View the TAM Handbook homepage for additional TAM-related handbook pages.
Escalations can take at least two different forms:
Account Escalation. This occurs when the customer expresses or a GitLab team member identifies that a customer is facing a challenging situation that may or may not relate to a specific support ticket.
Support Ticket Escalation. This occurs when an open support ticket is deemed moving too slowly.
The purpose of this handbook entry is to describe the process for account escalations. Please see the support team escalation page 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 Strategic 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, risk loss of a customer, or significant risk to the relationship and brand.||Daily||VP of Sales, Product, CRO, CEO, VP of Customer Success|
|High||Major issue(s) significantly impact a customer's ability to deploy or use a solution, risking current adoption, future growth on the account, and damage to the relationship.||Multiple times per week||VP of Sales, Product, CRO, CEO, VP of Customer Success|
|Medium||Issue(s) impact a customer's ability to deploy or use the product, risking current adoption and renewal.||Weekly to Bi-weekly||VP of Sales, VP of Customer Success|
|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||Director of Customer Success, 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:
The following steps are to be taken by the escalation DRI:
For Critical and High-Level escalations, 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:
If requested, The VP of Product is responsible for designating Product Leaders who will be the R&D response DRIs for the escalation. That process is expected to happen in the #a_customername_escalation channel with a ping to the VP of Product stating - @david - This is a newly escalated customer, and we are looking for you to assign a Product Leader to be the R&D DRI for the response.
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 TAM Manager's responsibility is to ensure that the TAM 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 TAM 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.