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Service Level Agreement for Contact Center: №1
Business Tips

Service Level Agreement for Contact Center

October 2, 2020
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Outsourcing is now a common strategy in business, offering convenience and profitability with quick returns. Many established companies outsource specific functions to affiliated enterprises to achieve superior results.

When contracting with an outsourcing provider, the primary objectives often include improving service quality, enhancing reputation, increasing customer satisfaction, optimizing costs, and fine-tuning marketing communications.

Contemporary outsourcing firms offer a comprehensive suite of services, ensuring thorough oversight of results through system regulation and customer expectation stages. Effective management of outsourced functions is crucial for reaching these goals. Thus, businesses should select providers that excel in meeting set objectives.

A solid Service Level Agreement (SLA) is crucial. Companies need assurance that the SLA aligns with their needs and outlines clear payment and performance standards. Embedding penalties in contracts for underperformance can further ensure the quality of services from the outsourcing partner.

Service Level Agreement for Contact Center: №1

What Is The Service Level Agreement

An SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is a contractual document that defines the expectations and responsibilities between an outsourcing company and its client. For instance, in a call center context, an SLA might specify the standards for call processing quality that the outsourcing company is expected to maintain. Key components of an SLA typically include:

  • A comprehensive list of services to be provided.
  • Identification of both parties entering the agreement.
  • Timelines for service delivery, including deadlines and expiration dates.
  • Details about the workforce and equipment allocated for the project.
  • Protocols for routine and emergency reporting, especially in situations like equipment malfunctions or unexpected challenges.
  • Standards for service quality, methods for evaluating this quality, and the structure of quality-related reports.
  • Pricing structures and payment terms, whether installment-based or lump-sum payments.
  • Procedures to address and resolve conflicts or issues that may arise during the collaboration.

The Three Key Types Of Service Level Agreements

The three primary types of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are:

1. Customer-based SLA

This type of SLA is tailored for a specific customer or group of customers. For example, a telecommunications company might have an SLA with its end customers covering the availability and performance of internet service and the response times for customer inquiries and complaints.

2. Service-based SLA

This SLA is centered around a specific service, rather than a client. This means the terms defined in this SLA apply to all customers using the service. For instance, if a service provider offers web hosting, the SLA will detail uptime, downtime, and maintenance specifics for every client who signs up for that service.

3. Multi-level SLA

This type splits the agreement into different levels, each addressing different sets of customers for the same services, in the same SLA. It can be divided into:

  • Corporate-level SLA: Covering the overall level of understanding between the service provider and all the customers at the organizational level.
  • Customer-level SLA: Covering the broader SLA between the service provider and the customer group, focusing on the group of services they use.
  • Service-level SLA: Focusing on specific aspects of the service, usually in terms of quality and responsibilities.

Each type of SLA is designed to address different needs and operational constraints, ensuring clarity and mutual understanding between service providers and their customers.

Service Level Agreement for Contact Center: №1

The Importance Of Service Level Agreement For Business

Service Level Agreements offer businesses a systematic way to ensure quality standards are met. In our extensive experience at Simply Contact, we've found that while constantly monitoring a contractor's actions can be demanding and doesn't always guarantee outcomes, SLAs serve as a practical tool to gauge the quality of a business service.

Many businesses today might overlook the importance of an SLA, viewing it as unnecessary or cumbersome. However, based on our industry expertise, we firmly believe that SLAs grant businesses a vital competitive edge.

By adopting an SLA, companies are setting clear customer service standards. It's essential that every employee, from contact-center specialists to sales assistants, understand and strictly adhere to these guidelines. And while one might assume employees will naturally follow these standards, formalizing them through an SLA emphasizes their significance. At Simply Contact, our emphasis on robust SLAs has been pivotal in ensuring our clients consistently deliver high-quality service.

What Is A Service Level Agreement In BPO?

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is a strategy where companies delegate specific operations to external providers to optimize their processes. It goes beyond mere business interactions, fostering a comprehensive partnership between the client and the outsourcing entity.

While traditional outsourcing aims to reduce costs and enhance outcomes by utilizing specialized vendors, BPO emphasizes long-term collaboration and typically involves more thorough initial preparations. Companies often opt for BPO not just for cost-saving but also for predictable expenditures, outlined in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

In sectors like contact-center services, where performance metrics are pivotal, SLAs detail productivity benchmarks. Such firms continually refine their client engagement strategies, monitoring how various communication methods affect customer responses, ensuring they select the best outsourcing partners based on these metrics.

