The Customer Experience: Service Level Agreements

Free Resource: Service Level Agreement Template

This is part 3 in The Naked Service Desk Series.

The original Naked Service Desk Blog explores the concept of stripping back the service desk to its basic components and identifies the top 10 steps which are key for providing brilliant service. Of the 10 steps, step 2 focuses on the importance of working with your customers to identify their needs and requirements.

In order for your service desk to demonstrate continual service excellence, these requirements need to be formally documented in a service level agreement (SLA.)

Because SLAs are so important to a successful service desk, we have produced a free template which serves as a guide to creating an effective SLA.

Access the free template at the bottom of this page.

Are you making the most of your SLA?

Service Level Agreements are written agreements between IT service providers and IT customers that define key service targets and the responsibilities of both parties. They typically contain the type and quality of services provided by the service desk, the level of services (i.e. response time and hours of operation), and the methods used for measuring and reporting compliance with the agreement.

The importance of SLAs is well known within the industry, as they represent a contract between the service desk and the end user, helping to manage end user expectations. The SDI global best practice Service Desk Standard categorises SLAs as an aspect of Service Level Management, highlighting that a characteristic of a proactive service desk utilises SLAs based on business objectives. It also specifies that the process should be owned, documented, routinely and consistently followed, and regularly reviewed and updated. To be able to best support the needs and expectations of the user, it is important to work with customers to best align service desk targets with this.

Key Performance Indicators are commonly used to help an organisation control and evaluate its progress toward achieving its targets outlined within an SLA. Some typical examples of a KPI include: first contact resolution, abandon rate, cost per incident, and incidents resolved with SLA. The latter should be a high percentage, as although an SLA is not a legally binding contract, one of the main aims of an SLA is to set customer expectations.

Download your free SLA Template here >>

Note: The file may go straight into your downloads folder

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