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Escalation

Definition

What is escalation?

Escalation is when the first-hand customer service representative was not able to resolve a complaint raised by the customer. Complaints are then raised to tier-2 agents who can give better solutions to the problems. These tier-2 agents have better knowledge about the matter.

The most common recipients of escalations are team supervisors. Therefore, team supervisors are expected to be experts on the processes and procedures of the company that they are representing. 

Customers tend to be on the verge of their emotions when seeking escalations; thus, the senior agent who will handle the escalation should always be prepared. Professionalism and being courteous are required when dealing with irate customers.

What is an escalation process?

An escalation process is out in place to clarify the boundaries and channels of decision-making throughout an organization. It helps sales representatives in solving a customer’s problems quickly and with clarity. 

Designed around the whole customer service operations, this process outlines a path that allows the customer service reps to make decisions that reflect the rules of the management.

It minimizes the time it takes to escalate decisions that are beyond their scope of authority. 

An efficient escalation process helps minimize service delays, drives employee accountability, and saves both the customer’s and rep’s time and energy.

With a defined system on how to deal with client escalations, customer support agents can act faster and reduce the severity of the situation.

What is an escalation process?

Managing escalations

Escalations are expected to be controlled or restrained and are considered essential in the Business Processing Industry (BPO) industry. 

The best customer service outsourcing companies should be brimming with fully-equipped professionals who can handle complaints, and find immediate resolutions for the client. 

One should expect to work with people who have been given proper training and handled by experienced team managers who can brush off escalations easily and with the highest level of restraint and professionalism.

Outsource Accelerator has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that escalations are handled properly.

Outsourcing FAQ

First call resolution definition

First call resolution definition

First Call Resolution is one essential element of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and is one of the crucial metrics of a call center. It measures the way the customer service representative addresses issues, problems, and queries on the first point of contact.

This exhibits how the recipient of the call gives quality resolutions to customers being catered first hand. 

Regardless of the level of difficulty, as long as it was appropriately handled on the initial call, it would still be tagged as First Call Resolution, improving the representatives’ metric scorecard.

First call resolution benefits

Monitoring first call resolution allows a company to identify issues in their customer support process and quickly resolve them. Fewer client complaints mean better first call resolution rates and happier customers.

If your business strives to deliver quality customer service, then you should on your first call resolution. Improving it is crucial gives your company benefits such as the following:

It helps retain customers. Solving pain points at the first customer interaction can be the difference between whether customers stay or go. If a customer is satisfied with their experience, then they will stick to your brand. You can earn brand promoters. If you have a good FCR, you can turn your customers into brand promoters — provided, of course, that you can effectively solve their requests. It maximizes your team’s productivity. Figuring out an issue during the first interaction means that your team will deal with fewer repeat requests and could focus on more to more complex issues.

First call resolution call center

In Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, First Call Resolution (FCR) is a standard. With their in-house team players, it is easier for them to find immediate resolutions despite who or what the concern is all about. 

They should be equipped with extensive training and more exceptional experience in BPO. It is essential to know that the blueprint of First Call Resolution is being alerted. 

However, not all concerns can be resolved immediately with just one call; there are specific issues that need to be escalated. Therefore, it is imperative to get professionals to improve their First Call Resolution by evaluating their calls with the help of a quality assurance team.

Outsource Accelerator has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that FCRs are consistently high.

What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

What is a net promoter score?

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) gives a comprehensive view of customers' loyalty and their willingness to promote or recommend a particular product or service of a company. This gauges customer satisfaction as well as loyalty to a company’s product.

The customers are given surveys that ask how they would rate a particular product or service to their friends or colleagues. They may choose between a scale of zero to ten.

According to the ratings given by the respondents, they will be classified into three categories. These are the promoters, passives, and detractors.

NPS meaning in BPO

The ultimate goal for call centers is to provide a positive customer experience for every customer. However, improving efficiency and productivity and retaining customers is impossible without quality assurance (QA).

Revenues and ROIs cannot be boosted without evaluating first how contact centers are successful in helping their clients.

NPS score is critical for businesses both operationally, tactically, and strategically. Beyond assessing customer loyalty and determining what customers feel towards a business, it also has a direct impact on how well a company performs in terms of customer service.

NPS leaders tend to outgrow their competitors as they gain more satisfied patrons that act as brand promoters for their families, friends, and colleagues.

How to measure Net Promoter Score

NPS scores are usually determined by the difference in the proportion of customers that will act as key drivers in promoting your business to prospective new clients and unhappy customers known that are commonly called detractors.

You can easily know your Net Promoter Score by handing out NPS surveys to every buying customer in your business. Include questions that ask about the likelihood of them recommending your brand— as well as products and services — to other people.

In order to get an accurate NPS score, customer service agents also provide a 0-10 numerical scale that customers can choose from. This gives you an idea of areas of improvement you can focus on to raise your overall score.

After customers answer the NPS survey, a company could now group their customers into three categories.

