Conducting root cause analysis of customer service escalations

Article by
J.Lodge

September 20, 2018

Case study: Customer service issues

The challenge:

A Fortune 50 telecommunications provider had concerns about the number of calls being escalated in its customer care department.

Using a speech analytics solution, the client observed that 1.2 percent of its call center phone calls were being escalated to a supervisor. To reduce these escalations, the company engaged J.Lodge’s speech analytics team to determine why the escalations were occurring and who was initiating them.

The solution:

J.Lodge’s team of business analysts created a keyword search using the client’s speech analytics tools to locate the calls that were being escalated and then tracked each call to its resolution.

Upon completing the study, J.Lodge provided answers to the questions posed by the client and also revealed unexpected issues determined to be further contributing to customer dissatisfaction.

The result:

Results indicated that 87 percent of the time, the customer initiated the call escalation due to frustration with the agent’s inability to communicate. Agents primarily struggled with de-escalating the customer and understanding the customer’s reason for calling. More detailed results revealed deeper issues.

  • 22.7 percent of call escalations went straight to voicemail, never getting answered by a supervisor
  • 12.4 percent of call escalations were dropped during transfer, requiring callbacks
  • 64.9 percent of escalations resulted in an average hold time of four minutes and 49 seconds to reach a supervisor

Based on these findings, J.Lodge recommended developing and training a small team of elite, empowered agents to handle escalated phone calls. This team was able to reduce hold times by an average of 74 seconds per call. Agents also received soft skills training that covered de-escalating frustrated or disgruntled customers, acknowledging customer history, proper empathy or attitude, and call listening sessions.

Contact us today to learn how J.Lodge is uncovering methods of contact center success.