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ITIL :: View topic - Customer Satisfaction in SLA
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Customer Satisfaction in SLA
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misuno
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Customer Satisfaction in SLA Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I was wondering actually if anyone ever added a minimum custsat % as a KPI into their SLA docs.
As in the 'books' it is mentioned as very important to get a clear view on what is living at the user side, a parameter for monitoring.
But it is very tricky from an IT perspective to add it as a target in your agreement is my opinion. What about influences from non IT decisions, economical situation, geographic location,...

So if anyone is awake here I am quite curious about your experience Smile
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am never a wake.

I am the walrus
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RT
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be very wary of defining customer satisfaction as an SLA for the simple reason that you can't control it. You could offer a perfect service but a customer could vindictively give you poor scores just to 'benefit' from SLA breach.

Sharing your customer satisfaction objectives with a customer, and allowing them to rate their experience against that seems like a safer approach.
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JoePearson
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IT people tend to focus in SLAs on things that can be rigidly controlled, and distrust anything else. "We can't put cust. sat. in the SLA! They'll just use it to beat us up!"

Nevertheless it is a legitimate KPI. Providers who really want aligned IT and business had better measure it and report on it; whether you go for penalties if it's not achieved is a very different question. (I don't think anyone would do!)

If you see a downward trend in customer satisfaction, you should act. If you don't see it because you don't measure it - you're be asking for trouble Smile

There's an article at cioupdate by Hank Marquis talking about measuring cust sat as the primary measure, rather than technical metrics - www cioupdate com /features/article.php/3782181/article.htm - which I commented on here - deconstructingitsm dot wordpress dot com /2009/01/13/sell-requirements-gather-satisfaction/
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JoePearson
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks RT (for illustrating my opening point)! Very Happy You must have posted while I was typing mine.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that having Customer satisifaction as a KPI or SLA as a dangerous thing

First - definition of the customer ? Is it the CIO, CFO or the lowest level management or user that has to be please

Second - what is the definition of customer satisfaction ?

A company provides a web hosting service to a customer. The customer built their own application. It works. the web hosting company provides the W.H. service to the customer but the web site gets no traffic because the customer does nto know how to market their business

What do you think the WH Company's customer - customer satisfaction will be when they spent all that $$ on the web hosting company and nothing came of it.

They will say that they are not satisified with the service.

And to be honest - the customer satisifaction part should be handled during a periodic meeting between the customer and client (Service rview meetings) hello!!!
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UrgentJensen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best place for customer satisfaction surveys is the bin.

UJ
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote this earlier, before any replies, but I somehow failed to send it.

"One service supplier I dealt with had direct customer scoring at each monthly review meeting. I forget the exact details, but it was something like %age satisfaction with service, %age satisfaction with responses and possibly some more plus giving reasons why if there was significant change.

When it is done in this direct way with face to face dialogue, it is not too difficult to measure.

However, I don't think it wise to include it in an SLA since it is not a measure of service provided. It is really an internal performance indicator that helps you, as you say, "to get a clear view on what is living at the user side". And can be part of your improvement objectives."

Now, back in live time:

It makes no sense to put customer satisfaction in an SLA.

Satisfaction with what? with the provided service.
What is that service? Well, according to the SLA it is the provision of satisfaction.
Satisfaction with what? ............

An SLA has to be about properly measurable parameters of a service. not subjective measures, and especially not when the subjectivity belongs to one of the parties to the agreement.

How satisfied would you like to be mr. customer with our service%
I'm not greedy, 100% will be fine thank you.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to the business and a dissatisfied customer may well switch suppliers and therefore service providers have to try to understand how to satisfy customers. But a Service Level Agreement is about the components of the service.
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JoePearson
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll accept that an SLA could focus on components, and clear measures, and therefore customer satisfaction is somewhere else. But to succeed with this view you must first have a communication structure with the customer (covering expectation and reporting) that does put business results and satisfaction foremost - even though they're affected more by the customer's actions. Otherwise, hey presto, yet more IT - business disalignment and dissatisfaction.