Response rates that fall between nine and 10 or the "promoters" are the ones who are willing to talk about your brand to new customers. Those who would give lower scores that range between zero to six are the "detractors" or the unhappy customers. Meanwhile, customers who would give a score between seven and eight are the "passive" or the ones who are not guaranteed to expand your brand recognition to a wider audience. NPS formula

After determining which of the customers are promoters, passives, or detractors, it is now time to get your overall NPS percentage.

This is the formula for getting a company's NPS rate:

Percentage of promoters - Percentage of detractors = Net Promoter Score

For example, you gave out NPS surveys to 1,000 customers and 700 of them are promoters, 100 are passive, and 200 are detractors, your NPS would be at 50%.

The importance of NPS

As mentioned above, the Net Promoter Score predicts the overall customer-company relationship of a business. A higher NPS score means that you have a solid customer following which in turn, predicts lengthens the lifespan of the company.

Measuring your NPS also provides the following advantages:

Gain more customer feedback

Through NPS surveys, companies have the chance to gather more customer feedback from their new and existing clients. It gives them a chance to determine and improve the parts of the customer journey that their clients like, as well as correct the unhappy customers' negative impression of the brand.

Differentiate the promoters, detractors, and passive customers

By checking each customer responses, NPS analysts are able to put promoters, detractors, and passive buyers into their own groups. Putting them into categories allows agents to plan the appropriate approach for each group and how they can address their needs.

Drive revenue growth

Loyal customers are usually the ones who are set to come back to a company or brand and repurchase their products or services. This means that the more loyal customers a store has, the faster they are to experience business growth and development.

How to improve NPS

Customer satisfaction is more subjective than objective. Because it depends on what the customers feel towards the brand, it can be unpredictable and usually varies from client to client.

Although there are no guaranteed ways of instantly improving the NPS score of a company, there are some practices that you can use to enhance customer experience and achieve happier customer interactions in a business. Here are some of them:

Remove silos in the call center

Aside from quality assurance, almost all customers want to experience a faster service. They do not want to go through different departments before getting an effective resolution to their problems.

Removing silos within your call center and technical support services allows your buying customers to easily and quickly find the answers that they require. To do this, you should train and empower your call center agents to answer all of the queries that they receive.

Make sure your average handling time of any questions is shorter but provides efficient answers that would help shoppers with their problems.

Identify poor performers and provide training

Gathering customer feedback from your market research circles enables business leaders to find poor performers in the company. Through this, businesses can act on these customer reviews and make changes within the company.

Maintain consistent customer service

Customer loyalty is a crucial aspect of the Net Promoter Score. To achieve this, agents must cultivate customer satisfaction in each customer that they encounter.

Giving consistent service is the key to reaching customer satisfaction. Set attainable standards that can be measured, easily shared, and easily translatable. Depending upon the data you collect, it can help you determine the retention rate of the client, staff churn rate, and first contact resolution rates.

Measure QA as part of daily operations

Customer responses in NPS surveys must be consistently studied and compared. If you do not know how to start, the adjustment may not be necessary. Make a regular NPS report that identifies promoters, passives, and detractors.

The reports should have responses to follow-up questions and open-ended questions. With this, you will be able to pinpoint the factors which directly influence NPS scores as an individual.

Engage with customers

Ideally, you should engage all clients — whether loyal customers or unhappy customers. Welcome, take note, and address every customer feedback.

Keep everyone updated with the results of your NPS surveys so that they would know who they should engage more.

Net Promoter Score for companies

The NPS is calculated by deducting the detractors’ percentage from the promoter’s percentage, which is the generated result or score between negative one hundred and one hundred.

Your customer NPS gives you an idea of the level of customer satisfaction you've achieved thus far. The higher your NPS, the greater number of promoters, or happy customers, you have relative to detractors, or unhappy customers.

Measuring customer NPS over time informs companies how customer perception is changing —and if it's trending positive or negative. If NPS is steadily increasing, your company is making customers happy.

But if the Net Promoter Score takes a dip — or if you start getting more passives than promoters — that's a sign that you need to dig into customers' qualitative feedback.

Outsource Accelerator has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive view of over 2500 BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for customers to learn more about Net Promoter Score and all the data points needed to keep a higher NPS over your competitors.

What is an Operations Manager?

What is an operations manager?

An operations manager (OM) is responsible for the production floor of a company and oversee the production of goods and services. In the BPO industry, most operations manager would have started out as an agent and have worked their way up to being a team leader and then eventually becoming an operations manager.

As part of their oversight over operations, operations managers are expected to stay abreast on developments on local rules and regulations regarding safety, environmental compliance, and labor issues. More fundamentally, however, operations managers are expeted to have great people skills. Not only do they have to maintain awareness over the company's staffing needs, they may also be called to help out with human resources, from hiring, training, to performance appraisals.

Operations manager offshore

A typical operations manager in a BPO company handles team leaders (who in turn handles about 10-15 agents) and would earn around $1,200 per month.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing.

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.