×
×

Request Information About Customer Service Training for Your I.T. Staff




×
Subscribe to the Compassionate Geek Newsletter today!

a blog by Don R. Crawley

Keynote Speaker on
IT Customer Service and Compassion

Bringing humanity into the world of technology

CALL: (206) 988-5858

Comment

Privacy Notice: I do not sell, share, or distribute your personal information to anyone.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Providers of service are quite familiar with the service level agreement, also known as an SLA. You may have a Service Level Agreement with a company that spells out exactly what you can expect from them in terms of network outages and response times, for example. That’s an explicit SLA, because it explicitly calls out the expectations of the relationship.

Your Implicit Service Level Agreement

There’s another form of SLA. It’s an implicit SLA. An implicit SLA is not governed by a document, but by past performance. If you’re typical response time is, say, four hours, then four hours becomes part of your SLA. If your network maintains a 99.999% uptime, regardless of anything in a written documentation, your customers expect a 99.999% uptime.

If your explicit SLA states a 24-hour response time, but your history shows a four-hour response time, the four-hour response time is your implicit SLA and becomes what your customers expect. You can deal with such expectations by resetting them as tickets are opened. For example, you might include an expected resolution time in your responses to customers when they open a ticket.

Another Form of a Service Level Agreement

Here’s another form of an implicit SLA: If most of your help desk staff members are business-like and efficient in dealing with customers, that becomes part of your implicit SLA. It’s what your customers expect. Then, if one help desk technician is folksy and tries to engage in chit-chat with your customers, it violates the implicit SLA that your customers expect. This is not to suggest that being folksy and trying to chit-chat is inherently bad. It’s simply saying that it’s not what your customers expect based on past experience. When you violate your implicit SLA, it can be jarring to your customer. Most people crave consistency.

The most important result from calling a support desk is to get the issue resolved. After that, customers talk about wanting good soft skills such as compassion, empathy, good listening, and being treated with dignity and respect. They want a positive experience. Customers also want to know what to expect. They want consistency in their interactions with you and your department. What is your implicit SLA and what are you doing to ensure you and your department deliver on its implicit promise to your customers?

For More Ideas on How to Improve Communication and Customer Service Skills

IT customer service bookBring my IT customer service training seminar onsite to your location for your group, small or large. I have programs that can fit nearly any budget. Click here for the course description and outline.

Subscribe to My Free IT Customer Service Training

Sign up for my free IT customer service training by email, The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success. The course includes the free version of my new IT customer service book The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success and eight free customer service lessons by email.

Please Leave a Comment

If you find this post helpful, please share it and leave a comment.

Compassionate Geek Online Customer Service Training


top |

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *