Every company uses Service Level Management (SLM) differently. There are a few standard best practices to use as a reference. They include: describing all services offered (including the items that are not included, so there is no room for misinterpretation or assumptions by either side) in setting out performance metrics, including the definition of measurement standards and methods including expected turnaround times setting up accountability, escalation protocols and tradeoffs between costs and services; and agreeing to dispute resolution processes and indemnification clauses in the event that a conflict arises.
SLM also ensures that everyone is on the same page so that departments don’t have to fight over who’s responsible for what. This is particularly important if you work with outside vendors. Writing down SLAs clearly can prevent miscommunication that can lead to delays in delivery, poor performance metrics and unhappy customers.
Additionally, SLM can help you keep agile by continually monitoring and reviewing your service and levels. You can then make rapid adjustments as needed.
You can also improve the quality of your service to meet or exceed your expectations. For instance, you might would like to improve the speed of your website. However, past certain levels, visitors will not notice a difference and you won’t benefit from the effort.
SLAs are usually a major draw for potential customers because they present an accurate picture of what their investment in your service will be. A dedicated team for SLM is a good idea, as it ensures that their efforts will not be overlooked or lost once the contract has been signed.