Oracle Escalation Management

This chapter covers the following topics:

Overview of Oracle Escalation Management

A company, using Escalation Management, can re-prioritize, reassign, and monitor a situation to a satisfactory completion. There are two types of escalations: reactive and proactive. Each are discussed in the subsequent sections. Escalation Manager is the "reactive" end of Escalation Management. The Business Rule Monitor (BRM) is the "proactive" escalation process. The following can be escalated in either modules:

What is an Escalation?

An escalation is a process used to highlight or flag certain issues within an organization, so that the appropriate personnel can respond to these situations and monitor the resolutions. Escalations occur in support centers for a variety of reasons. An escalation management system allows an organization to identify, track, monitor, and manage situations that require increased awareness and swift action.

In a reactive escalation, a customer calls and reports a problem and you must react to it and resolve the issue. In a proactive escalation, you notice a potential issue and you resolve it before the customer contacts you. In other words, did you catch a potential problem before a customer complained? The following sections describe each type of escalation in greater detail.

What is a Reactive Escalation?

In a reactive escalation, a business must take the necessary action to resolve a situation. Most businesses want to track issues such as: which customer complained, when the complaint was logged into the system, who was assigned to fix the problem, was the problem fixed or did it need to be manually assigned to someone else, and is the problem finally resolved.

Example

Business World, a customer of Vision Corporation, complains that a hardware problem reported one week ago is still not completely repaired. Vision Corporation assigns different resources, that are more experienced, to handle this hardware problem immediately. Manually assigning escalation resources is possible through the Escalation Manager.

What is a Proactive Escalation?

A company that values great customer service may implement systems that monitor situations alerting them before a crisis occurs. What criteria do they use for monitoring these situations? Usually, this is based on established business rules of the company. However, proactive escalation can also be set up as a follow-up action.

Example

Vision Corporation wants to enforce the rule that any open task must be closed within five business days. If it has been four days since the task is opened, then the owner of this task must send an e-mail to the assignee as a reminder and also check if any assistance is needed. The Business Rule Monitor (BRM) is used to raise awareness. It provides a centralized place to define and monitor business rules on a regular basis.

Vision Corporation has also set up a business rule that seven days after closing a service request, it will send an e-mail to verify that the customer is satisfied and thanks them for doing business with them.

Note: In summary, a proactive escalation is usually initiated by the Business Rule Monitor (BRM) system based on business rules. Therefore, it is considered an automated escalation. A reactive escalation is primarily initiated by a person in response to customer's needs. Therefore, it is considered a manual escalation.

Escalation Features

The following are some features of Escalation Management:

Basic information is captured in an escalation document which includes the requester, the required resolution date, and additional contacts that are involved.

An escalation is managed by creating an escalation document, assigning an escalation owner, defining the actions needed to resolve the escalation, and communicating the progress. Once a situation is de-escalated, the escalation closure note is captured and a final communication is sent to the contacts involved.

Oracle Escalation Management Integrations

Escalation Manager

Business Rule Monitor

Terms and Definitions

The following table describes Escalation Management terms and definitions.

Escalation Management Terms and Definitions
Term Description
BRM module The Business Rule Monitor (BRM) provides a User Interface (UI) and functionality that an organization can use to proactively manage escalations. It consists of two components:
  • Business Rule Monitor

  • Business Rule Workbench

Business Rule Monitor The Business Rule Monitor is the engine that monitors documents over a period of time against the user-defined business rules.
Business Rule Workbench It is used to define a business rule.
Customer Relationship Escalation A customer relationship escalation is an escalation document that escalates multiple support requests, defects, or tasks.
Escalation An escalation is the increase in the focus and process required to successfully complete a task and its associated components such as documents.
Owner An escalation owner is the employee or group resource responsible for managing an escalated task or document.
Escalation Plan An escalation plan is a series of follow up tasks that are attached to the escalation document.
Reference Document A reference document is a document that is linked to an escalation document.
For example, a service request (number 9229) is escalated to Jane Doe in escalation document (number 11749). This service request (number 9229) is a reference document.
Reference Type A reference type specifies whether or not a reference document is escalated or used to provide additional information.
Service Request A service request is a document that tracks information about a customer's product and service problems.
Workflow Workflow defines what actions occur if a business rule is violated. There are two workflows: Oracle Workflow and the BRM workflow.
Workflow Attributes Workflow attributes set the variable parameters. They control the behavior of the workflow.
Workflow Monitor Workflow Monitor is a Java-based tool used for administering and viewing workflow process.

