Service level agreement best practices
For a managed services supplier, service level agreements might not be the foremost exciting facet, however it remains a completely essential part of the relationship with the client.
Customer relationships shoul work out pretty smoothly, therefore it is very important to have a professionaly written service level agreement. While on the one hand, the service level agreement (aka SLA) can improve the company’s customer perception, on the other hand, it can also help to minimize the number of arising disputes.
SLAs are the agreements that are made between the customer and the managed service supplier and is mostly about the requests of the customer. For some people the service level agreement is like a list of rules. But the service level agreement sets up the expectations like the response time that can be expected by the customer. There are different categories based on the priority level of the submitted requests of support with a minimum response time and resolution value, so they are helping protect the business.
With a SLA it is possible to keep customers satisfied by keeping the accountability clarified. Customers get an outline of what they can expect and about all the responsibilities. Customers cannot hold the company accountable for problems you haven’t caused or you cannot event control at all.
The managed services supplier is also responsible for software and hardware as well. With a service level agreement it is possible to list all the responsibilities and make clear what the management service supplier is not keeping up with.
Some customers also expect much more effort. The service level agreement defines the time the support is given.
The success of the SLA is depending on the terms. It is helpful in resolving disputes. The service level agreement determines most of the relationship with the customer, therefore a well written SLA is key. It is very important to set every single detail about the service as well as the contact and reporting. Not every contract is the same. The service level agreement depends on the needs and wants of the customer. In the service level agreement it is set whether to contact by phone, e-mail or text and chat. So it is ensured how the customer can contact the managed services supplier. Thats why it is also very important to have a good terminology in the service level agreement.
Important for the SLA are some metrics, especially “mean time between failures” (aka MTBF) and “mean time to failure” (aka MTTF). The MTBF means that system can be repaired and the MTTF means that the system can not be repaired. The metrics can support explaining customers how often they might expect problems or there service need to be replaced.
“mean time to repair” is an important metric when a failure occurs. The aim is to get everything fixed as soon as possible.
To prevent the customers from getting more and more impatient, it is very important to determine everything about the metrics in the SLA.
Violation of the service level agreement is also a point to be aware of in the SLA itself. There have to be clauses for penalties in the service level agreement. This gives the customers the assurance that the company is trustworthy. Most common is a money-back guarantee. Penalties vary between different contracts. Factors like database availability, data center resources, and network uptime are part of the service availability. Against service downtimes, penalties are an effective way. Performance guarantee, process gaps, and other issues are part of the service quality. SLAs are often determining penalties for every failure. The service provider has to pay the customer damages, these are called financial penalties.
Penalties should be determined in the language of the service contract.
If a license extension is in the SLA, that means that this is an extension of the term of the license or the offer of additional support services to the customer that is not extra charged. Our company is the best solution for service level agreements. Our services include terminology and helping you to meet the needs and wants of your customers. We offer intuitive features and lightweight ticketing. This allows you to batch billing exports which means that you save time. We also offer comprehensive customer management.
Contact us if you are interested in our solutions. One of our employees will evaluate your ideas and provide first consulting. After that, we will send you an offer that is optimized for your specific needs.
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