SLA: what is it and what is its importance? See 3 rules for creating an SLA

SLA

SLA

Summary

  1. Better understanding what Service Level Agreement is
  2. Importance and benefits of the service SLA
    • Always focus on the customer
  3. How to create SLA? See 3 Rules You Can’t Ignore!
    • 1. Clear metrics
    • 2. Periodic evaluations
    • 3. Warranties

The SLA , service level agreement, or Service Level Agreement, has been adopted by companies to serve as a basis for the resolution of conflicts in contracting services.

This is especially true in the outsourced IT field. However, by necessity, any service provider can and should implement this document.

The utility is to describe the level of service that a client company expects from a supplier. It is a guarantee, in fact, of the credibility of any business.

It establishes metrics to be adopted to measure these services, as well as solutions and penalties if the levels agreed in the SLA are not met.

But after all, how important is it, and what rules must be followed with this agreement?

In this article, we will address the importance of this document for companies – especially in the Information Technology area.

In addition, learn 3 basic rules for you to create SLA and ensure an always high quality of services provided.

Come on?

Good reading!

Better understanding what Service Level Agreement is

This is good management practice. In fact, the best way to resolve issues between the service provider and the customer.

This is because, in the document, the activities provided and how the delivery took place are formalized.

To make it easier for everyone to understand, a good SLA includes deadlines, indicators, support format, among others.

It is important that everything that was hired is detailed. Even to avoid undue charges for services that were not performed.

After all, transparency is fundamental to any business – and that’s what you’ll have as an advantage.

Importance and benefits of the service SLA

The SLA must be designed to integrate the company’s risk management, since failure to meet the expected service levels can impact results, generating dissatisfaction and compromising the good relationship with the clientele.

Its importance lies in establishing exactly what service will be provided, within realistic expectations, making clear what the ramifications would be in cases where those expectations are not met or exceeded.

Without a doubt, for customers the greatest benefit is full control of what has been contracted.

Metrics, deadlines and formats guarantee the delivery with quality of what was contracted within the terms previously agreed upon.

Always focus on the customer

The world has changed, the profile of the customers has changed. So, to meet an increasingly demanding demand, a lot of organization is needed in the provision of services.

This is why having a customer service platform is absolutely vital for them to be able to make requests of any kind.

It is this channel that will allow them to monitor their demands and have the guarantee that what was agreed will be fulfilled.

Within this reality, there are software for opening tickets, or, as you prefer, “opening tickets”.

With it, the support team is able to organize calls by urgency level, obviously prioritizing those that are more serious.

More than that, it is possible to register, document and later analyze the open tickets.

This is essential for improving the service process and, especially, the service offered, optimizing it to avoid new calls.

How to create SLA? See 3 Rules You Can’t Ignore!

There are important rules that should not be ignored when creating. But, before we delve into it, there are a few steps to take before creating it.

It’s critical to understand where to start.

For this, it is necessary to describe all the steps as optimally as possible – after all, quality delivery is the focus.

No matter what delivery was made, they all need to be recorded in great detail.

This serves to determine conditions, with metrics that can analyze whether or not the desired quality has been met. And it must be monitored periodically.

That said, how to create it assertively? We have separated 3 tips to help you in this mission. Check out:

1. Clear metrics

What cannot be quantified cannot be measured. And, if you can’t measure a service, you can’t prove that the promised delivery took place. When creating an SLA, it is critical to establish clear metrics.

An example: if the main complaint of the clientele is about the delay in the assistance time at the Help Desk, it is possible to establish a metric that reduces waiting time by 10%.

This is possible by giving the supplier an objective goal rather than a vague request such as “ensure customer satisfaction”.

It is also important that the service provider has the guarantee that the client company assumes the responsibility of offering conditions to meet the metrics established in the SLA.

Assume, for example, that the commitment is to guarantee a 5 minute response time for 24/7 remote support.

The agreement must, therefore, make it clear that there will be no service blocking due to lack of internet. Since, in this case, the metric would not be executable and in this case another form besides email or online chat would have to be available a telephone line for example.

The number of metrics is another important rule when creating an SLA. Too many metrics can lead to a loss of focus on core activities. Few metrics can make it difficult to comply with the agreement.

In an SLA that establishes only 1 or 2 metrics and that determines that “non-compliance with 10% of the metrics” will be a fine, the failure in only one of them will give rise to questions.

A more balanced scenario calls for a reasonable number of metrics, such as 6 to 10, as this depends on each service provided.

2. Periodic evaluations

As the business changes, the demands for the service also change. Therefore, this document cannot be seen as a plastered document, with no margin for periodic evaluations.

Some situations that require reassessment:

  • the business profile has changed: the customer now works, for example, with  e-commerce and needs an increase in service availability;
  • technical conditions have changed: the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment makes possible a greater guarantee of availability;
  • there were changes in the workload (workload) and may impact the service deadlines;
  • there were improvements in processes, metrics and measurement tools.

3. Warranties

When creating, it is necessary to pay attention to the guarantee of indemnity to the client company by the service provider in case of non-compliance with the agreement.

This guarantee is not always explicit in standard SLA models, so it is important to seek advice for a negotiation with the service provider.

Creating a well-crafted SLA that protects both parties is a key component in contracting services.

This will avoid potential conflicts and save time and money for both the client company and the service provider.

So, how can we help you?

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If you have difficulty organizing processes in your company, talk to a consultant today.

Take the opportunity and read our article that talks about the importance of CRM for IT and how it helps to optimize all types of internal processes.

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