Customer Service Training

When and How to Escalate

This program is about more than how to deal with, “I want to talk to your supervisor!” It’s also about making good decisions, and developing positive teamwork between reps and their supervisors or managers.

Fully-customized Program

Each organization is unique in its rules, realities, strengths and challenges and so this program is designed to suit. Some of the things this program may address are shown below.

What Guidelines?

Many organizations have been too busy providing service to take time to create written guidelines for things like making exceptions or waiving fees. It’s also fairly common for existing documents to be out of date or take too long to wade through. When needed:

  • We apply our consulting skills to clarify what can and should be in writing
  • We create work aids that document guidelines for easy reference
  • We set up systems so it’s easier to keep things updated

“Up to You”

Service guidelines often mention “case by case basis,” and “discretion.” On the up-side, flexibility makes it easier to provide good service. This program teaches service reps to avoid common down-sides:

  • How to avoid losing customers by being unnecessarily stingy
  • How to avoid giving away too much; for example, waiving too many fees
  • How to avoid driving managers crazy by escalating too many decisions up to them

Gosh Darn those Humans

Many groups have more than one manager or supervisor and they don’t always think alike. This inconsistency can make it harder for service reps to make the “right” decisions. Instead of trying to get the bosses to change, we address the issues this way:

  • Consult with the service reps to uncover their perspective and how the differences impact them
  • Consult with the bosses to clarify how they see things, and align their actions where needed
  • Teach the reps and the bosses to treat each other well, as internal customers

Practice Makes Good Partners

Making good decisions, escalating when appropriate, and handling the escalation itself cannot be learned through reading or discussion. Service reps need realistic practice for it all to sink in. But their efforts alone won’t do the job — managers and reps often need practice in partnering more effectively.

  • We use role-play (not case studies) to give reps practice in making decisions within the context of providing service. This puts decision-making and service together, as they must be in real life.
  • When applicable, we give service reps training in meeting each manager’s expectations by using a game. The game format lightens the mood so reps also learn to go with the flow instead of grousing about inconsistencies.
  • We coach supervisors and managers in advance, so they are ready to participate in the role-play and game using humor. When needed, we also beef-up their ability to praise the reps and fold that into training in copious amounts.


  • Suitable for in-person service or call centers
  • Consulting and customizing required
  • Timeframe of workshop itself: One-half to one full day
  • Other customer service training may be required as a prerequisite
“Thank you for the spectacular class you developed and delivered for our call center. Appreciate your insight, wisdom, input and teamwork.”
Kay Armstrong, Direct Banking Manager, Tri Counties Bank