Elevate Support with HubSpot SLA Tools

Elevate Support with HubSpot SLA Tools
Origin 63
July 2,2024
7 minute read

Configuring and Monitoring SLAs with HubSpot Service Hub

Delivering top-notch support consistently can be tough, but there's a secret weapon many businesses are using: Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These agreements are specific timeframes for your customer service team to address inquiries and resolve issues.


But how do you put these SLAs into action? That's where platforms like HubSpot Service Hub come in. Even if you're new to SLAs, setting them up and tracking your progress doesn't have to be complicated.


This blog post will walk you through everything you need to know step-by-step. We'll explain SLAs, how they can benefit your business, and how to use HubSpot Service to manage them.


What Are SLAs?

Customer support representative setting service level agreements, What Are SLAs?

SLAs, or Service Level Agreements, are essentially promises to your customers about how quickly and effectively you'll handle their inquiries and issues. They are roadmaps that set clear expectations for response times, issue prioritization, and problem resolution.


Whether a plumber arrives within 2 hours for an emergency leak or schedules a non-urgent repair within 3 days, SLAs ensure your customers feel valued, and their needs are addressed efficiently. They also hold your service team accountable for meeting performance goals.


4 Reasons to Set Up SLAs

Crystal-clear SLAs are the secret weapon for delivering consistently excellent customer service. Setting transparent expectations is crucial in today's competitive landscape, where 67% of customers expect a resolution within 3 hours.


Here's how implementing SLAs benefits your business:


  1. Customer Satisfaction Boost

SLAs manage customer expectations. The faster you deliver support, the happier your customers will be. Meeting your SLAs, especially for high-value customers (e.g., responding to VIP inquiries within 1 hour), demonstrates your commitment and boosts overall satisfaction. 


Strong customer satisfaction translates to loyalty and retention, a top priority for 25% of service leaders.


  1. Empowered & Efficient Teams

Defined SLA targets within HubSpot become clear goals for your team. This fosters motivation, keeps everyone focused, and optimizes workflows to meet those targets. According to studies, happy, motivated employees are actually 13% more productive


Additionally, clear SLAs promote alignment across teams. Organizations with strong operational alignment, achieved partly through clear SLAs, experience 27% faster profit growth and close 38% more deals.


  1. Data-Driven Improvement

HubSpot tracks key SLA metrics, such as initial response and resolution times. This data empowers service-level reporting, allowing you to identify bottlenecks and proactively improve your processes. 


For instance, an SLA might respond to all inquiries within 24 hours. Tracking this data reveals if your team consistently meets that target or if Mondays cause a backlog. With this insight, you can proactively staff up for peak periods.


  1. Accountability for Success

Measurable SLAs within HubSpot facilitate team accountability. If commitments are routinely missed, you can identify areas for coaching or re-evaluate target feasibility. 


For example, consistent delays in responding to sales leads might require investigating staffing levels and training needs or adjusting the SLA target. 


This ensures SLAs remain realistic and issues are addressed before impacting customers. Additionally, you can celebrate teams that consistently exceed expectations!


Setting Up SLAs in HubSpot

Managing service level agreements (SLAs) helps companies provide excellent customer support. Those with SLAs in their companies are 3x more likely to have effective strategies than those without.


With HubSpot's Help Desk, configuring and monitoring SLAs is easy, ensuring your team responds to and resolves customer inquiries within the agreed-upon timeframes. 


Let's dive into the step-by-step process of setting up SLAs in HubSpot.


Accessing SLA Settings in HubSpot 

HubSpot SLA Management, Set your working hours


You'll need to navigate to the SLA settings within your HubSpot account to get started. Here's how:

  1. Login to HubSpot and click the settings icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Navigate to Inbox & Help Desk > Help Desk and then click the "SLAs" tab.
  3. Choose when your SLAs apply:
    • During Working Hours: Set SLAs for your team's regular schedule (e.g., 9 AM to 5 PM). You can customize these hours within "Edit your team's working hours."
    • 24/7: SLAs apply all the time, even outside of working hours.