Accessing the Oracle Escalation Manager Interface

There are several ways to access Escalation Manager. Typically, you would access Escalation Manager through a task or service request that you want to escalate. In general, service requests, tasks, and defects can be escalated.

Administrative Path

To access the administrative tasks indicated through the Forms-based CRM Administrator responsibility, select Task and Escalation Manager > Setup.

Escalation administrative tasks are defined in the Form from Define Escalation Reason to Define Reference Type.

General Usage Path

Search for a task (or defect or service request) then use the following navigation path to invoke Escalation Manager:

What is Escalation Manager?

You can manually escalate a business problem to the appropriate level where it can be solved in Escalation Manager. It has a user interface (UI) where you can manage situations that require awareness and possible actions. An escalation is managed either by creating an escalation document, or by assigning an escalation owner, or by defining the actions needed to resolve the escalation.

Example

Lorraine Abbott, a support agent for Vision Corporation, receives a call from Cindy Miller, a primary contact for Business World, complaining that their hardware problems are not completely fixed. Lorraine finds the service request, creates an escalation document, and also reassigns herself as the owner for this document. In addition, Lorraine can also utilize the following features in this escalation document:

Workflow Notifications for Escalations

Notifications are an integral part of the Escalation functionality. Oracle Workflow is used to process and deliver the notifications regarding the escalation activity.

Notifications are sent for the following reasons:

Notifications are sent to people (employees or customers) who are identified on the Contacts tab, and for whom the Notify check box is selected.

Typical recipients include:

Escalation Using Territories

A territory with an escalation owner assigned to it provides the resources responsible for managing escalations. Use territory escalation owners to define the escalation path with appropriate resources which the escalation owner identified for the territory in the event of exceptions. In case of automatic assignment by using an territory escalation owners, the Assignment Manager is used in conjunction with Oracle Territory Manager. The escalation can be automatically assigned to an owner if the escalated document (such as a service request, task, or defect) has a territory defined with an escalation owner.

You can create alternate escalation territories to automatically reassign a service call when certain conditions are not met.

  1. A service team assigned to a repair does not take action within five business days, so now that repair can be assigned automatically to another group.

  2. A service engineer cannot successfully resolve a request within a certain time frame, which is set up in the Business Rule Monitor (BRM), so now the service request will be automatically escalated to another resource.

A territory can be a catch all for all escalations.

Escalation Owners and Owner Types

Each escalation must be assigned an owner and this owner must be a specified owner type.

Owners

An escalation owner is a person who manages an escalated task, or document. Once a task or document is escalated, the responsibility for either one is transferred from the original owner to the escalation owner. For example, a support service center can assign a defect to an employee resource, John Smith. If John Smith fails to correct the defect the support service center can escalate the defect and assign another employee resource, Rhonda Abbott, as its escalation owner. When this occurs, the original owner, John Smith, is no longer responsible for the defect.

Owner Types

An escalation owner can be an employee resource or a group resource. When an escalation is owned by a group, the escalation notification is sent to all members of the resource group who belong to the employee category "Employee Resource".

Each member of the group must be associated with a workflow role to receive the notifications.

Creating Escalations

An escalation is initiated by a person using a service channel (telephone, web, or e-mail). An escalation can also be initiated by the system based on pre-defined rules that are established to monitor business situations.

To initiate an escalation, you must:

An escalation request can be initiated on behalf of a customer, an employee, or other involved party. Perform the following steps to create an Escalation document.

Steps

  1. If the Escalation Manager is launched directly from a service request or task, then the customer information should be populated automatically. Otherwise, manually enter it. If you open the Escalation Manager as a standalone application, from the CRM Administrator responsibility, select Task and Escalation Manager > Manage Escalations.

    Note: You must have the appropriate information entered into the Reference Documents and Contacts tab before you can assign an owner.

