Set service level goals (SLA’s) for your digital messaging channels

LESSONS LEARNED & BEST PRACTICES WITH SLAS IN DIGITAL CUSTOMER SERVICE 

 A SLA Management system is designed to help you define demand, monitor performance, and review opportunities in your business. By helping you to identify and resolve any issues and weaknesses, an SLA system will ensure that your customers get superior service and support. And with Sparkcentral’s SLA feature, you’re able to use one single platform to manage all your service level goals for all messaging channels with ease.

But what is the right first response SLA for your digital channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and others? We’ll help you set up an SLA for your contact center with insights and best practices from our clients all over the world.

First things first: what is SLA for customer service? 


The aim of SLA is to create mutual expectations and document all interpersonal relationships. It provides a basic starting point to measure all future activities. In customer service, SLA management allows you to set the general standards of performance for your team. For example, you provide them with deadlines and targets that they need to adhere to. These targets usually include:

First Response Time

The maximum amount of time a customer should wait before an initial response from one of your agents. If the chatbot immediately responds, it’s not considered part of the SLA. 

Conversation Response Time

The maximum amount of time for all the responses in the conversations after the initial response. For a good experience, the Conversation Response Time is usually a shorter amount of time. 

Actions if the SLA is breached

Once the SLA is (almost) breached you can send a system message to your customer automatically. Also, you can decide to remove ownership of a conversation once the SLA is breached.

 


4 key benefits for SLA in your Contact Center 


There are many benefits that come with an effective SLA Management system. Here are just a few of the ways that this type of system can help your business:

Set achievable KPIs for your support team

When managing a business, it’s important to set precedents for your support team to follow. This helps to ensure uniformity across communication channels. An SLA management system can help you to set standards for your support team to follow and adhere to. You can be sure that every message or ticket will be responded to and resolved according to your set deadlines. 

Different targets for different topics or channels

Certain inquiries or channels may be more important or need to be handled faster than others. So, it’s important to make sure that these are dealt with first. With the right routing, prioritizing and correct SLA management, you can set different targets based on the types of customer inquiries. 

Everything gets tracked

Nothing will fall through the cracks when you have an SLA management system in place. It will record all customer interactions across your various channels in one centralized place. With SLA, the right team will be notified of tickets and handle time. Resolving all customer problems on time. 

Improved efficiency

Setting targets will help you to improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. You can team up with chatbots and other unique AI services to help you handle fast-moving and high-frequency conversations, quickly and efficiently. This takes a lot of the weight and stress off your support teams!

How to set the right SLAs for messaging 

 

There are several ways to set achievable service levels in your SLA, but they all require a deep understanding of your clients, your call center, your team and how they operate. Different channels, circumstances or subjects can require different kinds of service levels. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when setting up your SLAs: 

 

Be reasonable 

Make sure you have the right infrastructure, technology, people and expertise to meet a certain service level. While it’s tempting to be optimistic about future growth, the best way is to leave some room for trial and error and overdeliver instead. 

 

Manage customer expectations 

SLAs should focus on customer expectations. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Think about what target times customers will expect in different circumstances or in different channels. Consider what’s a priority for your clients and what’s not. 

 

Do your research

Make sure you have a deep understanding of your contact center operation before setting SLAs. Make room to grow and to adapt. Don’t just follow an industry standard, but develop your own SLAs based on research, testing and analyzing. 

 

Think about prioritizing  

 

In a well thought out SLA strategy, prioritizing is key. You can choose to prioritize certain digital channels, or choose to handle direct messages first (over public messages). Even some words that indicate that inquiries are urgent can be dealt with differently. 

 

How to get started?


Our advice is to begin with a First Response Time of 10 to 30 minutes and a Conversation Response Time of 5 to 10 minutes. Test, analyse and reset your SLAs to find your ultimate go-to SLA strategy. The ultimate goal is to achieve higher C-SAT, NPS and CES scores. It’s a fact that setting the right SLAs will have a direct impact on your most important CX KPIs.

Manage Service Level Goals in Sparkcentral’s Platform 

 

Once you know your desired target SLA’s, setting them up and managing them in our platform is easy. You’ll read all of the details for installing them properly here. 

 

Once you’re all set, you’ll find all of the SLAs as different buttons in one simple queue. Agents can see the SLA status of a conversation in the queue. On each conversation where an SLA has been applied, we will show a badge with a color (gray orange, red) and time left before the SLA is breached or how long the conversation is already overdue.

 

 

 

 30m : A new conversation well within SLA has a gray badge with an indicator of how much time remains before the SLA is breached.

 15m : If the conversation has been in your new queue for some time it turns orange if time is running out.

 -5m : If the SLA is breached the badge will turn red. The time will indicate how long ago the SLA was breached.

 

 

 

 

Want to try SLA in Sparkcentral’s platform? Here’s how to set up your own SLAs in Sparkcentral!

Not a customer yet? Request a 30 minutes demo with one of our messaging experts!

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