Every day each one of us experiences the setting of expectations. The following are all examples of setting expectations: setting an appointment time, asking for a delivery time and asking for the wait time at a restaurant or car repair shop. Why should your customer service/call center or help desk organization be any different?
The benefits of an SLA are many for the Internal IT help desk or service desk:
· Improves customer service. You will find that cycle times (time to resolve cases) dramatically decrease.
· Facilitates communication. The Support Center staff will be able to set customer expectations in two ways. First, they can refer to the SLA document for definitions on how priorities are set and the maximum time the support organization has to resolve the case. Secondly, they can refer to periodic performance reports to inform customers how the support organization is actually performing. Average time to resolve is usually much less than the maximum time goal.
· Negotiated and mutually accepted. Since internal customers and the support center jointly created the SLA all customers will more easily accept the SLA.
· Documents agreements. With the SLA posted to your Intranet or in customer handouts, it becomes an “official” agreement.
· Defines procedures. Procedures should be defined and followed by both the service groups and customers. When there is a question or disagreement, the SLA can be used as a written reference.
· Sets standards for customer service. This is a powerful tool. It says “Mr./Ms. Customer, this is how I am going to provide support to you and this is what you must do in order to receive my support. I am ready to be measured on how I do and I will provide everyone with a report on my performance.”
Here is a great White Paper on Implementing Service Level Agreements. See https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/index.htm