Service Level Agreements in Customer Service

In customer service, a business’s promises only add value when they are guaranteed in writing. Customers want to know that quality and timely service is guaranteed, and that they have specific recourse if things don’t go as planned.

Service level agreements (SLAs) designate contracts between a service provider and their clients that define the service provided, as well as the timeframe and delivery method. They also outline the procedure for breaches in the agreement and liability protections for the service provider in case services cannot be rendered due to circumstances out of their control.

Three Types of SLAs


SLAs between a business and internal users


SLAs between a business and external customer


SLAs that cover various levels of service in cases where both internal and external users share needs


Administering these three types of SLAs allows companies to cover their bases, as different use cases require different levels of service. Providers will typically prioritize internal SLAs over customer SLAs to help ensure smooth functioning operations that can support the level of service quality and efficiency promised to customers.

What Do Service Level Agreements in Customer Service Cover?

SLAs typically cover the following:

  • Customer service expectations
  • Standards for quality and timeliness of service delivery
  • Responsibilities of both the provider and the user
  • Escalation procedures in case of a suspected breach of the agreement
  • Cancellation terms

By committing these details to paper, businesses can give customers the highest level of confidence that they receive the service they need. Consequently, SLAs have become an industry standard, and businesses looking to implement quality customer service management must have a framework for generating and tracking SLA success.

SLA Performance Metrics

When it comes to tracking SLA success, businesses need to know what metrics to reference. 



Time to First Response

The amount of time it takes for a user to get a response from their service provider on a given support ticket. Important for understanding how efficiently tickets are routed and how equipped the workforce is to respond.

Average Handle Time

The amount of time between a ticket’s opening and closing. This helps businesses analyze efficiency for the entire resolution process.

Number of Customers Who Use Self-Service

The number of customers who use the self-service portals. This is a way to gauge a portal’s user-friendliness and how well it is promoted to users.

Number of Tickets Resolved

A self-explanatory metric that can be used to add context to others metrics like Average Handle Time.

Ticket Escalation

A measure of how many tickets are escalated beyond regular customer service associates. This helps track customer support staff training for difficult situations and/or users.

First-Time Resolution Rate

The percentage of tickets resolved on the first effort without resubmission. This also helps track the quality of support training and the company’s knowledge base.


Knowing what metrics to track isn’t enough, though. As businesses grow and seek to adapt to the issues in their CSM department, they need a CSM software platform that can provide in-depth analytics and accompanying reports. That’s where Vivantio comes in.

Implement Service Level Agreements for Customer Service With Vivantio

To leverage the benefits outlined in this article, managers must choose a platform with the right feature set. Vivantio provides a cutting-edge customer service software platform that offers all of the benefits listed above and more, including:

  • White-label service portals so businesses can maintain a cohesive brand throughout the service process
  • Comprehensive analytics with customizable dashboards
  • Automatic ticket routing to ensure every ticket reaches the proper agent
  • Workflow designer tool that allows managers without technical knowledge to customize the framework of their CS operations
  • A holistic view of each client to ensure that no agent is left without vital information

For businesses that are ready to level up their customer experience, Vivantio’s highly configurable solutions deliver.

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by utilizing service level agreements for customer service. To find out how Vivantio can help you improve ticket lifecycle management, contact our team today or register for a free demo.


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By Categories: Blog3.5 min read


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