How to Write a Service Level Agreement
A service level agreement, or SLA, is a formal agreement between a service provider and a customer that indicates the terms of service, a layout of duties and responsibilities, terms and conditions, and criteria for evaluation. SLAs need to have a set standard of measure for the work provided as there is no other way to determine the quality of service and thus, an SLA without a way of assessing the quality of service is considered invalid and useless. To achieve a quality service level agreement, here are a few tips:
1. Define the Service You Provide
As a service provider, to assure your customers that you are what they're looking for and what you offer is exactly what they need, you must define the service you provide—what you mainly do, what your specializations are, what other services you can provide, what services you can not provide, etc. You have to make sure the recipient of your services understands this to make sure they know that you know what you're doing and that they don't ask for services that you cannot provide. Writing all the services in a sample checklist is a good way to start the task.
2. Identify Your Terms of Service
According to pdfs.semanticscholar.org, a lack of identifying what your services are and the level of which you can provide them can have negative impacts on your reputation. Your terms of service must be well-defined so that your customers know when/where/how often you are available. For example, setting your work schedule to coincide with the time your company requires your services helps boost their trust in you and improves your quality of work than when you simply state that you just need to be contacted before you can come. Other ways of identifying your terms of service are in emergency cases and/or abrupt calls to be of service, and your terms of privacy. State in advance if you can be available during emergencies if the situation allows or if you need a few days to prepare before you can work on it as well as assure the client of the confidentiality of all your transactions.
3. Indicate Your Contract Expiration Date and Span
Just like a contract or other legal documents of that sort, the agreement must specify the date when you start formally providing service to the client, for how long you will be of service, and when the duration ends. This gives the customer a timeline of how long you can provide what kind of service and whether you can renew your services or not.
4. Have Assesment Criteria
Set unbiased measurement criteria so that the customer has a means of measuring your service according to your terms and conditions. This is also important to you as the service provider as it gives you a standard of quality you have to follow, a means of service evaluation report, and good reason for the customer to further want to avail your services
5. Finish Up with Signatories
Like a contract, a service legal agreement must contain the signatories of the consenting parties showing that they are in full compliance of the terms and conditions stated by the service provider.