Skip to main content

What if you are at a receiving end of client escalation? As client is expressive about his emotional cords based on certain quantitative reasons (save yourself from being judgemental about these reasons). You know there is an escalation and client's take on "why?". 

You just need to be a human and convince yourself this escalation has a way out and you are quite close to it. Most importantly being a snipper you are going to utilize the client as a competent navigator.

If we simply stay away from the dictionary meaning, Escalaiton is an absolute reaction to verified or non-verified problem with a perceived potential of causing a damage.

When there is an escalation from client, you need to understand without undermining the situation:

01. Sense

Hostage of worst experience

If there is an escalation it means - it is the last option that client is putting upfront. In most cases - people do escalate when they become the hostage to a worst experience of that situation with no way out in the perview of their vision. This is to be noted that the scope of client's vision is always time bound and resource sensitive - as there is cost attached to it. 

Reasons of the worst experience

The reason for this so called outburst of escalating cords could be project specific, personal or even any external factors. So you need to ensure you are not looking at it as a personal attack or pin-pointing at your individual capacity. 

Fear of loosing the control

Being in control gives immense sense of being in safe zone and makes underlying problem areas look vague. Opposite to this - loosing the control is a nightmare for any project sponsorers as fear of missing out on the targets emerges higher and higher.

02. Feel

Business level

At business level - it is very important to know - every project has a cost, deliverables and KPI's at every level. Any cost expenditure always demands the results and value it was meant to be added to business. So it is always stressful to remain in the shoes of client.

Real cost is much higher

Apart from the cost of the project, client is also investing Time, Resources and Outcome potential while sponsoring the project. Hence the actual cost of the project is much higher than the dollar value of the contract.

Indirect sponsorere and their KPIs

There could be certain other parallel activities happening, which would assume the timely completion of the project to eliminate the dependency. This means there are some indirect sponsorers of the project too.

03. Revive

Step back and calm down

Step back and calm down, this will give you a much needed fresh thoughtprocess to handle the situation. Calmness helps controlling the tone of voice and set the direction for the strategic conversation. 

Seperate yourself from the situation

It's imperative, as a CSM you must learn the art of separating yourself from the situation and relook at it with a fresh eye. This helps in not getting into defensive or argumentative mode. This makes your customer feel a sense of being cared for. 

Benefit of doubt

Last but not least comes a Benefit of doubt. To change some situation upside down by an order of magnitude it needs a destructive way of managing the conversation. Benefit of doubt indirectly enforces your pissed-of customer to give you more scope for driving the conversation towards solution. 

Whether you think about it or not - your customer genuinely deserves the Benefit of Doubt. When you get into an escalating meeting - make your first stance in the conversation by giving a strong sign to the customer that - they are being heard well.

3 minutes