Service Level Agreements – A Powerful Business Tool you Could be Missing out on

by 20 December 2018

High quality customer service is paramount to any business, ensuring the customer is confident, happy and feeling positive is key to lasting customer loyalty, satisfaction and retention.

Within each business there is likely to be a department for sales, administration, finance, operations, marketing and with so many employees it can be difficult to ensure the highest level of customer service. In any fast-paced organisation, especially in a B2B environment, with so many departments working in situ various methods are required to ensure they work together like finely tuned cogs. Processes, standards, employee handbooks, there are many ways of ensuring this. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are an effective tool and exist to ensure the customer is aware of what is going to be provided and what can be expected. Entering into any contractual agreement is a difficult decision to make and SLAs provide essential reassurance that both parties are making a solid decision.

The City, University of London defines them clearly – ‘A Service Level Agreement (or SLA) is the part of a contract which defines exactly what services will be provided and the required level or standard for those services. The SLA is generally part of an outsourcing or managed services agreement, or can be used in facilities management agreements and other agreements for the provision of services.’

Here at Utility Team we strive to provide the absolute highest level of service to our customers, regardless of their size or complexity. Service Level Agreements are a great way for us to show our commitment to that customer.

Our SLAs are tailored to best suit individual business needs. They provide a peace of mind to each client, ensuring they know the exact kind of service to be expected throughout their contract. We are here to make the procurement of energy contracts a smooth and enjoyable process as well as providing extra pivotal services within.

They not only provide initial reassurance they are there to support the customer before, during and after, providing a consistent comfort. Team Support highlights the importance; ‘SLAs are the safety net of accountability that businesses use to alleviate these fears. They ensure customers won’t be forgotten after they sign on the dotted line by holding everyone fully accountable for their actions.’

As part of our SLAs at Utility Team we offer a number of supplementary services, which strengthen our SLAs and overall customer offering. These include;

  • Dedicated Support – Each customer has a devoted member of staff who will deal with each account query directly throughout the contract, giving reassurance that these accounts will be reviewed regularly and looked after with upmost integrity and trust.
  • Bill Validation – Checking all elements of your invoices to ensure you are being invoiced correctly, ensuring you are receiving what was agreed on when you signed your contract. If any discrepancies are found we liaise with suppliers to ensure they are resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Reporting – Setting up monthly/quarterly reporting from suppliers as well as a 24/7 online portal allowing you to review your account whenever suits you.
  • Procurement (Fully Managed) – Sourcing and identifying gas and electricity contracts. Providing professional and experienced guidance on what to purchase, with whom, for how long and when.
  • Kilovolt-Ampere (kVA) Management – We provide kVA analysis to check you are not exceeding your set capacity and incurring excess charges. Dealing directly with the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to help with any applications which may be needed.
  • New Connections / Disconnections – Organising the painstaking installation / disconnection of any new gas or electricity meters can be a heavy burden for any business owner/department. We make the process simple for you. We work directly with all service providers, allowing us to provide you with both competitive rates and convenient time-scales, while providing a professional service.

All of these aspects strengthen our SLAs ensuring they add value to the customer experience, something which is pivotal in a competitive market.

In conclusion SLAs provide an important step in any B2B service provision, allowing a formal communication process to ensue. Thus offering confidence and assurance for the customer in intimidating or uncertain situations.

Article written by: Holly Smith, Key Account Manager