Using Service Level Agreements - Zoho Desk Knowledgebase

Creating and Using SLAs

A Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is the standard of service that you agreed to deliver to your customers. The service agreement will represent the response times and the resolution times offered by your agents. Typically an SLA will contain the execution criteria and a set of predefined conditions or targets. While the execution criteria define, when an SLA should be triggered, the target will include the actions that will be performed on the trigger. You can configure actions like response time, resolution time, sending escalations, reassigning tickets and updating priority.

To begin with, Zoho Desk allows you to follow two models of service level agreements:
  • You can create SLAs for individual accounts in your Zoho Desk, or
  • You can create a bunch of SLAs (like Standard Support and Priority Support etc.,) and share them across many accounts. 
For example, let's say that Zylker Inc. offers two service levels: Standard Support, with a 12-hour SLA, and Priority Support with a 3-hour SLA. These service levels will be triggered irrespective of accounts, based on their target conditions. Meanwhile, another company called ABC Corp can offer SLAs to each of their accounts with specific targets. These two models can also exist side-by-side.

Permission Required
Users with the Support Administrator permission profile can access this feature.
Check Feature Availability and Limits

  • Service Level Agreements are applicable only for the Tickets module.
  • Only users with Profile permission for managing Help Desk Automation can access this feature.
  • SLAs are available across all the editions in Zoho Desk. However, the Free edition will have only the Priority-based SLAs and doesn't allow custom SLAs.
  • A Standard edition org can add up to 4 SLAs, while Professional and Enterprise allows 10 and 20 SLAs per department respectively.
  • Field update in SLAs is available only in Enterprise edition
  • Account-based service level agreements are available if you are on the Professional edition or above.
  • Each SLA can be associated with a maximum of 10 targets.

Setting Up SLAs
SLAs are very simple to set up. You must first create an SLA policy, to be linked to an account or to share them across many accounts. SLAs can be triggered when:
  • Ticket is created
  • Ticket is updated
  • Specific ticket fields are updated
  • Ticket receives a customer reply
  • Agent sends a ticket reply
  • Private email thread is sent and received
  • Ticket comment is added [Public, Private and Customer]
Note: If you want to execute SLAs only when they are associated with specific accounts via Contracts or directly through Account SLA, then enable the option “execute only when associated with an Account”. For example, if a premium SLA is provided to all the enterprise accounts then, enabling this option will ensure that the SLA executes only for those accounts. 
To create a new SLA policy for an account:
  1. Click the Setup icon ) in the top bar.
  2. In the Setup Landing page, click Escalate (SLA) under Automation.
  3. In the Service Level Agreements page, select the Department from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click New SLA in the upper right area.

  5. In the Create SLA page, do the following:
    • Enter the SLA Name.
    • Optionally, enter a description in the Description field.
    • Specify when you want the triggers to fire automatically.
      You can choose from - Ticket Create, Ticket UpdateField UpdateCustomer Reply, Agent Response, Private Thread, and Comment.
    • When you select the Field Update option, do the following:
      • Choose the field name from the drop-down lists.
      • Choose one of the following:
        • Execute when any of the above field is updated.
        • Execute when all of the above fields are updated.
    • When you select the Private Thread option, choose whether to trigger the SLA for incoming responses or outgoing responses or both.
    • When you select the Comment option, choose whether to trigger the SLA for private comment, public comment, customer comment, or for all types of comments.
    • You may check the 'Calculate response and resolution time from ticket created time' option.
      When you check this option, the SLA considers a ticket's created time instead of its modified time to compute the response and resolution times.
    • Also, check 'Execute only when associated with an account' option.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Add Target.

  8. In the Add Target screen, do the following:
    • Specify the Conditions that a ticket must satisfy for the SLA policy to be triggered.
      You can use the AND / OR operators to add more than one condition.
    • Specify the Respond Within time. You must enter the response time in hours, minutes or days.
      Also, enable the Only for first response option. When disabled, the SLA upholds the response time commitment for each reply that follows a customer response on a ticket.
    • Specify the Resolve Within time. [Mandatory]
      You must enter the resolution time in hours, minutes or days.
    • Specify whether the response and resolution times should be measured in business hours or calendar hours.
      Tip: Define your business hours and apply it to the SLA so that the timer doesn't run endlessly when your agents are not around.
    • Enable the escalation procedure when the SLA breaches the set response time or/and resolution time.
      Select the users who would be notified, and at what time frame. You can choose to be notified before, on, or after the resolution time.
    • Select the Agent Notification Template.
      The chosen template will be sent as an email when an escalation occurs.
    • Specify the Actions on Escalation.
      When an escalation occurs, you can choose to reassign tickets to a different agent and upgrade their priority.
  9. Click Save.
The new target will be added to the SLA policy. You can add 9 more targets to this SLA.

  • Uncheck the 'Execute only when associated with an account' option if you would like to share the SLA across many accounts.
  • The resolution time of an SLA should be more than the response time if you're entering both together.
  • You can configure up to 4 levels of escalation procedure. Each level of escalation can have its set of actions.
  • When a ticket is created or updated, it runs through all of your assignment rules and workflow rules before we run that ticket through the SLA system.

Adding SLAs to Accounts
Now that you have created an SLA, you must add the SLA policy to an account. 
To add an SLA:
  1. Click the Customers module. 
  2. In the Contacts Home page, click the Accounts tab in the lower-left corner.
  3. In the Accounts Home page, select an account to view its details. 
  4. In the Account Details page, click the SLA & Contract icon  ) from the floating widgets on the left of the screen.
  5. Under SLA & Contract Information section, click New SLA/Contract.
  6. Select the SLA from the drop-down menu.
  7. Click Save.
The SLA will be associated with the account.

Deactivating SLAs
You can activate or deactivate the SLA policies at any time. When you deactivate an SLA, it will be labeled as Inactive. SLAs can be reactivated, when needed.
To deactivate an SLA:
  1. Click the Setup icon ) in the top bar.
  2. In the Setup Landing page, click Escalate (SLA) under Automation.
  3. In the SLAs List page, hover your mouse pointer on an SLA and click the Deactivate icon (  ).
The SLA will be deactivated successfully. 

Deleting SLAs
SLA policies can be deleted when not in use. When you delete an SLA, it will be permanently removed from your help desk and cannot be recovered.
To delete an SLA:
  1. Click the Setup icon ) in the top bar.
  2. In the Setup Landing page, click Escalate (SLA) under Automation.
  3. In the SLAs List page, hover your mouse pointer on an SLA and click the Delete icon ).
  4. Click Ok to confirm.

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