B2B Support Escalations: Definition + How to Minimize Them With AI
By adopting AI-based workflows, B2B customer support teams can take a proactive stance to head off escalations and manage them at scale.
The support organization at Zywave, led by VP of Support, Emre Tekoglu, was looking to transform from a reactive model to a more proactive support experience. Additionally, Tekoglu wanted to shift from a cost center to position support as a strategic element of the overall customer experience. SupportLogic helped Zywave quickly become more proactive and predictive by helping managers and agents better prioritize focus and customer outreach. Zywave also reduced escalations and kept CSAT metrics strong.
Zywave provides software and technology solutions for the insurance broker industry in the United States and internationally. It offers cloud-based sales management, client delivery, content, and analytics solutions. More than 15,000 carriers, agencies, and brokerages worldwide—including all of the top 100 U.S. insurance brokerages—use Zywave solutions to enhance client services, achieve business growth, and promote greater health, wellness, risk management, and safety. The company’s support organization of 50 agents handles around 100,000 complex cases per year.
Upon joining the company, Tekoglu’s primary goal was to make support a more strategic differentiator for Zywave. “We wanted to become more proactive and a strategic lever for the company,” said Tekoglu. “We want support to be less of a ‘numbers game’ and more about having our agents work more intently with customers to solve their problems and get it right.”
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Zywave already had solid CSAT numbers of 95% positive responses to customer surveys, and had a good track record on total time to resolution of under three days. However, Zywave was not able to predict escalations, after replacing their traditional case monitoring method using email. Tekoglu turned to SupportLogic to help predict escalations, and the team gained the ability to track the data in CRM.
To be more proactive and better respond to leading indicators of client sentiment, Zywave also explored ways to use the unstructured data contained in its case interactions. In addition, they wanted to use NLP technology to focus on keywords that may indicate customer churn potential, such as when a customer uses the word “cancellation” in an email correspondence.
“It’s all about finding those needles in the haystack,” said Tekoglu, discussing how it was previously difficult to identify frustrated customers using the CRM alone.
Zywave deployed SupportLogic and immediately began to see a difference in gaining leading indicators for potential customer issues within days of going live with SupportLogic, as well as getting a more holistic view of customer sentiment and satisfaction. Since implementing SupportLogic, the support staff has responded to roughly 1,800 forecasts of escalation to prevent future ones. In addition, Tekoglu’s team identified nearly 3,400 cases that needed attention and additional action based on SupportLogic sentiment analysis tools.
Zywave is also enabling its support managers to be more productive by using SupportLogic to analyze 100% of the case pool to identify cases for review, while also using SupportLogic’s automated case evaluation toolset to streamline the review process. “I want to know how our agents are performing without our customers telling me, and SupportLogic makes this possible,” Tekoglu said.
“Every case has a story and it takes people to listen to those stories, which is difficult to do at scale. SupportLogic helps us listen to the right stories at the right time,” added Tekoglu.
Since deploying SupportLogic, Zywave has seen the following benefits:
Zywave enacted an initiative to be more proactive and strategic within its support operations, but it lacked the ability to identify customer escalation risks and wanted to streamline case review and agent evaluation processes as part of an overarching goal.
Zywave deployed SupportLogic to predict potential escalations, as well as automate case evaluation and review. SupportLogic generated escalation predictions, provided customer sentiment trend analysis, and surfaced the best cases for managers to review.
By giving managers more time to focus on important operational measures, productivity benefits were observed:
escalation rate Surpassed (reduced to 0.5%)
CSAT Score Maintained
escalations Identified & avoided
Zywave plans to continue to work with SupportLogic to keep escalations low and draw from teachable moments for case reviews. To find out more about how SupportLogic can help your company create better customer support experiences, take a self-guided test drive or contact our solution consultants for a live demo.
“Running a support department is like flying airplanes – there are a lot of complexities and many areas where problems could arise. Running support without SupportLogic is like flying airplane without dashboards, it can be done but it is much easier to run support with the intelligence platform from SupportLogic.”
VP of Support, Zywave
Reduce escalations and cut through backlog to increase customer retention and revenue