- Done right, service issue escalation conversations can catalyze a new, more profound trust if the client sees their day-to-day contact working diligently, exhaustively, and intelligently at solving the service issue. Even if it originated with human error or a bad process, an issue resolved well often leaves the client trusting my team more, not less.
- If you’re growing a team of future leaders, then this kind of stress test is very hard to replicate in a simulator. Giving your direct reports the chance to be a client’s hero will energize them and make them much more confident in their ability to manage a crisis.
- Finally, if you—as a director, VP, chief or some other manager—jump directly on the escalation and resolve it yourself, you do two risky things:
- You implicitly tell the client that you don’t have faith in your own team to deliver top-level service on your behalf, and
- You lose the strategic option of having your direct report publicly escalate to you if things go off-track during the resolution phase.
|Know||❏ the client’s primary goals, ❏ the context (history and environment) of the issue, and ❏ the timeline and milestones that led to the service issue|
|Have||❏ Root cause analysis (but-for cause, systemic cause, fix, remediation) next steps, ❏ Alternative solutions|
|Do||❏ Maintain the point of contact ❏ Inform the client ASAP ❏ Listen and let the client vent ❏ Apologize and take responsibility ❏ Walk the client through the problem and brainstorm solutions ❏ And/or Ask: ‘what will it take to make this right’|
Sam Davenport is Director of Legal Business Solutions for Davis Wright Tremaine where he helps build teams and lead change and innovation initiatives. He’s been a publisher, vendor, consultant, and executive. He writes about the changing legal technology and operations landscapes and can be reached at email@example.com or tw:@SamLawTechOps.