Service Level Agreement (SLA)

That part of a contract for service that defines in measurable terms what is expected of the service provider. Individual performance thresholds are often referred to as SLAs and can include such criteria as time to answer a customer phone call (“80% of all calls will be answered within 60 seconds”), average time to resolve an issue, maximum allowable call abandonment rate, first call resolution rate, and a minimum customer satisfaction rating. Underperformance on SLAs can carry financial penalties and options to terminate the contract, while superior performance can trigger incentive payments.

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