The unobtainable SLA

The service level agreement (SLA) is a wonderfully simple tool that should enable you to always meet your user’s expectation and to prioritize every task based on the agreement with the user. A well placed SLA allows for the help desk to be run at optimum efficiency and to provide the highest level of support for users. Tickets are responded to in a timely manner and breaches of SLA are considered a rarity.

With a few tweaks, this could be your help desk.

Any organisation that sets an SLA has the ambition of offering excellent customer service. This ambition is often unwittingly the cause of a failing help desk and negative customer relations. As part of my role at NetHelpDesk, I go on site with customers and improve their implementation of our software and the way they manage their help desk. A common denominator of struggling help desks is that the majority of requests have breached SLA and there are many outstanding requests. This could be down to under resource, however more often than not, caused by an unobtainable SLA having knock effects over the lifetime of a request.

Extending your SLA

Extending your SLA may feel like cheating, however I will go on to explain how you and your customers will benefit.

Having breached SLAs creates pressure on help desk agents and managers alike. Agents feel like they have an endless queue of requests and managers are unable to bring the help desk under control. By extending an SLA, from say a 2 hour response to a 4 hour response, this pressure immediately lifts and performance increases. You will now be able to correctly prioritize and not be overwhelmed by a sea of breached requests.


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