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SLA & Tiered Service Levels

SLA - this is a difficult one.  You obviously want to offer all of your customers the premier, best in the world, platinum level of service, but unfortunately that does not always make financial sense.  Customers need to be tiered dependent on the amount of money they pay you (see my post on the 80/20/30 rule) and incidents/problems need to be tiered dependent on the impact to their business.  

It makes for an interesting measurement or matrix but a basic one that will need to be customized for your business is provided below.


Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Priority 170% + Service Impact or

Total Loss of Service

5min Response

4hr Resolution
70% + Service Impact or

Total Loss of Service

30min Response

8hr Resolution
70% + Service Impact or

Total Loss of Service

1hr Response

24hr Resolution
Priority 250% - 70% Service Impact

15min Response

8hr Resolution
50% - 70% Service Impact

1hr Response

24hr Resolution
50% - 70% Service Impact

4hr Response

72hr Resolution
Priority 3Up to 50% Service Impact

30min Response

12hr Resolution
Up to 50% Service Impact

4hr Response

72hr Resolution
Up to 50% Service Impact

24hr Response

96hr Resolution

Please note the difference here between 'Response' time and 'Resolve' time!!  Make sure that you use this to your effect as problems cannot generally be resolved immediately on 1st contact ... work to analyse the problem takes time.  Don't kid yourself otherwise!

As you can see from the table/matrix mentioned above (hope its not too confusing?) reading from Top Left -> Bottom Right your SLA follows a specified path.  Dependent on the Tier of your customer and the impact to their business a specified service level is offered to them.

A key point to make is that the SLA needs to be something that is achievable - having a customer facing SLA that is more stringent than your own internal OLA (the service level offered by your own internal departments) is doomed to failure and unfortunately some fairly large financial repercussions!
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