Choosing your phone system isn’t like choosing a new flavor of ice cream. You can’t throw it in the bin if you don’t like it. You’ve to finish it off to buy a new contract or renew it. 

A service level agreement is an official document that states a host of things your provider is committed to delivering and what happens when they don’t. It helps maintain the accountability of your virtual phone system providers and keeps your services running 24*7. 

Key elements of a service level agreement include:

  1. What services will the virtual phone system provider offer?
  2. How long will it take to respond and resolve the issue?
  3. What is the expected uptime, and when is the service provided? 
  4. How much a business meets the service level agreement terms? 

What are the best practices of SLA?     

     1. Under-promise over-deliver

Meeting your client’s expectations is essential, but at times, it is challenging to create flexible terms that are agreed upon by both parties.

While setting the terms, keep in mind that your clients don’t get too demanding as well as you can meet their needs. By under-promising and over-delivering, you get a chance to surpass customer’s expectations. 

      2. Create priority levels 

Creating priority levels will help you resolve urgent queries. The higher the priority, the quick is the response time. It also helps you in sequencing the queries according to the need of the customers. Add different priority levels against the queries and the expected response time to your service level agreement.

      3. Specify availability 

Customers don’t like to wait for hours to get their issues resolved. In your service agreement, you need to outline how many days you’ll exactly take to resolve their queries. Provide them with different modes of communication like phone, email, and live chat with the number of days you’ll take to fix them. 

      4. Monitor Performance 

If you’re consistently not being able to meet your SLA targets, it’s time to reevaluate. Have you set the expectations too high? Or are there any operational inefficiencies preventing you from doing so in your SLA agreement? 

Why should you prioritize call support in your service level agreement? 

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You’d want every call to be clear and understandable, but you must put quality assurances on paper. VoIP call quality should be your top priority; every call goes through multiple potential breakpoints. Endpoint hardware, endpoint computer settings, local area networks, internet connections, routers, and mobile phone devices must work in harmony for a flawless call. 

While the phone provider can’t control every aspect of that chain, they can take optimum measures to ensure the call quality. For example, suppliers can work with multiple carriers and switch your call to another carrier if glitches occur. Along with that, you must cover the quality of service parameters to ensure that every call has enough bandwidth to be precise. 

Your phone system service agreement must also include call quality troubleshooting. It must consist of in-app notification, or email to notify about the process and time taken to repair. 

SLA uptime commitments 

In this digital era, you need to be omnipresent to give your customers a great experience. If you’re unreachable, it will harm not only your business but also your brand image. The phone still serves as the best point of contact for customers’ urgent needs. 

This is why your phone service’s uptime numbers must be close to 100%. For all the instances when your services see downtime, refer to the service level agreement to understand what your service providers are doing to bring your phone system to track. You might also want to ensure-

  1. Are backup systems in place? 
  2. Does your phone system has an alternate carrier to rely on if the primary goes down? 

An SLA helps you in getting some compensation for the lost call time and also helps to quantify those metrics. 

Technical support obligations 

If you need support for your phone system, you might not want to wait for a week or more than that to get a response. To keep your providers accountable towards you, an SLA will stipulate a time frame to get your reply. 

Your expectations and relative penalties can be discussed in the SLA. 

Usually, phone systems have to offer compensation if they delay the response beyond a day from the date of the query raised.

Legal implications 

Your phone system service agreement may include information related to industry compliances. Every industry has specific compliance, and you must check before drafting an agreement. 

Final note

A service level agreement is a legally binding document between a service provider that ensures mutual benefits to both the parties and specifies a host of the measures could be taken if things turn ugly. 

On the customer’s end, it is essential to know what things your service provider will be providing and how will they handle discrepancies. 

If everything goes well, you can partner with them for a long term relationship. 

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