escalation Management is crucial to the giant customer service puzzle; think of it as the corner piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The corner pieces always help you build the puzzle to create one cohesive piece.


To put it simply, escalation management will make ticket resolution seamless and faster for customers. However, escalations also help your business enhance customer support in the long run. The secret is to use data and insights to identify similar issues and prevent future escalation.