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Escalation Matrix

Escalation is a management innovation for efficiently solving problems at the lowest levels possible. If a problem is not solved at the lowest level, it will be taken or “escalated” to the next level. If the problem is still not solved, it is then further escalated to the next higher level and so on and so forth until it reaches the upper management who makes the final decision.

For a better grasp of the idea, escalation is followed in the Philippines justice system. First, a conflict is tried to be resolved at the baranggay level. The case is then raised to city court, provincial court, regional court, court of appeals and finally to the Supreme Court, who makes the final resolution. The same system is used in the call center industry in which problems posted by customers are escalated to the next levels until it is resolved. This method is efficient because time frames is set up in solving problems and levels of expertise/ specializations are created to provide customers a more comprehensive set of experts to address their problems.

The escalation matrix is basically a model in which the levels of escalation is arranged in rows and columns and properly labeled. It usually pool people into groups with similar skills or work assignments and are arranged in a hierarchical level which represent the escalation. Depending on the type of work, different escalation matrix can be prepared.

In a call center company providing tech support for a software for instance, the escalation matrix can be arranged as follows: level 1- licensing problems; level 2 – software corruption; level 3 – software operations; level 4- software bugs. Through the escalation matrix, calls can immediately be routed to specific expert who can address the issues raised by the customer for a more efficient support service.

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