Major points of escalation and how they can be prevented

Escalations during relocations: What causes them and how can they be prevented?

Escalations - when employees formally complain about the relocation support they’re receiving - are something everyone wants to prevent. Not only do they create more work to resolve, they disrupt the move process and most importantly, mean employee satisfaction is reduced.

While every case is different, most escalations develop from the same key issues. Here are the three most common causes of escalations, and how they can be avoided!

1 - Things moving too slowly

Relocation is the third most stressful life event after death and divorce! Assignees will be feeling anxious with so much to organise in a 4-6 week period, and having to wait for support, action or answers to questions is very likely to stoke feelings of stress and frustration.

Common escalation triggers:

●     Slow responses, or none at all - assignees will hate to have to chase for an answer

●     Missing out on desirable rental properties (remember, markets move so fast) as a result

●     Missing deadlines for work start dates as a knock-on effect of home-finding issues

Tips to prevent escalations:

●     Commit to quick response times, i.e. an SLA of a set number of hours or days

●     Take advantage of tech-driven solutions to avoid a buildup of emails

●     Combine this tech with the human touch - have clear, meaningful responses

2 - Expectations not being managed

There’s so much to arrange in relocation - from home-finding and local registration to shipping and childcare - and assignees are likely to have their own expectations on timelines and costs.

However, the many ever-evolving nuances between countries and tough market conditions mean such expectations are often out of touch with reality, and it’s here where frustration arises.

Common escalation triggers:

●     Assignees can’t find properties within their budget or are being rejected by landlords

●     The cost of temporary accommodation is higher than expected

●     The relocation process is taking longer than they thought it would

Tips to prevent escalations:

●     Have an advisory call scheduled at the beginning of the process, so that all aspects of the move can be laid out and expectations can be managed from the outset

●     Have the latest data on rent prices and average search time frames to set realistic expectations on the local home-finding process and other procedures

3 - On-and-off support

When relocation support is fractured, with a limited number of support hours and only specific services offered, it can mean both low success in the market and escalating costs.

Common escalation triggers:

●     Support program was limited to a short number of hours, and once exhausted, there’s no expert to help the mover without incurring extra fees.

●     There’s no-one on hand to answer small day-to-day questions, leading to frustration

●     Lack of consistent support can lead to bigger issues, or even falling foul of scams

●     Unsatisfied with the level of support, assignees may request extra services, at extra cost

Tips to prevent escalations:

●     Use an unlimited support model so that questions can be asked and answered at all stages, relieving small worries and preventing them from escalating

●     Provide comprehensive support at a fixed fee, meaning budgets can be managed effectively and additional costs can be avoided

●     If you’re supporting relocations in-house, make clear to assignees what services and support they can expect, and offer guidance on elective supplementary support

Conclusion

Escalations often develop from small issues or frustrations that build up if they’re not addressed. However, they can easily be avoided through very simple, low-effort changes in practice.

Managing expectations from the start and nipping any niggles in the bud will prevent escalations later on. The result? A smoother, more efficient move process, controlled costs, and of course, higher employee satisfaction!

At PerchPeek we’ve been constantly learning and improving our service to minimise escalations, and have been extremely successful in achieving this - but we’d love to hear your thoughts! Any other top tips to share?

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