IT companies know how SLAs can make or break customer relationships, even the loyal ones. A service level agreement is a contract where the service provider must fulfill customer requirements. However, the agreement seems more like a chess match where you must move pawns carefully. ITSM suggests you draft full-proof agreements to avoid penalties. This makes the agreements harder to negotiate, draft, maintain, modify, and understand. In this article at Joe the IT Guy, Joe talks about how SLAs can be about earning respect by understanding customer values and expectations.
Only IT has SLAs. The author thinks that the customers did not believe that IT could deliver within time and budget as well as have the incremental ability to adapt to new technologies. However, things are changing now. With DevOps, Agile, and cloud services, IT organizations are more flexible, fast, and open to feedback or change requests. To earn respect and improved customer satisfaction, your SLAs must be made in collaboration through proper communication and effective change management processes. As newer technologies like AI, machine learning, and IoT are becoming popular, it is apparent that end users and you must be on the same page for better project outcomes.
1. Understand Customers
Be clear about the concept and the people involved with the project. Understand what is at stake with the project’s outcome.
2. Assign Right Capabilities
Get together a team with the right capabilities. Make sure they are good decision-makers to avoid project scope creep.
3. Enable Team to Take Ownership
Let your team members decide how to deal with the project, come up with better ideas, and prepare a disaster management strategy. Guide them when necessary.
4. Use Available Tools
End users or customers would want to know the status of the project from time to time. Give them access to necessary tools so that they are involved and updated.
5. Update Your Measures, If Required
When requirements change, some measures might become less important in the SLAs. Update them and inform your clients why you needed the change.
6. Treat SLAs as an Honor System
SLAs are a set of promises you made to the customers. You should honor them and let the customer respect your due diligence in return. However, be sure to sign the dotted line only when both the parties agree. Update your agreements regularly.
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