Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements in Dynamics 365

Service Level Agreements offer an easy way to track the time it takes your service representatives to solve support requests. Service Level Agreements are also the first step toward crafting key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking your performance against those KPIs. Your support representatives see them as timers on record forms where they indicate remaining time until (or time passed since) prescribed time it takes to solve a support request.

Service Level Agreements allow CRM users to pause the timer depending on the status reason of the support request. For example, if a service representative is waiting on certain information from the customer, the status reason “Waiting on Customer” will pause the timer until the status reason changes. Important to note is that time on hold is also tracked and can be reported on.

Customer Service Schedule

Follow these steps to create a Customer Service Schedule:

  1. Go to Settings > Service Management.
  2. On this page, find “Customer Service Schedule” under the Service Terms section.
  3. There will be a view of all of the Customer Service Calendars. To create a new one, go to the command bar and select “New“.
  4. A popup will show up. This is where you add the name of the Customer Service Schedule – the description field is optional. Once you are done filling in the information, select “Create“.
  5. Once you have selected that, another popup will show up. This is where the weekly schedule can be customized to your organization’s needs.

Work Hours

  • Are the same each day – All there needs to be done for this feature is setting your organizations work hours, which is done by simply selecting the link “set work hours.”
  • Set Work Hours – If you selected this link, another popup will show up. From here, you can set the start and end time to your organizations working hours. You also can set breaks throughout the day as well.
  • Vary by day – Does your organizations service schedule vary from day to day? If so, use this feature. Once it is selected, a drop down will populate to identify the hours of operation for each day of the week.
  • 24/7 Support – Select this option if your organization operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Work Days

  • If you selected “are the same each day” under the work hours section, you will be able to check which workdays your organization operates in the work days section.
  • If the 24/7 support button was selected in the work hours, these work days will be grayed out.

Holiday Schedule

  • Observe – This is where you can choose which Holiday Schedule is associated with the Service Schedule. When this button is selected, a lookup field will show up below. Select the lookup icon and a list of all the active Holiday Schedules in your CRM will populate. From here, choose the appropriate Holiday Schedule to associate it with the given Service Schedule.
  • Do not observe – If the service schedule does not observe any holidays, select this button.

Time Zone

  • Specify which time zone your organization operates in
  • Once all of the weekly schedule information is completed, select “Save and Close

Now you have successfully created a service schedule along with adding a holiday schedule. If your organization needs more than one service schedule, that can be done as well. Repeat the steps 3-6 to accomplish this.

Creating a New Service Level Agreement

Now that we have created a service schedule, we can define what our expected levels of response should be. Our KPI’s can be based on two metrics; First Response Time and Resolution Time. Essentially we need to determine what constitutes success or failure for each of those metrics as well as what actions should be taken when a KPI is close to not being met, or has not been met. Let’s look at a scenario where we want high priority cases to be resolved in 1 business day, and low and normal priority cases to be resolved within 3 business days.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Service Management > Service Level Agreements which can be found under the Service Terms section.
  2. Click the +New button in the command bar.
  3. Give the new SLA a Name and choose the case entity. Click Ok.
    NOTE: SLA’s can apply to other entities, the entity first needs to be enabled for SLA tracking.
  4. Define the SLA.
    • Applicable From – Select the option you from which the SLA items will be calculated. For our example, we will choose Created On indicating that we want the SLA timer to begin as soon as the case record is created.
    • Business Hours – Select the customer service schedule record that you have created previously. This is what will determine the SLA time-tracking calculations. If nothing is selected, the system assumes a 24×7 business hour schedule.
    • SLA Type – You can choose either Standard or Enhanced.
      What’s the difference?

      • Standard – Only failure time is tracked and saved in the case record. A timer has to be manually created and added to the case form. Standard service level agreements are deprecated as of the July 2017 update and will be removed in a future major release of Dynamics 365. Standard SLAs are replaced by enhanced SLAs.
      • Enhanced – A KPI record is created for each SLA KPI that is tracked. Timers are automatically created and added to the case form with their statuses and failure and warning times visible. Timers can be paused, and you can see the time for which a case was on hold and the last time it was put on hold. Enhanced is the recommended SLA type.
    • Allow Pause and Resume – Choose if users will be allowed to pause the SLA timer.
    • Click Save in the command bar.
  5. Set up the details for the SLA by clicking on the + sign on the SLA Details sub-grid.
    • Name – name the specific SLA item.
    • SLA KPI – Choose either the First response KPI or Resolved By KPI option.
    • Applicable When – Further define when this SLA item should be enforced.
    • Success Criteria – What defines successfully meeting the KPI.
    • SLA Item Failure – Set the time frame for when the KPI is considered a failure.
    • SLA Item Warning – Set a time frame for when to warn about failure.
  6.  Save the SLA item by clicking Save in the Command Ribbon in order to define failure and warning actions.
  7. SLA failure items and warning items work similarly to workflows. You can choose several actions for each failure and warning action section such as; send email, create record, update record, assign record, change status. In our example, we’ll warn the owner of the case with a task activity, and after a failure to resolve the case, the owner of the case and owner’s manager will be emailed and the case will be assigned to a new team of users.
  8. Continue to create more SLA item details as needed.
    service level agreements
  9. Turn on the SLA by choosing Activate in the command bar.

This service level agreement, once active,  can now be tied individually to specific cases via the SLA look-up field on the case record. Alternatively, you can create a service level agreement to be the default SLA for all cases that have no service level agreement specified. You may create different Service Level Agreements based on types of customers or geographic regions if you have different locations that might have different schedules and time zones.

Beyond the Basics

If you want a more formal introduction to Dynamics 365, check out Dynamics 365 University’s CRM Boot Camp for Dynamics 365.