Learn to answer the “Scenario Based Interview Questions On Escalation Management” with a 10 Step solution and leave an impression on your interviewer
Scenario : You are the project manager executing a complex project with a difficult client. The customer has escalated to your supervisor through email, where you and other stakeholders are also copied.
How do you deal with it?
As an experienced project manager, I am confident you have encountered such circumstances numerous times. Therefore, I recommend utilizing the following factors to aid in the formulation of your responses:
The initial aspect to consider is mental preparation, as escalation typically pertains to situations rather than individuals. Once this is comprehended, subsequent actions become more manageable.
- It is advisable not to reply to escalation emails immediately, regardless of how absurd, illogical or fabricated they may seem.
- The foremost step is to gather all pertinent information relating to the subject matter and undertake comprehensive research. One should be well-versed in the current situation before presenting it to the manager or higher-ups.
- Convening an internal meeting with all stakeholders is beneficial, as it helps establish a common understanding of the situation at hand and plan the next course of action.
- It would be prudent to request the supervisor to respond to the customer, conveying that “you will speak with the customer and address all concerns”.
- Call the customer to discuss the conflict and agree on short-term commitments is essential.
- It is vital to understand that the primary task is to contain the escalation and prevent an excessive number of people from being involved. Therefore, it is best to provide a tentative action plan, specifying a “date for a date” in case an exact timeline is unavailable.
- Respond to the escalation email – with the statement “We discussed and here are the discussion pointers”
- It helps you in multiple ways – Firstly, it restricts too many people from becoming involved, reducing the likelihood of introducing unnecessary action items. Secondly, it limits the risk of discussing past issues that may not be relevant or in the company’s interest.
- The most critical aspectto avoid taking the escalation personally and engage in conversations with an open mind. This approach helps to expedite the resolution process, and the customer will also recognize you as his go-to man.
Here is another scenario for you your practice:
You are a Service Delivery Manager. In one of the support accounts, customers are daily escalating about a product issue which is a genuine product issue. When you reach out to the product team, they acknowledge the problem and confirm it to be included in the next release, which is six months away.
- How do you deal with a customer unwilling to wait for even two weeks?