8 Call Center Service Level Agreement Best Practices

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies the nature and quality of the service to be provided. If you're in the call center business, here are 8 best practices for creating an SLA.

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between a call center and its customers that outlines the level of service they can expect. It is an important document that sets expectations and helps ensure customer satisfaction.

In this article, we will discuss 8 best practices for creating a call center SLA. We will cover topics such as defining service levels, setting response times, and measuring performance. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your call center is providing the highest level of service to your customers.

1. Set Realistic Service Level Goals

If you set goals that are too high, your team will be unable to meet them and customer satisfaction will suffer. On the other hand, if you set goals that are too low, then your team won’t be challenged enough and performance may suffer as a result.

When setting service level goals, it’s important to consider factors such as call volume, staffing levels, average handle time, and customer expectations. You should also take into account any seasonal fluctuations in call volume or customer demand. Once you have an understanding of these factors, you can set realistic service level goals that challenge your team while still being achievable.

2. Define the Metrics You’ll Use to Measure Performance

Metrics provide a way to measure the success of your call center operations. They help you identify areas where performance is lacking and can be improved, as well as areas that are performing well and should be maintained or even expanded upon.

When defining metrics for your SLA, consider factors such as average wait time, customer satisfaction ratings, first-call resolution rate, and abandonment rate. These metrics will give you an accurate picture of how your call center is performing and allow you to make informed decisions about how to improve it.

3. Determine How Your SLA Will Be Enforced

When you create an SLA, it’s important to make sure that all parties involved understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. This includes how the SLA will be enforced if either party fails to meet their obligations.

For example, if your call center fails to meet its service level targets, what are the consequences? Will there be a financial penalty or other form of punishment? It’s important to have these details outlined in the SLA so that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, having clear enforcement measures can help ensure that both parties take the SLA seriously and strive to meet their commitments.

4. Include a Penalty Clause for Missed Targets

A penalty clause helps to ensure that the call center is held accountable for meeting its service level targets. It also serves as an incentive for the call center to strive to meet or exceed those targets, since they know there will be a financial consequence if they don’t.

The penalty should be proportional to the severity of the missed target. For example, if the call center misses its average speed of answer (ASA) target by 10%, then the penalty could be 5% of the total contract value. This way, the call center has an incentive to make sure it meets its targets and provides excellent customer service.

5. Consider Adding an Incentive Bonus

An incentive bonus can be used to reward employees for meeting or exceeding service level goals. This type of bonus encourages employees to work harder and strive to meet the SLA requirements, which in turn leads to better customer satisfaction.

The bonus should be structured so that it is achievable but still challenging enough to motivate employees. It should also be tied to specific performance metrics such as average call handling time, first-call resolution rate, customer satisfaction scores, etc. By tying the bonus to these metrics, you ensure that employees are focused on providing quality customer service.

6. Specify What Happens If You Can’t Meet Your SLAs

If you don’t specify what happens if you can’t meet your SLAs, then customers may be left feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. This could lead to customer churn or even legal action.

Therefore, it’s important to include a clause in your SLA that outlines the consequences of not meeting your SLAs. For example, you might offer discounts on future services or refunds for any missed calls. You should also make sure to communicate these consequences clearly to customers so they know what to expect if you fail to meet your SLAs.

7. Make Sure Everyone Understands the Agreement

When a customer calls in, they expect to be treated with respect and have their issue resolved quickly. If the call center staff doesn’t understand the service level agreement, then they won’t be able to meet those expectations. This can lead to frustrated customers who may take their business elsewhere.

To ensure everyone understands the agreement, make sure it is clearly outlined in writing and that all employees are trained on its contents. Additionally, provide regular refresher courses so that everyone stays up-to-date on any changes or updates. Finally, set clear goals and objectives for meeting the SLA and hold employees accountable if they don’t meet them.

8. Review and Revise Your SLA Regularly

Your SLA should be a living document that evolves with your business. As customer needs and expectations change, so too should the terms of your SLA. Regularly reviewing and revising your SLA ensures that it remains relevant to your customers and reflects any changes in their requirements or preferences.

It’s also important to review your SLA regularly to ensure that you are meeting all of its requirements. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your service levels and make sure that you are providing the best possible experience for your customers.


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