7 Best Practices While Writing MSP’s Service Level Agreement

A service level agreement is far more important than you think. It establishes clear service boundaries between you and your clients. It helps you do your duty in the most effective manner and take out all the unnecessary arguments that arise due to inconsistency in the agreement.

7 Best Practices For Service Level Agreement (SLA)

1.   Well Conceived Expectations

Many times the client expectations don’t match the service boundaries. This creates friction between service providers and clients. The SLA sets clear expectations beforehand so that there are no confusions later.

Due to misunderstanding, the client can get disappointed and may not continue to work together. To prevent this from happening, mention every expectation in the SLA that matches with the service you wish to provide the client.

This way, IT support providers in Phoenix can focus on client requirements and deliver products and services on time. Well conceived expectations lead to fulfilled requirements.

2.   Set Clear Service Definitions

Clear service definitions include even the smallest things such as mode of contact, method of payment, services and so on. For example, your clients need to know how to contact you. Whether through your mobile number, email or text?

This way, you’re sure to resolve issues in a matter of minutes rather than hours. Also, everything gets tracked and recorded for future references.

Define acronyms in your SLA, so that your clients know exactly what each word means. They have to be educated on the terminologies used in the SLA. For example, the difference between time to resolution and response time.

3.   Set Attainable Goals

Going a step ahead of your requirements list can harm you. Clients appreciate everything you do for them, and the extra. But, following the SLA isn’t going to prove you any less valuable.

Actually, it’s going to prove your worth even more. It helps you stand strong when things go sideways. So, don’t make any promises once the SLA has been finalized.

Also, in the SLA, you may want to play it safe by stating a little less than what you provide. After the project is complete, you can do a little extra and earn the client’s trust.

Remember to put only attainable goals in the SLA, otherwise you won’t be able to meet your resolution expectations appropriately.

4.   Call Your Attorney

It’s best to follow the legal advice of your trusted advisor, your attorney! IT managed service providers in Phoenix, AZ must engage with an attorney while creating the SLA.

You can consider the SLA to be a legal agreement that acts in favor of both parties. If the requirements are not met, this can prove to be a disadvantage for MSPs. So, only mention tasks that you can do for the client and nothing else.

An attorney will help you find the loopholes in your service agreement and eliminate any ambiguities found. Everything mentioned in the document needs to be 100% factual information.

5.   Train Your Employees

Your SLA document will guide the whole project journey. It’s your bible. Your employees need to be trained on the protocols mentioned in the document. This way, everybody is on the same page and nothing is misinterpreted.

Every team member knows his area of expertise and starts working on said tasks and duties.There is no confusion between tasks as the project manager assigns duties according to the resources available and the deadline.

Your employees should know the disaster recovery protocols, in case, a hazard postpones the delivery date. They should be able to respond to challenges within given constraints of priority.

If you’re a client, then this is what you should expect from your service provider –

  1. Exceptional Service Delivery: When the service provider delivers on time, it shows that you are a priority to them. This helps build trust among the parties. 54% make purchasing decisions based on customer service.
  2. Details: If your service provider is asking you questions about your products and services, it means they’re studying your portfolio to better shape the end result.
  3. Clear Communication: If your service providers hear everything you have to say, and promise to work on it under a given time constraint, go with them!

6.   Set Well Defined KPIs

You should have unique KPIs for your clients that help guide you towards the implementation of the project. It helps you with the skills acquisition and much more.

The SLA guides the KPIs at several levels including application, server, and service level. You can benefit the most by hiring the right staff for the right job by looking at your KPI metrics.

KPIs help you measure your performance against set goals and objectives. If you have a good KPI record, you have more probability of landing new clients in the future. SLA + KPI can define your service standards, which can come handy when you’re competing with major companies for profitable clients.

7.   Clause For Compensation

There may come a time when you’re not able to complete some tasks in the SLA. So, when the SLA is violated, the responsible party must pay the penalties.

A clause in the SLA for violations, making you responsible to pay penalties can act in your favor. It proves that your company can be trusted and held accountable.

For subscription models, if a violation is in place, you can give a discount of some percent on the following monthly payment.

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