How to effectively manage engineering escalations from support
There wouldn’t be any support team that likes escalating cases to engineering. Escalations mean longer custom wait times, playing ping pong to find the right issue owner, and the worst part, back and forth with the customer to get more context.
But, engineering escalations are part of life. Products change, sometimes they have bugs, documentation may not be proper and for a range of other reasons, support teams may not be able to solve the issue and need to escalate to engineering. We are sharing the best practices that we observed in world-class service organizations in managing engineering escalations. Hope it can save you valuable time and resources
Use an effective tool to manage escalations
Jira seems to be the popularly used tool to manage escalations from support to engineering. The key thing is here to integrate deeply into support and engineering workflows. Your support team should be able to create a new Jira issue or link to an existing Jira issue from within the case page of your support platform. Likewise, your engineering team should be able to see the associated support cases within Jira. Don’t make your support and engineering teams use platforms they are not familiar with.
Review which engineering bugs caused the most support cases
Once you have the right setup, the next step is to investigate and analyze. We have seen long-standing bugs in many companies that end up causing tens or even hundreds of support tickets over several days. Learn from the mistakes, act proactively, and don’t have the same bug impact more customers and hurt business.
Find out problematic product areas
Once you have the right processes, tools, and dashboards, you will easily be able to find out which product areas get the most escalations. And how the problematic areas are changing with new releases. It’s important to know them so you can improve the system. You should also know why there was an escalation. Was it because of a product bug, poor documentation, customer mistake, missing functionality, or something else? With the right information, you can take corrective action and give feedback to the stakeholders.
TALK to your product and engineering teams
Sync up with your product and engineering teams at least every week. They often would be looking for such valuable feedback that you discovered through the escalation processes and analytics dashboard. Hold them accountable to improve the problematic areas and documentation. It goes both ways - ask them what information they want to communicate with the users. A healthy collaboration can go a long way in improving customer happiness.
Measure the business impact of escalations
It’s all about numbers. How much did the customer wait times change because of an escalation? What about the Net Promoter Score? How much was the revenue lost because of escalations? It’s hard to improve something which is not measured
IrisAgent can help you navigate the collaboration and escalation process with engineering. With our deep integrations into support and engineering platforms and real-time dashboards, you can measure, iterate and improve your escalation process. Contact us to learn more.