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Escalation Matrix: Types, Process and How Does It Work?

19th Jan, 2024
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    Escalation Matrix: Types, Process and How Does It Work?

    One of the greatest benefits I've found in working remotely, especially when dealing with teams spread across various time zones, is the opportunity to provide on-call, live customer service 24/7. Being responsive is crucial in our customer service department because the majority of consumers expect an immediate response to their inquiries. If I, as a remote representative, can't solve a problem, it's imperative that I escalate the issue vertically to the right department and team members for resolution. Designing an escalation matrix format and taking a proactive approach to resolving issues reduces time and ensures that all participants understand the specifics of the resolution process. If you're looking for a clear overview of designing the escalation matrix template, I highly recommend enrolling in ITIL training to gain a deep understanding of how to write an escalation matrix.

    What is the Escalation Matrix?

    Escalation matrix is a tool used by companies to manage the escalation process. An escalation matrix email template can be used by any department of a company, including sales and marketing teams. The purpose of this project escalation matrix is to track all issues encountered during your day-to-day work and their corresponding solutions to know where you stand on each issue at a time. This will help you in making decisions regarding what problems need immediate attention, who should handle them and how best they should be resolved within your team or organization as a whole. 

    You can also use this escalation matrix format to track the number of issues that are reported, their severity, and whether they have been resolved or not. The ITIL escalation matrix can be used by any department of your company, including sales and marketing teams. 

    However, understanding the escalation matrix can be challenging. One needs to pursue IT Service Management Training in order to dive deep into its concepts and understand them carefully. 

    How an Escalation Matrix Works?

    An escalation matrix is a tool used to manage the flow of work. It’s also known as a process map and it helps you understand what happens when a problem arises or something goes wrong with your business. 

    A good escalation matrix example of how it works would be if you have five employees working together in one department and they all need help on their projects at the same time, then this could lead to problems if there isn't enough time for them all to access the resources needed by each employee. 

    This could result in delays which could affect productivity overall. Therefore, making it is important for managers who oversee large teams (such as marketing) to know how best practices may differ depending on who's involved with each project being completed within them so that everyone can get their work done efficiently without any trouble occurring later down the line when trying to deliver on time. There are many sample escalation matrix templates available online to guide you on how to write an escalation matrix.

    Role of Technology in Escalation Matrix 

    In today's work world, technology is key in making the Escalation Matrix work smoothly. It helps us handle and solve issues faster, especially in remote setups. Let's see how different tech tools play a role in making our Escalation Matrix efficient. 

    • Streamlined Communication: Technology in the Escalation Matrix streamlines communication for swift issue resolution.
    • Automation Tools: Automated systems enhance response times, identifying and escalating problems efficiently to the right teams. 
    • Integrated Platforms: Technology enables integrated platforms, fostering seamless collaboration among remote workers and improving overall efficiency. 
    • Real-time Tracking: Real-time tracking and reporting tools provide insights, allowing continuous improvement of the escalation process. 
    • User-friendly Templates: Technology facilitates the creation of user-friendly templates, ensuring a standardized and efficient escalation process. 
    • Dynamic and Responsive: Overall, technology empowers the Escalation Matrix to be dynamic and responsive, addressing issues promptly in a remote work environment. 

    Technology is like the backbone of a modern Escalation Matrix. It makes communication better, speeds up responses, and ensures we can handle problems swiftly in the changing world of remote work. Thanks to these tech advancements, our Escalation Matrix isn't just a plan—it's a quick and adaptable tool for solving issues and getting better over time. 

    How Do You Write an Escalation Matrix?

    An incident escalation matrix is a tool used by professionals to determine what type of escalation they should take after receiving an issue or complaint. IT support escalation matrix can help you identify whether the issue requires immediate action, or if it needs to be forwarded up the chain of command. 

    An escalation matrix sample consists of three columns: 

    1. What kind of problem do you have? This column lists different types of problems that may arise, such as “Hotel Complaint” or “Employee Complaint”. 
    2. How did it happen? This column describes how each type of problem occurred and when it happened. 
    3. Who did this? In this column are details about who caused or exposed themselves to these issues. 

    Benefits of Escalation Matrix 

    The Escalation Matrix is a valuable tool that brings several benefits to the table, ensuring smooth and efficient issue resolution within an organization. Its structured framework is designed to prevent delays, foster quick identification of critical issues, and promote accountability. Let's delve into the key advantages of employing an Escalation Matrix. 

