How user-driven SLAs remove blame and help you win business

Author: Dave Page, CEO

Published: 10 October 2019

Providing excellent digital services may be a competitive differentiator, but what happens when other suppliers start negatively affecting your own quality-of-service?

In competitive sectors where businesses flit between suppliers without hesitation, SLAs have traditionally demonstrated your company’s commitment to quality and its trustworthiness.

However, the problem with tradition is that, from the moment a customer signs a contract, the metrics used to measure day-to-day performance rarely reflect reality.

A typical digital ecosystem is complex and involves many elements, which means customers can quickly find themselves facing inconsistent user experiences and pondering whether you have their best interests top-of-mind.

What’s worse, IT departments start pointing the finger at you, saying you guaranteed a reliable customer experience...

So, how do you ensure you’re not being blamed for the faults of other participants in a business’ digital ecosystem? Make the user the most important part of your SLAs.

Concentrate on the human experience, the true experience of using a digital service, as opposed to performance or engineering numbers.

Our Digital Quality Score provides an authoritative method of evaluating the actual performance of a digital service. Built on more than a decade of scientific research, the Digital Quality Score has a scale of 0 to 100, with 80 as the perfect score (anything above this is unnecessarily over-engineered and humans can’t actually tell the difference).
80 means a workforce experiences a near-perfect consistent service – e.g. no delays when updating online systems, no stalling cloud services, everything running smoothly as expected.

When this score drops ten points to 70, issues start – service interruptions, stuttering video calls, outdated data on internal systems.

If you want to make a real difference to customer relationships and increase transparency, consider user-driven SLAs where thresholds are defined by upper and lower limits of the Digital Quality Score.

Anything outside of these bands would be chargeable and Actual Experience’s visibility of the entire digital supply chain would provide the necessary insight to identify what’s causing poor user performance, thereby pinpointing which supplier or application in such a complex chain is negatively affecting quality.

This works in your favour – if another service provider causes a drop in the Digital Quality Score, you can turn to quantifiable evidence that keeps your SLA intact. You can also offer additional services to rapidly fix issues.

Not only does impartiality minimise financial impact and grow your bottom line, but it can also be used to win business.

If a company is going head to head in a tender process and wants to show their commitment to providing the best possible service, a user-driven SLA underpinned by our analytics is the ideal impartial measure of service and a common language for all parties responsible for delivering and managing the connectivity.

In an overcrowded market, open customer partnerships supported by actionable, human-led insight is the distinction between selling a hollow transactional service and becoming a trusted supplier that stands out from others in the industry.