When you put service level agreements in place with your clients, do you agree to the same terms with all of them?
While signing up all of your clients to the same service level agreements may make your admin easier, it could actually mean that you are making your life far more difficult than it needs to be.
Client Networks are All Different
Take a minute to think about all of the different client networks that your company supports.
Some are probably really straightforward to look after. These are likely to be the networks where the people in charge have allowed you to spend money on making everything stable, secure, and fit for purpose – networks with high-spec servers, hot-swappable hard disks, and redundancy features.
Then there will be the other networks – the networks limping along with aging kit (equipment) that keeps going wrong and with slow client machines that cause the users to complain on a daily basis.
Is it really fair to agree to the same service level agreements with the owners of all of these networks? Logically speaking, those who have invested properly in their infrastructures should have a right to expect better service.
Designing Service Level Agreements
Think carefully about what you can reasonably be expected to achieve with the tools at your disposal. If you know that, one day, an aging server is finally going to give up the ghost and land a client with days of downtime, don’t sign them up to a standard SLA that says you will fix it in eight hours. This can only end badly.
The key, when designing service level agreements, is to have an open dialog with your clients, where you make it clear what they can realistically expect from the network they have charged you with looking after. One size does NOT fit all.
How do you design your service level agreements? Share your methods in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue.
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