    Key Benefits: 

    • Structured Framework: The matrix provides a structured approach, preventing delays in decision-making when addressing problems. 
    • Quick Issue Identification: It enables the rapid identification of critical issues, ensuring timely intervention to minimize disruptions. 
    • Accountability: The matrix promotes accountability by assigning specific responsibilities to teams or individuals, streamlining communication. 
    • Enhanced Transparency: This systematic approach enhances transparency, allowing stakeholders to track the progress of issue resolution. 

    The Escalation Matrix significantly contributes to improved customer satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. By reducing response times, preventing bottlenecks, and fostering a proactive problem-solving culture, it becomes a cornerstone in maintaining a streamlined and efficient workflow within the team. 

    What is an Escalation Process?

    An escalation process is a method used to solve problems. An escalation process involves the following steps: 

    • The first step in an escalation matrix process is to identify the problem and its cause, then determine what action should be taken to resolve it. This can be done by looking at past incidents or previous cases where similar problems have been resolved successfully (e.g., “if we solve this issue here then we should also consider solving similar issues elsewhere”). 

    Sometimes, you may need more information on how other organizations handle similar situations before deciding which path forward makes sense for your organization. However, even if this doesn't apply directly to yourself, it may still help make future decisions about how to best handle situations. So, don't ignore anything because it doesn't seem relevant now. 

    • The next step in an escalations process is to decide who should be involved in the decision-making process and when to bring them on board. This may include managers, supervisors, team leaders or other stakeholders affected by this problem. The more people are involved in the decision-making process, the longer it will take to reach a resolution. However, involving more people also increases your chances of finding a solution everyone agrees with.

    While working on an issue with your supervisor or manager, you may want to ask them about the best course of action before making any decisions yourself. They may have more experience dealing with similar situations than you do and can provide valuable insight into how other organizations handle these issues and offer suggestions for handling them here in your organization. 

    The next step in the IT escalation matrix process is to determine what needs to be done about this problem. When you are working on an issue with your boss or someone else who has more experience than you do, then it’s important to listen carefully to their suggestions and take them into consideration before making any decisions of your own.

    What are the Different Types of Escalation?

    As a result of technology used in call centers, such as predictive behavioral routing, clients are connected to representatives who are more likely to be able to assist them with their problems.

    It should be noted that, when the remote representative does not provide the assistance that is required, the following four forms of escalation can be used.

    • Hierarchical Escalation

    Hierarchical escalation is the most common. Support tickets are escalated based on seniority and experience handling similar issues by the team or individual. An account manager might escalate the unresolved issue to the head of sales after it has been escalated by a supervisor. 

    • Functional Escalation

    When an issue is functionally escalated, it will be handled by the person or team that has the right skillset to solve it, regardless of their rank or hierarchy. An upcoming payment may require the assistance of the accounts and billing department. 

    • Automatic Escalation

    When a certain amount of time passes without a resolution, call center software automatically routes project issues to the next level. 

    • Priority Escalation

    As the issue is prioritized, it is escalated faster to the team leader and higher levels. 

    The priority level will be higher for an IT issue causing frequent phone interactions than a supply delivery that is a day late. Get in touch with the appropriate team of support when you identify a high priority issue.

    When to Escalate a Problem?

    When you have a problem and don't know what to do with it, you should escalate it. The escalation matrix is an easy-to-use process that will help you deal with problems efficiently. 

    When the situation gets out of hand, there are many ways to escalate the issue and get feedback on how to improve your team's performance. 

    Enhance your project management skills with our PMP course training. Lead your team to success with expert guidance.

    How Do You Write an Escalation Matrix?

    When you are faced with a problem that needs to be solved, it's important to have a process for prioritizing and managing it. This is where an incident management escalation matrix comes in handy. 

    An escalation matrix is a simple yet powerful tool that can be used to communicate the status of a problem to the people who need to know. It's also useful because it helps determine what level of resources (time, money) will be needed, along with how long each step should take before moving forward in solving the issue at hand.

    how do you write an escalation matrix

    What is Level 1 in the Escalation Matrix?

    The first level of escalation is Level 1. It's the most frequent level of escalation because it's usually used to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. In fact, if your team has mastered this level, you can expect them to be able to resolve issues at that point in the process without having to go higher up the chain or even ask for help from someone else on staff who may have more experience with certain types of problems. 

