Playbook: Client Escalation

Playbook: Client Escalation

Published October 16, 2023

In today’s business landscape, customer satisfaction is paramount. With clients expecting impeccable service and immediate issue resolution, it’s crucial for organizations to have a well-defined client escalation playbook in place. This playbook not only ensures customer concerns are addressed promptly but also sets the stage for stronger, lasting relationships. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive client escalation playbook template, outlining the steps to handle client escalations effectively.

Step 1: Acknowledge and Initiate Communication

The first and most crucial step in our client escalation playbook is acknowledging the client’s concern. Whether it’s through email, audio/video calls, or face-to-face meetings, promptly respond to the client’s issue. Send an acknowledgment email to express understanding and empathy. Let the client know that your team is actively working to address the problem. This initial response reassures the client that their concerns are being taken seriously.

Step 2: Understand and Record the Issue

To effectively address the client’s concern, it’s essential to gain a clear understanding of the problem. Follow up with a call to ensure that the issue is well-documented and accurately recorded. This step allows you to identify the severity of the issue and assess its potential impact on the client’s business.

Step 3: Direct to Relevant Teams

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, redirect the client’s concern to the relevant teams within your organization. Depending on the nature of the issue, it may need the attention of sales, support, product, billing, or other departments. This delegation ensures that the right people are focused on finding a solution.

Step 4: Internal Communication and Action

Internal communication is key to resolving client escalations efficiently. Set up an internal meeting involving key stakeholders to keep everyone informed about the situation. In cases where a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is appropriate, initiate one. Creating a plan and ensuring that the team begins working on it as soon as possible is vital to a swift resolution.

Step 5: Address Out-of-Scope Issues

In situations where the reported issue is out of scope or unrelated to your product or service, it’s important to communicate this clearly to the client. However, don’t just leave them hanging. Offer guidance and potential workarounds if available. Ensure the client understands that no further action is required and close this instance of the playbook with relevant notes and internal communication.

Step 6: Stay Connected and Provide Updates

Staying connected with the relevant team or team member responsible for resolution is crucial. Consistently guide them towards a timely solution and ensure they remain within the specified timelines. Concurrently, keep the client updated on the progress and request their acknowledgment each time an update is provided. If possible, offer a timeline for issue resolution.

Step 7: Resolution and RCA

Once the issue is resolved, provide the client with a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to offer transparency and insight into what caused the problem. Open a channel for further communication if required, ensuring that the client is satisfied with the resolution before closing the case.

Step 8: Provide Feedback for Improvement

To prevent similar issues in the future, it’s essential to provide feedback to the relevant internal teams, such as Product, QA, Sales, and others. Share what caused the issue and recommend ways to avoid it in the future. Record the agreed-upon improvement plan in task comments for reference.9


In today’s business world, maintaining excellent customer relations and promptly addressing client concerns are imperative. By following our client escalation playbook template, your organization can ensure that client escalations are handled efficiently, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and stronger, lasting relationships. Remember, a well-executed client escalation process not only resolves immediate issues but also builds trust and loyalty, ultimately contributing to your organization’s long-term success. Download our free client escalation playbook template today and elevate your customer service to new heights!

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