When you Google the term ‘SLA’ or ‘Service Level Agreement,’ you will come across many definitions beginning with contract or commitment or covenant. While it isn’t a contract in itself, it is an important part of a contract that includes mutually agreed upon terms between a company and their customers, ensuring the services provided meet certain thresholds (i.e., uptime, responsiveness, etc.).
This can include technical support services such as guaranteeing improved CSAT score, faster email response, or that 98% of customers calling in will receive First Call Resolution (FCR).
Why is it important?
In the customer service industry, an SLA functions as a blueprint of the service the provider guarantees to provide and can protect your organization’s assets and reputation, which is of utmost importance to your organization. Below are three reasons why your organization should have an SLA with its technical customer support services provider.
Helps establish clear and measurable guidelines
As a business owner or lead of an IT department, you want technical support solutions that meet your company’s needs. An SLA is key to ensure you and your service provider see eye to eye in terms of standards and service. By creating a service level agreement, you and your provider can work through your need expectations and ensure you get what you’re paying for. Establishing clear and measurable guidelines is important as it helps set expectations and allows for a level of accountability by your technical support services provider.
Provides Recourse for Unmet Service Obligations
If your service provider fails to meet their obligations, there can be significant consequences for your organization’s reputation and bottom line. In your SLA, you should include consequences and an alternative plan of action if performance standards are not met. You could set monetary penalties that may be able to assist your organization if losses are incurred. This will help you protect your organization in times of distress.
Provides peace of mind
A mutually agreed upon contract in the form of an SLA can provide peace of mind to those seeking the services of a technical customer support services provider.
An SLA allows you to hold your service provider accountable and details exactly the type of service you can expect. If agreed upon needs aren’t met, you can mitigate some of the impacts by making your provider compensate for the losses.
Service providers also prefer SLAs as it goes a long way in retaining customers. One way for service providers like us to stand out from all other companies is by providing excellent customer service reinforced by rock-solid SLAs. In short, Service Level Agreements are so important in every industry because they can be the difference between a good company and a great one.