Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are one of the most important building blocks of any MSP business, and serve an important role in the world of IT services. They help to ensure and build solid provider-client relationships, thus they must be well-constructed, reasonable, and clear. Solid SLAs have the ability to establish standards, in cases where issues arise as well as bridge the gap between the MSP and their clients’ expectations.
Don’t be someone that focuses only on selling new solutions, and getting clients through the sales funnel. Spend sufficient time into crafting and strengthening your service level agreements. Here are the key traits that well-constructed SLAs should possess:
Hold Harmless Clause
MSP SLAs are intended to feature performance metrics and outline the specific services offered by IT managed services providers. In fact, it acts as a legal business contract. As MSPs often work within several independent environments, there is an array of limitations to be aware of, and it is pertinent to protect one’s business by limiting their risk. That’s why a SLA should include a hold harmless clause. It ensures that you will not be left vulnerable to conditions outside of your control.
There should never be ambiguity in service level agreements. What you need is clarity and precision as these aspects will help clients know what to expect from the working relationship, the services offered, and the approximate response times. Oftentimes, it is easier to guarantee response times than time to resolution. So, when there are any stated times in a SLA, it is imperative that one stipulates that they are in fact response times. You may also want to ensure that all parties fully understand who is responsible for which metrics. If done right, you will be able to take the guesswork out of the provider-client equation.
Honesty is an essential ingredient that needs to be added into any SLA. This applies to both MSPs and their clients. Today, it cannot be stressed enough that one has to deliver results that are within their actual capability. The point is not to oversell oneself with fancy marketing gimmicks. There needs to be a reliable contract that protects the interests of all the involved parties.
Attainable and Reasonable Goals
The true value of a MSP business can only shine when the SLA is well-crafted. That’s why it is a grave mistake to represent one’s company and its abilities in any way that’s deemed inaccurate. You may want to play it safe by under-promising first. Most MSPs need to promise quick resolution times in order to attract potential clients, but it is never wise to make guarantees you just can’t keep. If attainable and reasonable goals are set on the SLA, you will be able to meet your resolution expectations every time.
The last thing to keep in mind is that your employees need to be thoroughly trained on SLA protocol and disaster recovery protocol as well. This helps eliminate potential miscommunications.