Support Escalation Process....Again!
By cwarticki on Aug 19, 2009
Escalation Process Explained:
This is by far thee most misunderstood process. Do you have a Support delivery concern? Are your expectations not being met or understood? Use the Escalation Process. The shortest path to least resistance to the resolution of any technical service request is escalation – first and always. Until you’ve spoken to a Manager from Oracle Support, an escalation has not occurred. Does that surprise you? Read on.
Here’s how it works;
Step 1 – Call the Global Support 800#. The phone menu has changed. You can choose #1 for Existing SR or #2 for New SR.
If you choose #1, you will be presented with the option to either Escalate or speak to an engineer. If you choose to speak to the engineer, most often you’ll get voicemail. Don’t leave a voicemail if you desire escalation. Rather, choose the Escalation option. You’ll be routed to Global Customer Care
If you choose #2, you then have to select #2 again, and #2 again to get to non-technical support. If you choose the option for non-technical issue, Global Customer Care will receive your request to escalate the SR.
Step 2 – Initiate Escalation: Here is my existing Service Request#, I would like to speak with and receive a callback from the Escalation Manager. This used to be called the Duty Manager 5+ years ago.
Step 3 – Your contact information will be verified and the Escalation Manager will be identified and notified for callback. It’s not a hot-transfer. Oracle strives that the Escalation Manager will contact you back in 30 minutes or less.
Here’s what NOT to do:
- Don’t choose the option for existing Service Request and then choose to speak to your support engineer. You will most likely go to voicemail because they are multitasking.
- Don’t call the 800# and request a Severity 1 or Severity increase. Severity 1 and Escalations are totally different.
- Don’t update your Service Request to initiate escalation. This is not recommended. Oracle doesn’t have a batch job running to look for key words in SRs. Call us! Then, update your Service Request for your own documentation purposes.
- Don’t call your sales team, account team, or anyone else in your Rolodex of Oracle business cards. They can’t solve your technical problem. You might as well try calling your parents. There’s no backdoor to this process.
- Don’t request your support engineer to jump on some bridge call. Bridge calls are for managers to keep busy. Keep the technical team troubleshooting. The motto for bridge calls is; “When all is done and said, a whole lot more is said than done!”
Here’s how it plays out:
- A manager will call you back to discuss the technical details and review the Service Request with you.
- At this time, discuss any concerns you have. (time to respond, time to resolve, technical direction, key milestones at risk, etc.) Nobody is getting in trouble here. Let us know how we can serve you better.
- Work up an agreed upon action plan
- As a customer, document the action plan in the Service Request. Write, “I just spoke to so-n-so and we agreed to the following” The manager should be doing the same.
- Know when the next follow-up will be. Is follow up necessary? Discuss it.
Managers have control of the resources and time of the support engineers. They may reassign it to someone else on the team. They may free up the time of the current engineer to devote more time to your problem. They will review what can and can’t be accommodated. That’s why you shouldn’t call anyone else.
DON’T HANG UP with any manager until you know these 3 things:
1-The Manager’s name
2-A piece of contact information from that manager (office phone, cell phone, or email address) Go direct to the source for updates
3-The details of the action plan.
If your boss asks you about that Service Request and you tell them that you escalated it, remember that they can reply with;
Oh, you escalated it, then who did you speak too? What’s their name?
Better yet, let’s contact them and find out the status of what we need to know.
Or, come into my office and let’s crack open the Service Request and see the details of what you spoke about.
What if the Service Request has a Bug Associated with it?
Good question. Still use the Escalation Manager to get in touch with Development Management. Remove the engineers and developers from the mix and go direct to the managers who control both of these resources. Let Development know how this bug is affecting your business and that Development Manager will give it to you straight if a fix is feasible or not.
What if I’ve done what you’ve prescribed and it didn’t work?
Nobody is perfect. Oracle strives to achieve 100% satisfaction.
Simply call the 800# again, state either the escalation manager you’ve spoken too isn’t able to help you, or the escalation call wasn’t returned, then request to RE-escalate the issue to the next level of management (Sr. Manager, Director and then VP level if necessary)
It should be that simple. Really, it is. As a former manager from Database support, we take a lot of pride in, and hold ourselves accountable to this valuable process.
There are two other articles I’ve written on this subject.
Chris Warticki is Tweeting @cwarticki