View the CSM Handbook homepage for additional CSM-related handbook pages.
Escalations can take at least two different forms:
The purpose of this handbook entry is to describe the process for account escalations. Please see the Support Ticket Attention Requests for details on how to request a support ticket escalation.
Define the process for managing account escalations and define a framework for communications, activities, and expectations for customer escalations.
This process addresses critical and high escalations for CSM-assigned customers. This process can also apply to other segments if a strategic partnership or relationship exists. Any GitLab team member can escalate an account on behalf of the customer.
|Severity Level||Description||Cadence||Levels of Involvement|
|Critical||Major issue(s) significantly impact customers' ability to deploy or use a solution, risk loss of or use of a solution, high risk loss of a customer or significant contraction, or significant risk to the relationship and brand.||Daily||VP of Sales, Product, CRO, CEO, VP of Customer Success, Global/PubSec CSM Leader|
|High||Major issue(s) significantly impact a customer's ability to deploy or use a solution, risking current adoption, risk of loss of customer or contraction, future growth on the account, and damage to the relationship.||Multiple times per week||VP of Sales, Product, CRO, CEO, VP of Customer Success, Global/PubSec CSM Leader|
|Medium||Issue(s) impact a customer's ability to deploy or use the product, risking current adoption and renewal.||Weekly to Bi-weekly||Global/PubSec CSM Leader|
|Low||Issue(s) impacting a customer's ability to deploy or use the product, risking customer value realization, timeline, customer satisfaction, and adoption levels.||Standard Communication||Regional CSM Manager, Account Manager|
Based on the level of the escalation, the DRI for the escalation will be:
At the beginning of the escalation, the DRI must be determined - the DRI owns the following responsibilities and key steps:
The DRI is responsible for managing the account engagement (not the ticket), including:
Management of internal team and customer meetings for follow-up activities.
Support Engineering is responsible for:
Technical Support is ultimately accountable for driving resolution to the support case, including escalation to Engineering, Security, and/or Infrastructure teams. Incident escalation processes should be leveraged for a single incident / support case.
The following steps are to be taken by the escalation DRI:
If a Critical or High-Level escalation has been created, CSMs should create an escalation document using the Escalation Tracker Template (internal GitLab access only).
Post the escalation document and the name of the temporary slack channel into the #escalated_customers. The posting to this channel should occur:
Tips & Tricks:
To close an escalation, a clear alignment between GitLab stakeholders and the customer (including documentation in an issue or email) is required. Both parties need to agree the situation is resolved.
If the customer requests an RCA and the escalation was platform-related, GitLab engineering will lead the RCA and will provide it in writing to the corresponding GitLab DRI, who is managing & closing the escalation.
When the issue(s) related to the escalation are resolved or move into a non-escalated state:
The CSM Manager's responsibility is to ensure that the CSM is familiar with the above process and is actively managing the escalation, including the Slack Channel updates and the management of the escalation doc.
When a customer is in an escalated state, the path to resolution must continue to move forward, with both the internal stakeholders and the customer clear on current actions and next steps. The CSM manager is responsible for ensuring that this forward-motion and clear alignment is present and for stepping in and driving action or alignment where necessary.
See the Support Engineering Guide to Escalations for more specific information on how support manages customers in an escalated state.