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The Magic of Escalation Tagging [+ template]

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Maxime Manseau
November 12, 2023
Team Development
Support Operation

Let's cut to the chase. We're all about ensuring our clients get top-tier support. But, as we know, not every issue can be resolved on the first go. That's where escalation becomes our best friend. And if you're not leveraging escalation tagging effectively, you're missing out on a goldmine of insights and efficiency.

Why Bother with Escalation Tagging?

Picture this: It's the start of the fiscal quarter, and your support team is swamped. Amidst the chaos, several issues get escalated. Without a clear system, these escalated issues either take ages to resolve or, worse, get lost in the shuffle. Frustrating for the team, disastrous for client relations.

Enter escalation tagging. It's not just about slapping on a label. It's about quickly identifying the nature of the problem, directing it to the right team or individual, and ensuring it's resolved efficiently.

The Magic of Escalation Tagging

The Magic of Escalation Tagging

1. Efficiency and Speed:

In the fast-paced world of B2B SaaS, time is of the essence. Clients don't just want solutions; they want them yesterday. With a clear tagging system, there's no second-guessing. The escalated issue gets directed swiftly to the right person or team who knows exactly how to handle it. This means faster resolution times, fewer back-and-forths, and a smoother overall workflow. Over the years, I've seen a well-implemented tagging system shave hours, if not days, off resolution times.

2. Data-Driven Insights:

Data is the new oil, and in customer support, it's no different. Over time, these tags can provide invaluable data. Which issues are most commonly escalated? Are there recurring problems that need a more systemic solution? But it goes beyond just identifying problems. With the right analytics, you can spot trends, predict potential future challenges, and even identify upsell or cross-sell opportunities. For instance, if a particular client consistently faces a specific technical challenge, maybe it's time to offer them a tailored solution or training package.

3. Improved Client Satisfaction:

In B2B SaaS, client relationships are everything. These aren't one-off consumers; they're long-term partners with significant contract values. When issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, clients are not just relieved; they're impressed. An effective tagging system sends a clear message: We value your business, and we're organized and proactive in addressing your concerns. Over my tenure, I've seen client satisfaction scores skyrocket post the implementation of a structured tagging system. And remember, a satisfied client is not just likely to renew their contract; they're also more likely to become brand advocates, referring other potential clients to your business.

4. Empowering Your Team:

Often overlooked, but immensely crucial. A clear escalation tagging system empowers your frontline support team. No longer do they feel helpless when faced with complex issues. They know exactly how to categorize, tag, and escalate, ensuring the problem reaches the right hands. This not only boosts their confidence but also their job satisfaction. And a satisfied, empowered employee is invariably more productive and less likely to churn.

Building Your Escalation Tagging System: A Deep Dive

1. Categories

Every robust escalation tagging system is built on three foundational pillars: Categories, Tags, and Details. Let's break down each:

1. Categories: These are the broad classifications of issues. They give a high-level view of the nature of the escalation, helping teams quickly identify the general area of concern.

2. Tags:Within each category, we have specific tags. These provide a more granular view of the escalation's nature, allowing for swift action and routing.

3. DetailsDetails are the finer points within each tag. They provide the necessary context, helping the escalated team or individual understand the specifics of the issue without sifting through lengthy descriptions.

Now, let's lay out our categories, tags, and details:

πŸ”§ Technical Complexity:

  • Tech_Bug: For software/hardware bugs.
  • Tech_UnfamiliarError: For unfamiliar or rare error messages.
  • Tech_SystemOutage: For major system or service outages.

πŸ“œ Policy and Procedure:

  • Policy_AuthorizationExceeded: When an issue goes beyond the agent's authorized limits.
  • Policy_ExceptionRequest: For requests that seek exceptions to standard policies.
  • Policy_LegalConcern: For issues touching on legal matters or potential lawsuits.

😠 Customer Behavior:

  • Cust_Rude: For rude or aggressive customers.
  • Cust_RepeatedContact: For customers contacting multiple times for the same issue.
  • Cust_VIP: For high-profile or significant customers.

πŸ”„ Internal Processes:

  • Internal_TrainingGap: When an agent identifies a knowledge or training gap.
  • Internal_ProcessFeedback: For feedback on existing processes or policies.
  • Internal_ToolIssue: For issues with the tools or systems the agent uses.

πŸ” Information Verification:

  • Info_SensitiveAction: For actions that have significant consequences, like account deletion.
  • Info_FraudConcern: For suspicions of fraudulent activity.

πŸ’‘ Product or Service Feedback:

  • Feedback_FeatureRequest: For new feature requests or changes to existing ones.
  • Feedback_ProductQuality: For concerns about product quality or safety.

πŸ’° Billing and Financial:

  • Billing_ComplexIssue: For intricate billing issues.
  • Billing_LargeTransaction: For large refunds, compensations, or other transactions.

🀝 Interdepartmental Coordination:

  • Interdept_Collaboration: For issues requiring input from another department.
  • Interdept_UnclearOwnership: When it's unclear which department should handle the issue.

❀️ Emotional or Sensitive Situations:

  • Emotion_Bereavement: For contacts related to death or significant personal events.
  • Emotion_SensitiveInfo: For issues involving sharing/discussing sensitive data.

πŸ“’ Escalation Requests:

  • Request_Supervisor: When a customer explicitly asks to speak to a supervisor.
  • Request_PreviousEscalation: If the customer has escalated issues in the past.

⏳ Long-Term or Recurring Issues:

  • LongTerm_Chronic: For issues that have been ongoing for a long time.
  • LongTerm_MultipleContacts: For customers who've contacted support multiple times without resolution.

πŸ“£ Potential PR or Brand Impact:

  • PR_Concern: For issues that could negatively impact the company's image.
  • PR_SocialMedia: For threats or actions taken on social media.

🚫 Safety and Security:

  • Safety_PhysicalThreat: For any indication of a threat to physical safety.
  • Safety_DataBreach: For concerns about unauthorized data access.

πŸ› οΈ Limitation of Resources:

  • Resource_SpecialTool: When resolution requires tools not available to the frontline agent.
  • Resource_LanguageBarrier: For communication challenges due to language differences.


2. Implementation and Training

Once you've defined your categories, tags, and details, it's time to roll them out. Conduct training sessions. Use real-life examples. Maybe even create a game or contest around it. The goal is to ensure every team member understands and can effectively use the system.

3. Review and Refinement

Your escalation tagging system shouldn't be set in stone. As your products, services, and client base evolve, so should your system. Set aside regular intervals, maybe quarterly or bi-annually, to review the system. Adjust accordingly.

Communicating the Value

Now, while you and I get the importance of this, it's crucial to communicate the value to both your internal teams and clients.

For Your Teams: Highlight the efficiency aspect. Show them how this system can make their lives easier and allow them to focus on resolving issues rather than figuring out where to escalate them.

For Your Clients: No, you don't have to bore them with the nitty-gritty. But subtly communicating that you have a structured escalation process assures them that their concerns are taken seriously and will be addressed promptly.

In Conclusion

Look, we're all in this to provide the best possible support to our clients. An effective escalation tagging system is like giving your team a roadmap. It guides them on where to take issues they can't resolve, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.

So, if you haven't already, start building your escalation tagging system. And if you have one in place, maybe it's time for a review and refresh:


If you want to share your experiences and learnings in setting up your escalation tagging system πŸ‘‰ you can e-mail me at

If you want more of those, make sure to subscribe to our newsletterπŸ‘‡, or follow me on Linkedin.

Peace, Love & Support ✌️


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