Q

Service-level agreement template to prepare for call center outsourcing

Donna Fluss offers this service-level agreement (SLA) template for a reader looking to get started with preparing an SLA and an outsourcing contract.

I am planning to outsource to a domestic call center. I am having difficulty framing my service-level agreement

(SLA) and the outsource contract. Could you offer some advice or a service-level agreement template?

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are critical for the success of any outsourcing initiative as they set expectations for both parties – the outsourcer and the customer. Many vendors have service-level agreements and you can ask your vendor for theirs, as a starting point. Keep in mind that an outsourcer's service-level agreement will prioritize their needs over yours. Use this as a service-level agreement template:

• Operating days and hours
• Definition of work
• Processes and procedures
• Agent quality
• Agent coaching
• Agent training
• Escalation procedures
• Technology
• Uptime requirements and performance
• Backup and contingency
• Reporting
• Transaction handling
• Security

The best service-level agreements are very detailed and address every aspect of your relationship with your outsourcer, including rewards and penalties for good and bad performance. They also include how to handle transitions when relationships end. I recently published a book called The Real-Time Contact Center. Chapter 12 includes a detailed description of the categories and activities that should be addressed in any service-level agreement, whether you are working with a domestic of offshore outsourcer.

One word of caution. Since negotiating a service-level agreement can be a relatively lengthy and involved process, many outsourcers will push you to sign a contract before you finalize your service-level agreement. While it may seem like a good idea in the short term – the outsourcer will try to convince you that doing otherwise would unnecessarily hold up the deal – it will hurt you in the long run. Once you sign a contract, you lose a great deal of negotiating power.

This was first published in April 2007

Dig deeper on Marketing management and strategy

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

SearchBusinessAnalytics

SearchDataManagement

SearchSAP

SearchOracle

SearchAWS

SearchContentManagement

Close