I've always thought that the SLA should contain all this, and service catalogue entries are an extract of the SLA - but this is only a preference.
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The part of the communications structure that deals with expectations and reporting is periodic service review and of course that is where the service provision is linked to the customers business experience and intentions.

and, yes, service review ought to be agreed in the contract and at least referenced in the SLA.

I don't see how an SLA can focus on anything other than objective measures of the levels of service. That is what it is for.

The management of customer expectations is a different subject and goes beyond levels of service.
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asrilrm
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

As far as I know, Customer Satisfaction is a Management tool.
I would say that it is a complete system starting from collecting raw qualitative questions, then rank the answers into quantitative parameter as a basis to form useful information (this is MIS, DSS stuff) for the next step, say it improvement, development, etc.

SLA, on the other hand, is the Operations tool.
SLA is just one supporting tool to guard the level of satisfaction but in a binding scheme (which includes penalties and fees).
If SLAs include anything from customer satisfaction, it should be only as reference.

Cheers,
Asril
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misuno
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good morning all,

thanks a lot for the interesting replies. Strange nicknames do u guys have btw (o;

Anyway, reading through your feedback I have made up my mind that the most important thing to remember is that SLA's are facts and figures. Against custsat is a quite subjective thing.

So if there is a downtrend and you are investigating what could be the cause of it, it can be originating at both sides. eg at IT side: a lot of your staff is ill for example, at customer side, we fired 40 people in that team and the workload and athmosphere is bad.

Thinking this over I would propose to the customer (business seating in the service review meetings) to handle custsat as a joined project. Exclude this as a % from the SLA document but have this as a joined action plan. We, IT depend on the business to understand the business needs, but the business (customer) also wants to know what is living with the users. Same as we. The outcome can be a start of a roadshow or other initiatives.

One more thing, where I am quite curious about is the following: I applied for an assignment (I am a consultant) and one of the questions was: "What would you do if we asked you to bring back the customer satisfaction to 80%."
Is this a strange question or is it me??
Before I share you what I answered I am very much curious about what you would answer (((o;

Enjoy your day.

Misuno
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RT
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all I'd ask "bring it back from where?" I have some excellent ideas of bringing it back to 80% from 95%.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Misuno

Yes it is a strange question

My answer would be

I would examine the breakdown of statistics of where the customer's satisfaction was below par.

If the satisfaction is based on perception of the service that is provided, I would start / upgrade the the Service Level management process where the customer and company representatives discuss the ongoing issues

In addition,I would ensure that there is good communication between the service desk and the customer and more relevant details are in the reports sent to the customer

If the satisfaction is based on facts against specific processes - i would work with the owners of the specific processes - incident etc. I would look for any major incident that occured during the periodm in question

I would also examine the question set used for the customer survey that determined the Satisfaction
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misuno
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! Looking at the history would be a good approach ukviking.
But this question from this major beerbrewery (hihi) would be an enforced lowering of custsat where from is: >80%.
I should indeed have asked the area of custsat but I presumed it was IT services in general.

RT: please share your ideas (o;

Let me reveal what I've said. I have no idea whether they tought I was bringing a standup comdian show.
First of all I've said ok, custsat is quite geographical, so looking at the area you would do the survey EMEA would score fantastic having an average of 80% as compared to US and Asiapac the europeans are very critical people.

ok ok, they said, lower the 80% to 60% then.
That said I said, before starting the actions that would lower the custsat (as I presumed it were actions based on cost savings looking at todays economics), I would start taking frontal actions at the same time. Take the 20/80 rule for incident tickets and make selfhelp video's for the users. less time spend at the SD thus $$ saving. Roadshows, training,...
So if you know that you need to enforce custsat take actions that cost less but still keep custsat at the same level.

This answer did not satisfied them. So they said: you have no budget. you cannot take any actions.
(at that particulair moment I found them a pain in the ..., what the ... would they want to hear??)
So ok, I answered, like every healty chart you have ups and downs, you cannot get a success if you don't have a downpoint.
(I honostly got annoying of the conversation).

So bottomline is I have no clue where they wanted to go to with this strange question. Is it common they asked that kind of questions going for service management?

thanks a lot guys!!

Misuno
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