Article updated: June 06, 2022
Sparkcentral service-level agreements (SLAs)
A service-level agreement, or SLA, is an agreed-upon measure of the response times that your support team delivers to your customers, users, or audience. Using SLAs helps you make sure you’re delivering measured and predictable service.
After you define your SLA targets, Sparkcentral highlights conversations that fail to meet those targets so you can promptly identify and address problems:
- A conversation that’s been in the New queue for a certain amount of time displays an orange icon.
- When the SLA is considered “breached,” the icon appears red and displays how long ago the breach occurred.
Before getting started with SLAs
To turn on SLAs, you’ll need to make sure you’ve configured two other settings:
- Business hours - Business hours are the scheduled hours that agents are available. SLAs are calculated based on these times.
- First response time SLA example: Say your business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM and your First Response Time SLA is 30 minutes. If you receive a message on Friday at 4:45 PM, the SLA expires on Monday at 9:15 AM.
- To learn how to configure business hours, read Business hours in Sparkcentral.
- Prioritization - Prioritization moves certain conversations higher up in the queue, including public and private conversation types by channel.
- Prioritization example: If you set an SLA for public channel response times to 60 minutes and direct messaging channels to 30 minutes, you could then use prioritization to add channels with direct message conversation types to the Prioritized channels list.
- To learn how to use prioritization, read Sparkcentral conversation prioritization.
Add an SLA policy
To configure a new SLA, go to Admin settings, expand Queue, select SLA policies, and then select Add SLA.
Enter the following information:
- Name - Enter a name for the policy. This name appears in SLA reports, so make sure it’s recognizable.
- Mark conversation Breached - Set the maximum time contacts should have to wait for a reply.
- First response time - The longest a contact should wait before the initial response from an agent. For example, if you enter 10 minutes, the conversation will be considered breached if it is unanswered after 10 minutes (when it reaches 100% of the first response time).
- Conversation response time - The longest a contact should wait for additional responses after a conversation has begun. For better customer satisfaction, we recommend setting shorter response times here than for new conversations.
- Mark conversation Urgent - Set the maximum time the contact should wait before a reply, as a percentage of the first response time.
- For example, if your first response time is 30 minutes, you can mark conversations as urgent at 15 minutes by entering 50%.
- Release ownership (optional) - You can have assignment of a conversation automatically released if the default owner agent fails to reply after a specified amount of time (entered as a percentage of the first response time), so that another agent can take over.
- Intermediate feedback - You can send automatic messages to contacts with Urgent or Breached conversations to let them know they have your attention but it's taking longer than expected to respond.
- Enable for channels - Apply the SLA policy to one or more channels. Narrow your selection down by platform, and then select Public or Private conversation types, or both. Select Save.
Set SLA notification options
You have the option to receive notifications (both via email and within Sparkcentral) about breached SLAs. To turn these notifications on or off:
- Go to Personal preferences, and then select Notifications.
- Select or clear the check box under SLA.
- If the SLA display check box is selected, you can enter the number of breaches required to trigger a notification.
Agents can see the SLA status of a conversation in the queue. On each conversation where an SLA has been applied, a colored icon (gray, orange, or red) appears, along with the time left before the SLA is breached (or how long the conversation is already overdue). For example:
- A new conversation well within SLA displays a gray icon and the amount of time remaining before the SLA is breached.
- A conversation that has been in your New queue for some time displays an orange icon.
- When the SLA is breached, the icon appears red and displays how long ago the SLA was breached.
SLA reporting dashboard
You can view your SLA policy performance with the SLA report, which provides relevant information for each SLA metric you measure. The report allows you to pinpoint areas where you might need to increase efficiency or staffing based on weekly and hourly information.
To view the dashboard, under Analytics, select Reports, and then select SLA. If no SLA policies have been configured, this report will be empty.
The following charts are available in the report:
- SLA - Overall SLA performance (First response time SLA and conversation response time SLA), based on SLA events. The graph displays all the SLA events that occurred during the selected time period and for which the conversation has been resolved.
- First response time SLA - Based on response time SLA events only. The graph displays all SLA events that occurred during the selected time period and for which the conversation has been resolved.
- Conversation response time SLA - Based on conversation response time SLA events only. The graph displays all SLA events that occurred during the selected time period and for which the conversation has been resolved.
- Agent first response time - The average of all first response times. The graph includes only those channels that have an SLA policy enabled. All SLA events that occurred during the selected time period and for which the conversation has been resolved are included.
- Average conversation response time - The average of all conversation response times. The graph displays channels that have an SLA policy enabled. All SLA events that occurred during the selected time period and for which the conversation has been resolved are included.
SLA metric calculation
Your SLA percentage is calculated by dividing the number of achieved instances by the number of instances.
For example, suppose you answered a customer's message within the target time once, but then you breached the target three times. Each achievement and breach is calculated as a separate instance.
Now let's say you have five conversations.
|Breached||Achieved||Number of instances|
Overall, 20 reply instances are measured across five conversations.
In this case, your achieved percentage would be 15 achieved instances / 20 measured instances = 75%.
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