A Service Level Agreement is equally as important as your payment contract with your service provider. In fact, the two-go hand-in-hand in many circumstances.
A service Level Agreement is an official document that highlights the expectations of the client, from their service provider. This ranges from expectations and responsibilities to the consequences should those expectations and responsibilities not be met.
Advantages of an SLA:
- It improves customer service- If your service provider knows exactly what is expected of them, it’s hard for them to offer inferior service.
- Facilitates Communication- This is so true with any collaborative relationship in life. “Laying it out on the table”, so-to-say, helps to facilitate clear and open communication. Clients can express needs and concerns, and so can service providers.
- Negotiated and mutually accepted.Because the client and service provider work on the terms of the SLA together, you will find that both with be accepting of the terms and conditions laid out in the agreement.
- Defines procedures-Expectations can be slightly blurred when a client, or service provider, is not aware of the procedures that each party has to follow in order to fulfil a task, or make payment. By adding these procedures to an SLA, you are ensuring that no lines are being crossed and that both parties are respecting the others procedures and protocols.
- An SLA can be used as a reference- We are all human and may find that there are disagreements in professional relationships. Fortunately, an SLA can be used as a point of reference, should such a disagreement take place.
- Sets standard for customer service- An SLA helps facilitate the general expectation when it comes to service delivered to clients. We learn through our various service experiences and, can use a lot of that valuable knowledge to improve service delivery in general, and not just the affected client.
Be sure to discuss the metrics of the SLA with your client or service provider to ensure that there is no grey area that can lead to future confusion or disagreements.
MFP offers SLA’s for all of our services from printers to phones. If you want to know more, click here.