  2. Enter the customer's name and number.

  3. Select the Reference Documents tab.

    1. Enter all relevant information if it has not already been automatically populated in the Type field.

    2. Enter all relevant information if it has not already been automatically populated in the Document and Details fields.

  4. Select the Contacts tab.

    1. Enter all contacts (customer or employee).

    2. Specify if the contact is a requester or the escalation is for notification purposes.

      In addition to the owner of the escalation document, recipients can include the Human Resource manager of the owner of the escalation document, the owner of the escalated object, and the selected employee and customer contacts.

  5. (Optional) Select the Audit tab to view all the changes once you are finished.

  6. Click Assign, in the Escalation Owner Information region, to assign ownership.

    You can assign either automatically or manually.

    • Automatic Assignment

      An owner can be automatically assigned by using the Assignment Manager if the escalated source document is assigned to an escalation resource defined in a territory.

    • Manual Assignment

      If the document does not contain a territory, or if you want to override the recommended escalation resource by the territory, then either select an owner from the List of Values or use the Assignment Manager to assist in owner selection.

Managing Different Types of Escalations

The following sections describe the process of managing different types of escalations:

Managing a Service Request Escalation

A service request is a document that tracks information regarding a customer's product and service problems. Perform the following steps to manage a service request escalation.

Steps

  1. Navigate to the View Service Request window.

  2. Query the existing service request.

  3. Verify that the service request has never been escalated. In the Request Information area of the header, verify that “Never Escalated” appears in the Escalation Level field.

    You may have to scroll down in the Request Information header region to see the Escalation Level field.

  4. From the Tools menu, choose Request Escalation.

    The customer and account information fields are automatically populated, along with the reference document information (service request).

  5. Select or enter the following information:

    • A status

    • A reason

    • Target date

    • The escalation level

  6. Assign the escalation to yourself or another existing resource using one of the two methods listed:

    1. Manual Assignment

      Select a resource from the LOV.

    2. Automatic Assignment

      1. Click Assign to choose an escalation owner from the Assignment Manager.

      2. Select the Assisted Assignment option and select Territories.

      3. Click Search.

        Note: Only click Search in the Selection Criteria region. Leave the other fields in the default settings.

        The escalation resources from the territory of the escalated document become visible. If there are no territories with escalation resources set up, then the resources from the Catch All territory are in view.

  7. Select the resource name and click OK.

  8. Enter an escalation summary.

  9. Enter the name of the customer or employee contact (requester), and select the Requester check box.

    There can be more than one contact, but only one requester.

    1. (Optional) Enter any additional contact points.

    2. (Optional) Add more reference documents to the escalation in the Reference Documents tab.

  10. Save the escalation, and make a note of the escalation number.

    1. (Optional) Click Notes to create a note about the escalation.

    2. (Optional) Click Tasks to create a follow up task for the escalation.

  11. Close the Escalation window to return to the Service Request window.

    Re-query the service request to view the updated escalation level.

Managing a Task Escalation

Perform the following steps to manage a standalone task escalation.

Steps

  1. Navigate to the Task window.

  2. Find the task to be escalated.

  3. From the Tools menu, choose Manage Escalation.

  4. Verify that the task has never been escalated.

    If the task has already been escalated, then the escalation document will automatically appear in the escalation window.

  5. Enter the following information:

    • A status

    • A reason

    • Target date

    • The escalation level

  6. Assign the escalation to yourself or another existing resource using one of the two methods listed:

    1. Manual Assignment

      Select a resource from the LOV.

    2. Automatic Assignment

      1. Click Assign to choose an escalation owner from the Assignment Manager.

      2. Select the Assisted Assignment option and select Territories.

      3. Click Search.

        Note: Only click Search in the Selection Criteria region. Leave the other fields as defaulted.

        The escalation resources from the territory of the escalated document become visible. If there are no territories set up, then the resources from the Catch All territory display.

  7. Select the resource name and click OK.

  8. Enter an escalation summary in the Escalation Summary field.

  9. Enter the name of the customer or employee contact (requester), and select the Requester check box.

    There can be more than one contact, but only one requester.

  10. (Optional) Enter any additional contact points.

  11. Save the escalation and query the escalated task to view the updated escalation level.