Positive Escalations

I was talking to a customer service manager from a large company about what he called “positive escalations.” Positive escalations are situations in which a customer asks to speak to a manger because of a particularly good experience. They aren’t really common, but they do happen fairly regularly (hopefully). However, the manager told the supervisor not to take them, because they weren’t really necessary and the supervisors don’t have much extra time to take unnecessary calls.

I heard about this and thought it was pretty ridiculous. All supervisors should try to take positive calls. The calls should be recorded (if all calls aren’t already being recorded) and supervisors should take time out of their schedule to thank both the customer and the particular employee. Taking positive calls and hearing/seeing positive feedback is important. It helps morale, it makes people feel they’ve done a good job, and it helps employees learn what they should to do if they want to make customers happy and get positive feedback. It is a positive thing for everyone.

Receiving and sharing both positive and negative feedback is an important role for any supervisor to fill. Supervisors should set aside time in their day to talk to employees on a one-on-one basis and to talk to customers in a less confrontational manner (i. e random calls to customers, positive escalations, etc.). Those two things are just as important as the “primary” parts of the job like taking calls and dealing with scheduling. When supervisors receive feedback from customers, they should try to share it with their employees. Feedback (good and bad) is a great way to learn.

As an interesting aside (and quite ironically) positive escalations occur more in companies with average customer service than those with really terrific customer service (because the expectations are different – great service isn’t exceptional at an exceptional company, it is at mediocre company). If you think about it, it makes sense.

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3 Responses to “Positive Escalations”

  1. Contact Centers - Management, Human Resources, and Life said:

    Mar 27, 08 at 9:46 am

    Motivation: Positive Escalations…

    I’m posting this one out of the standard “weekly” list because the Service Untitled blog wrote about it yesterday. I read it and was stunned.
    First, what is a positive escalation? “Positive escalations are situations in which a …

  2. Philippe Mesritz said:

    Mar 27, 08 at 4:02 pm

    I simply can’t believe it. I had to write a response on my blog about the fact that the manager told his supervisor NOT to take these calls…. what an amazing way to let your employees know that you don’t care about it when they do something right.

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Mar 27, 08 at 4:28 pm

    Philippe, I agree completely. It is ridiculous, but it does happen.