    The purpose of Level 1 is to get something done right away. You don't need a lot of time or resources here, just some competent people who understand what they're doing and are willing (or able) to take care of things themselves until somebody else arrives with more expertise than they need right now. 

    Why Should One Opt for an Escalation Matrix?

    An escalation matrix is a systematic process to solve problems. It helps in identifying the root cause of the problem, improving the customer experience, improving the quality of your product and improving productivity among your team members. You can take a look at an escalation matrix template Word to understand the matrix process better.  

    The use of a support escalation matrix will help you in achieving these objectives by: 

    • Providing an efficient way for resolving issues that arise during product development or production 
    • Helping assign tasks to individuals based on their skill set and responsibilities 
    • Ensuring that all issues are addressed on time and in a timely manner 
    • Improving the quality of your product and service escalation matrix 
    • Providing a check-and-balance mechanism to avoid mistakes that could potentially harm your company’s reputation. 

    Good practices for developing an escalation policy

    Creating an effective escalation policy is crucial for smooth operations. It involves simple yet strategic steps to ensure everyone is on the same page. Let's explore the key elements of developing a practical escalation policy. 

    • Clear Communication: Start with open communication, clearly defining escalation criteria and specific triggers for intervention. 
    • Hierarchical Structure: Establish a clear hierarchy, assigning responsibilities to teams or individuals at different levels for a structured approach. 
    • Stakeholder Communication: Ensure everyone knows the policy; communicate it clearly to all stakeholders to foster a shared understanding. 
    • Regular Review: Regularly review and update the escalation process to stay adaptive to evolving challenges and maintain effectiveness. 
    • Automation Tools: Implement automation tools to make communication and response times smoother, ensuring efficiency in the escalation process. 
    • Proactive Culture: Encourage a proactive culture that values early identification and resolution of issues for a more effective problem-solving approach. 
    • Ongoing Training: Provide continuous training to ensure all team members are familiar with the escalation policy, promoting a seamless and efficient workflow. 


    An escalation matrix is an important tool that can be used in any organization to improve the efficiency of their processes. It provides clarity on how various tasks should be carried out and also helps identify bottlenecks in the process as well as potential opportunities for improvement. You can also look for an escalation matrix template free download to know how to write an escalation matrix.  

    Another advantage of using an escalation matrix is that it allows everyone involved in a project or task to understand what needs to happen before moving on with certain tasks. This ensures no one gets left behind because there are too many people doing too much work at once. However, to enjoy these benefits of the escalation matrix, one needs to understand its concepts thoroughly. To understand these concepts, it is recommended that you pursue KnowledgeHut's ITSM certification course

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How do you write an escalation matrix?

    A process for prioritizing and managing problems is important when you have a problem that needs to be solved. Escalation matrices are useful in this situation.

    In a matrix escalation, everyone who needs to know about the status of the problem can receive the information in an easy-to-use, yet powerful way. As well as helping determine how much time and money will be needed, it also helps determine how long each step should take before moving forward with solving the issue.

    2What are escalation levels?

    Escalation levels refer to a hierarchy of managers that are defined for the purpose of maintaining a hierarchy of people to whom a record may be escalated if necessary. By doing this, management will be able to keep a track of priorities and issues that are urgent. It is possible to define these levels so that specific users and roles can be included.

    3What is an escalation chart?

    Escalation charts and dashboards help predict the likelihood that incoming cases will escalate and what action to take. The probability is expressed using a number (0% indicates the case will not escalate to the next level, while 100% guarantees the case will escalate to the next level) and an emoticon (irate user, typical user, or content user). 

    4What is an escalation strategy?

    As the name implies, escalation strategy management can be defined as a system created to deal with incidents and problems within a system and ensures that issues are addressed at the appropriate level and that problems are resolved. 

    5What makes a good escalation manager?

    Typically, escalation managers are well versed in customer escalation matrix and service skills, and possess good communication skills. Their strength lies in the ability to resolve complex issues in a timely and efficient manner, which is what makes them stand out. 

    6How do you make an escalation plan?

    The steps required to make an escalation plan are as follows: 

    • Identify and document issues 
    • Review of issues 
    • Communication of issues 
    • Escalate issues 
    • Issue resolution

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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