Experience Level Agreements (XLA’s) have been the new buzzword flooding the IT support industry over the last few years and it is quickly becoming the most important measurement in customer satisfaction. This coupled with Service Level Agreements (SLA) makes for an ideal arrangement with Managed Service Providers. (Click on Picture for Audio version.)
Service Level Agreements and Key Performance Indicators Are Not Fully Indicative of Client Satisfaction
We have all heard the old adage, “What gets measured gets managed,” and from the beginning mature IT organizations have used Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as the primary measuring stick for customer satisfaction in their SLA’s. The thought process behind this is that efficiency guarantees client satisfaction. It is something tangible that they can control. Yet, there is a flaw in this theory. In the background there are warning signs of both client and employee resentment along with bad customer reviews.
Using KPI’s as the only measuring stick for SLA’s and client satisfaction can be deceiving. As an example, billable time is a great indicator of productivity, but it also incentivizes the engineer to either lie on their timeslips or kick back once they have reached their goals. Neither of which is best for the client. This is compounded when bonuses are tied to that metric.
Yet, the biggest problems with SLA’s is that the wording has become so ambiguous it only holds the Managed Service Provider (MSP) to minimum standards. If SLA’s were met, there was no need for improvement, even if the client was unhappy. This was great for the provider who wanted to hold the client to the contract, but not for the unhappy client. Therefore, metrics gives an indication of client satisfaction, but it does not tell the whole story. What you really need is to attach an Experience Level Agreement based on positive customer feedback.
Why Experience Level Agreements are the New Target
Experience Level Agreements (XLS) places customer experience above all else – including technical data. This is a new concept for most engineers who have traditionally placed most of their faith in numbers. For them client experience may seem intangible, but it is obtainable by collecting client feed back and comparing that with hard data to drive continuous improvement and boost client satisfaction.
XLA’s can be accomplished by measuring the end user satisfaction before each ticket is closed and overall client ratings. In addition, every XLA contains a closed loop feedback cycle to address client complaints.
INSI Put’s Client Satisfaction First
INSI is focused on creating positive customer experiences for all of our clients. Each client has Client Support Manager (CSM) assigned to them to guarantee client satisfaction. Our CSM’s are seasoned engineers who get to know their client’s company, employees, and IT needs very well. They are committed to the security and reliability of the client’s network and make recommendations with that in mind.
To find out more about INSI’s Experience Level agreements, call 770-387-2424 to speak to one of our seasoned sales consultants. You will be glad you did.