Users are not getting back to us. How to avoid breaching our SLAs

By ITIL® from Experience©

A lot of IT professionals at one point or another experienced the situation when a user needed something immediately only to discover that the user was nowhere to be found when additional information was required or to confirm that the issue was resolved.

One method to help users remember that they have outstanding business with IT is to send them an email notification when the Incident or Service Request is opened with the Service Desk. Many users keep this email in their inbox as a reminder until the issue or request is closed.

To avoid breaching, implement in the ITSM Tool an action/status to indicate that the next step is with the user, which also stops the SLA clock. For examples this action could be called: Info Requested, User Validation Required, Waiting User Response. This enables IT to focus on other requests and avoid breaching the SLA.

An effective method to re-establish communication with the use is for the Service Desk Manager to contact the user’s manager when the issue prevents the user from working. Although this method usually works well, many users will not appreciate having their managers contacted. Therefore this method should be reserved for cases when the individual is frequently unresponsive or is a difficult user.

Also, don't forget to communicate this policy1 to customers and users. One of the first steps should be a discussion with the Customer during an SLA review meeting. Then the policy can be added to the SLA.

Stopping the SLA clock is not bad customer service, it is efficient service delivery as it enables IT to focus its effort on helping users instead of chasing them.


From Around the Web:

ITIL Process > Service Desk
ITIL Process > Service Level Management (SLM)
ITIL Process > Incident Management
ITIL Process > Request Fulfillment


Formally documented management expectations and intentions. Policies are used to direct decisions, and to ensure consistent and appropriate development and implementation of processes, standards, roles, activities, IT infrastructure etc.
Source: ITIL® glossary and abbreviations English, www.itil-officialsite.com/InternationalActivities/TranslatedGlossaries.aspx "© Crown copyright 2011. Reproduced with permission from the Cabinet Office


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