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  Article updated: April 20, 2022

Manage SLA policies

Audience: Hootdesk admins

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, Hootdesk 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.
Note: SLA policies are not tracked until a conversation has run through any automations or chatbots you have set up.

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 Manage business hours.
  • 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 Prioritize Hootdesk conversations.

Add an SLA policy

To configure a new SLA, go to Admin settings, expand Queue, select SLA policies, and then select Add SLA.

A new SLA policy with sample response times.

Enter the following information:

  1. Name - Enter a name for the policy. This name appears in SLA reports, so make sure it’s recognizable.
  2. 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.
  3. 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%.
  4. Release ownership (optional) - You can have ownership 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Hootdesk) about breached SLAs. To turn these notifications on or off:

  1. Go to Personal preferences, and then select Notifications.
  2. Select or clear the check box under SLA.
  3. If the SLA display check box is selected, you can enter the number of breaches required to trigger a notification.

 

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