What is a service level agreement (SLA)?
Service Level Agreements (SLA) are formal or informal documents that outline the expectations between a provider and end-user. Originating from internet service providers, it has become a standard tool, not only in business process outsourcing but even within corporate structures. The key benefit of an SLA is that it provides clear, measurable outcomes that are subject to periodic review by designated representatives.
Characteristics of a good Service Level Agreement
The characteristics of a good SLA are as follows:
- It describes the services to be provided;
- It sets expectations for the reliability, availability, and responsiveness of the service;
- A clear metric for measuring and monitoring service levels is articulated and a format for a performance report is agreed to;
- A standard reporting procedure is agreed to by both sides to raise issues and concerns with the service;
- A timeframe for issue resolution is established;
- Penalties are set for failure to meet expectations; and
- A timeframe for a periodic review of the service and the service level agreement is established.
Service level agreement call center
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SLA in BPO
An SLA is a measuring instrument that determines the BPO company’s baseline performance levels. It includes a description of the services to be delivered and the criteria by which the services will be measured.
In addition, the hiring and BPO company’s roles and obligations, the remedies and penalties for violation, and instructions in the case that the agreed-upon SLA has to be amended or adjusted.
SLA call center
The SLA call center is a set of internally defined criteria that management uses to make decisions. Decisions may be made and implemented based on these guiding factors to increase efficiency, save money, and improve customer satisfaction.
Each call center must determine its own SLAs and how to best meet them. The call center service level is the rate at which the goals are accomplished.
It might be difficult to determine the measurements. Each company must be able to identify abandoned calls, calculate realistic time intervals for each phase of the customer experience, and track everything.
What are the types of Service Level Agreements?
Here are the three main types of Service Level Management, namely:
Customer Service Level Agreement
A customer Service Level Agreement is an agreement between a vendor and a specific customer to provide a specified level of service.
Internal Service Level Agreement
An internal Service Level Agreement solely applies to corporate employees and does not apply to consumers. While a company may have a SLA in place with each of its customers. It can also have a separate SLA in place with its sales and marketing teams.
Multilevel Service-Level Agreement
Multilevel Service level agreements come in various shapes and sizes. Customers or other internal departments of a company can benefit from this type of agreement.
If there is more than one service provider and one end-user, this type of SLA is used to define what is expected in each party.
The importance of Service Level Agreements in the customer service industry
In the customer service sector, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) acts as a framework for the service the provider allows us to develop and safeguard the company’s assets and reputation, which are absolutely crucial.
Three reasons why your company should have a Service Level Agreement in place with its technical customer support services provided are listed below.
Helps establish measurable guidelines
A Service Level Agreement is essential for ensuring that you and your service provider are on the same page when it comes to standards and service.
You and your provider can figure out your needs expectations and guarantee you receive what you invest for by drafting a service level agreement.
Setting clear and measurable standards is essential as it manages expectations and ensures that your technical support services provider is held accountable.
Provides protection for uncertainty
If your service provider fails to fulfill its responsibilities, it can have significant impacts on your company’s reputation and end result.
If performance indicators are not fulfilled, you should include a backup plan in your Service Level Agreement. You might implement monetary penalties that could help your company if it suffers losses. This will help you in protecting your company in times of uncertainty.
Those seeking the services of a technical customer support services provider can have a sense of security with a mutually agreed upon a contract in the form of a Service Level Agreement.
A service level agreement helps you to hold your service provider account and establishes the level of service you may demand.
If agreed-upon requirements aren’t met, you can reduce some of the consequences by requiring your supplier to make up the difference. SLAs are also preferred by service providers since they help retain consumers.
Excellent customer service supported by great SLAs is one method for service providers to distinguish out from the competitors.