Leveraging its extensive experience, Simply Contact provides unparalleled BPO services that encompass various verticals, from contact-center services to back office and technical support. With a commitment to efficiency and excellence, Simply Contact's solutions are designed to deliver results that exceed client expectations, making them a preferred partner for businesses seeking to outsource their processes seamlessly and effectively.

Service Level Agreement for Contact Center: №1

What Is Service Level In Call Center

Service level is a key metric in the call center industry, commonly represented by the 80/20 ratio. This indicates that 80% of incoming calls should be answered within 20 seconds. However, this is not a strict standard, as the ratio can shift based on specific call details and other factors, leading to variations like 90/20, 70/40, or 60/60.

To assess productivity, contact centers analyze data daily. Their service level evaluation typically encompasses:

  1. Calls where clients disconnect after reaching the queue.
  2. Calls disconnected after being answered.
  3. Unanswered calls, which aren't typically recorded in the database.

There is also a convenient common formula for determining the Service Level:

Service Level = the number of the accepted calls / overall calls number * 100 and the obtained result to ASA or AWT ratio

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the method of measuring the average speed of answer of a call-center specialist. This indicator includes the overall client’s waiting time in the line before being answered, disregarding the time spent in the IVR navigation process.

Average Waiting Time (AWT) is the client’s average time of waiting in line before being answered. This indicator includes only the accepted calls. Cases when clients hang up before being answered and the time they were waiting are not considered.

Service Level Agreement for Contact Center: №1

Other vital metrics include Average Talking Time (ATT), which monitors the operator's active conversation duration, and After Call Work (ACW), detailing tasks completed post-call. Average Time to Abandon (ATA) gauges the average time before a call is dropped without an answer.

Call centers employ numerous formulas to evaluate their success rate, team performance, and client communication strategies. If a team commits to a Service Level Agreement, they must meet those standards.

A call center's ability to address a client's issue promptly not only enhances the customer's experience but also fosters loyalty and reduces costs. To obtain feedback on service quality, companies can utilize IVR post-call surveys or direct phone interviews conducted shortly after the initial interaction.

Currently, call centers seek innovative strategies to maximize their results. Metrics like Service Level provide valuable data for analyzing business processes, offering insights into customer service quality and guiding future strategies.

Call Center Service Level Agreement Sample

Parties Involved:

  • Client: [Client.FirstName] [Client.LastName], [Client.Company]
  • Service Provider: [Sender.FirstName] [Sender.LastName], [Sender.Company]

Agreement Overview: This SLA, effective from [Effective date], is an agreement between the client and the service provider. It is an extension of a previously established contract and outlines the standards and expectations for the services provided.

Key Provisions:

  1. Integration with main contract: This SLA is an integral part of the main contract. Upon signing, the contract's duration changes from monthly to yearly.
  2. Service standards: The provider commits to maintaining or surpassing specific service performance criteria. Failure to meet these standards may result in penalties, termed as Service Credits.
  3. Performance monitoring: The provider will use tools to monitor and report on their performance against the set service levels. Any potential or actual failure to meet these levels must be promptly reported to the client.
  4. Objectives: The SLA aims to ensure consistent high-quality services, provide a mechanism for addressing service failures, and motivate the provider to adhere to and promptly rectify any deviations from the agreed-upon service levels.
  5. Service credits: These are financial compensations given if the service level falls below the agreed measure. The calculation for these credits is based on specific formulas, considering factors like service availability and performance thresholds.


  • Service Provider: [Supplier.FirstName] [Supplier.LastName], Date: MM/DD/YYYY
  • Client: [Client.FirstName] [Client.LastName], Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Conclusion: This SLA serves as a testament to the commitment between the client and the service provider, ensuring clarity in expectations and standards for the services rendered.


In today's dynamic business landscape, it's essential to stay updated with the latest technologies, methodologies, and potential partnerships for collaboration. Outsourcing emerges as a practical and cost-effective strategy for businesses. Many industry leaders harness outsourcing to optimize their operational expenses.

Additionally, companies prioritize confidence in the quality of services they receive. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) present clear benefits for both parties: they offer clients a transparent understanding of service quality, while providers appreciate the clarity of explicitly defined requirements. Given the evident advantages, there's no doubt that incorporating an SLA is a wise move in today's business arena. Interested in optimizing your business operations? Reach out to Simply Contact for expert insights and solutions.

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