Escalations

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You might wonder how we manage escalations. Let’s start with how we define escalations at Spryker.

What is an Escalation?

An escalation is a situation that usually involves a partner or customer having an urgent or especially important problem that cannot immediately be solved to the satisfaction of everyone involved and the problem is “escalated” to senior leadership or other departments in an effort to resolve the problem.

Example for a situation leading up to an escalation: Customer A discovers a problem with Spryker that has a significant impact on their plans to launch a new feature next week. They open a support case with Spryker. The support representative dealing with the case informs the customer that they have verified that the bug is indeed a bug and a report was filed with development to fix the bug. The mention that the bug will most likely be fixed within 3-4 weeks. This will conflict with the customer’s feature release.

While support will always try to accommodate the plans of customers and partners, this might not always be possible. Naturally, this leads to frustration and Company A might feel the need to reach out to their Account Manager/Partner Manager/Customer Success Manager, or even a member of Spryker leadership to “force” or at least expedite problem resolution that way.

While this strategy might feel like the right thing to do (we need to do something right?) it produces suboptimal results, at it consumes resources, nerves, and time. It also puts a strain on the relationship with the customer/partner and often introduces a great deal of emotions that can stand in the way of orderly resolution.

How do we want to deal with Escalations?

In Support, we acknowledge that we cannot always produce a satisfying result. We do not always get it right and sometimes our hands might simply be tied. Escalations will happen and it is important for us to steer them into a constructive and orderly direction right away that ensures:

  1. It is easy for a customer/partner to escalate an issue.
  2. The customer/partner’s problem is evaluated by the right audience.
  3. The stakeholders align quickly to find a feasible strategy going forward.

How can I initiate an escalation?

Creating an Emergency Case always start an escalation. You will receive an Email notifying you that an Escalation was started.

Process

The escalation process is designed in a way to create visibility for the right audience and is built in a robust way to ensure quality standards. Facing a problem with significant business impact is stressful and we tried to build a streamlined process that is easy to follow for partners and customers and easy to operate for our support reps. An escalation has 7 statuses. The customer and partner will receive notifications via email on status changes.

STARTED - A customer or partner has created an emergency case. Internal stakeholders are informed an evaluate the information provided. In cases where the Emergency Case option was misused, the Escalation will be cancelled, and the requester will be informed about it.

ACKNOWLEDGED - If the escalation is valid, it will be acknowledged by the support rep that will take care of the case. They will not inform internal stakeholders and see to it that a solution is developed. They will also make sure to update the customer and partner in regular intervals on their progress.

SOLUTION PROPOSED - Once the team has found a solution that will either fix the problem outright, or at least mitigate its impact, they will propose a solution and the partner and customer will be asked to accept or reject the solution proposel.

CLOSED - After an acceptable solution is found, the escalation (not the case!) will be closed. This means that the urgency of the matter was successfully reduced, and the case can be handled within the normal support process again. Usually, the internal stakeholders involved will be debriefed at this point.

After a valid escalation is over Post Mortem will be held and the results shared with the partner and customer. The point of this is to make it less likely that a similar situation that will make a escalation likely can occur in the future. If the escalation was caused by Infrastructure Problems on production systems, a technical Root Cause Analysis (RCA) will also be shared.

What we ask from you during an escalation

This is the most effective way to bring your issue to the attention of a broad audience. We ask you to not misuse this option to expedite regular bug resolution or case processing. It will make several people in Spryker very busy and might therefore even have the opposite effect.

When you start an escalation, please refrain from contacting other Spryker personnel about the same issue on different channels. This will introduce confusion and information asymmetry which will reduce the effectiveness of this process significantly.

After an escalation is acknowledged, support reps might determine that real time communication is necessary to speed up the resolution process. After creating an emergency case, please make sure you are available for immediate correspondence!

Work with us. We can get to the bottom of what and how things went wrong after we mitigated the problem. Let work together in a constructive, objective manner.