A virtual agent is the best at relieving your customer support team from repetitive tasks. Nonetheless, there are times when complex, urgent, or sensitive queries need to be transferred to human agents. We recommend having an escalation strategy before designing the escalation flow prior to launching your bot.
Topics covered in this article:
Decide your Escalation Strategy
Deciding an escalation strategy is to establish the rules of which intents should or should not be escalated through which channel. Typically, there are three channels of escalation: in-chat, ticket, and email.
Since this affects agent handling time, there are a few things to take into account when deciding the escalation strategy, such as:
- The size of your customer support team
- The volume of your chats
- Your agent's office hours
- The complexity and urgency of the query
For example, if you are in fashion e-commerce and your team has 3-5 agents working 9am-5pm with a chat volume of 200-250 chats a day, escalating everything will result in long waiting times for the customers, and overload your agents.
Therefore, it is best to reserve in-chat escalations for matters such as sizing and product query since this could affect your revenue; delivered but not received is another common one since the level of frustration could affect your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.
The rule of thumb is to only proactively offer escalation when there's no possibility for the virtual agent to guide customers to self-service.
Design the Escalation Flow
After deciding which intents require in-chat escalation, think about what the virtual agent can do prior to escalation. Such as:
- Gather necessary information that could help with Average Handling Time. For example, order number, name, email, etc.
- Add tags and fields to be added or updated specifically to your workflow
- Identify suitable agents or departments to take the chat
Once you have a clear idea of the information above, we recommend designing an escalation flow in Template Replies and linking the dialogues that require escalation to it. If more than one escalation flow is needed, feel free to create more in Templates.
Building Escalation Paths
Escalation Block allows you to plan how a customer will be transferred to other support channels if the case is not possible to be resolved by a bot.
Each escalation contains:
- Bot message - to communicate to the customer what is happening
- Availability block to check operating hours and where appropriate team availability.
- Escalation methods
- Send an email: Enter the email address of the agent or support department the ticket should go to. For example, your support email. The email would be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forward to an agent: You can select the department to which the chat should be escalated to. Default Department is the transfer department you entered in Settings > Chat Platform > Integration Parameters.
- Custom Escalation: This does not escalate toward a specified endpoint. It acts as a way to add a label for analytics purposes to mark escalation traffic to another location, such as web form, or hotline.