Now that you're in the SLA settings section, let's explore the options.


Default SLA Settings in HubSpot 

Out of the box, HubSpot offers two main SLA settings that you can configure to ensure timely responses and resolutions for your customers' inquiries:


1. Time to First Reply

HubSpot SLA Management, Time to first reply

This sets the maximum time your team has to respond to a brand-new ticket. A quick first response shows your customers you care and are ready to help. 


Consider it an initial handshake – you want to acknowledge their concern immediately. A common first reply to SLA might be 4 hours.


For example, knowing that a quick initial response can significantly improve customer satisfaction, you set a 4-hour First Reply SLA for all incoming tickets. It assures customers you'll acknowledge their inquiries promptly, regardless of the issue. 


2. Time to Close

HubSpot SLA Management, Time to close

This sets the maximum time your team has to resolve a ticket and mark it as closed. Resolving issues quickly keeps customers happy and avoids frustration. 


You can customize the Resolution SLA based on ticket type. For straightforward issues, you might set a 24-hour resolution SLA. This demonstrates your commitment to addressing basic issues efficiently.


More complex cases might take longer, so you could set a 48 or 72-hour SLA for these. Doing so allows your team ample time to provide a thorough and personalized response.


Flexibility in SLA Configuration 

HubSpot understands that different businesses have varying customer service needs and priorities. That's why the platform provides flexibility in configuring SLAs:


1. Setting SLAs for All Tickets

If you prefer a universal approach, you can set a single SLA for all incoming tickets, regardless of their priority level. 


This option suits businesses that treat all customer inquiries equally or have a standardized service level agreement.


2. Customizing SLAs Based on Ticket Priority


Alternatively, you can set different SLAs based on the priority level of each ticket. This option is particularly useful if you have tiers in your service offerings or specific VIP clients whose tickets require heightened attention and faster response times.


For example, you have three priority levels: low, medium, and high.


You could set an SLA of 8 hours for the first reply and 48 hours for resolution for low-priority tickets, 4 hours for the first reply and 24 hours for resolution for medium-priority tickets, and 1 hour for the first reply and 8 hours for resolution for high-priority tickets.


To take advantage of this customization feature, you can leverage HubSpot's automation capabilities. First, set up workflows or rules to automatically assign priorities to incoming tickets based on your criteria (e.g., customer segment, issue type, product/service category, etc.). 


Then, within the SLA settings, you can specify different response and resolution timeframes for each priority level.


Monitoring SLA Performance

Configuring SLAs is just the first step in ensuring exceptional customer service. To truly leverage the power of SLAs, you should monitor your team's performance against these agreed-upon targets. 


HubSpot's Service Hub provides robust reporting and notification tools to help you stay on top of your SLA adherence, enabling you to identify areas for improvement and take proactive measures to prevent breaches.


Utilizing HubSpot's Dashboard for Real-time SLA Insights 

HubSpot's intuitive reporting dashboards make it easy to monitor and visualize your SLA performance in real time, giving you a comprehensive view of your team's efficiency and effectiveness.


These reports display a wealth of metrics that provide insights into your SLA adherence, such as ticket close totals over time, breakdowns of tickets that exceeded or met SLA targets, and response time averages. 


The visual representation of this data makes it easy to identify trends, pinpoint areas that require attention, and track your progress toward meeting your SLA goals.


For example, you might notice that a particular product line or customer segment consistently has a higher rate of SLA breaches. With this information, you can investigate the root causes and implement targeted solutions to improve your performance in those areas.


Proactive Measures for SLA Adherence 

In addition to monitoring, HubSpot offers automated notifications and alerts to help ensure SLA adherence and prevent potential breaches before they occur.


HubSpot can send automated notifications or alerts when a ticket is approaching its SLA deadline, allowing your team to prioritize and address the issue before it is breached. 


These notifications can be customized based on your preferences, such as the number of hours or minutes before the deadline, and can be sent to specific team members or groups.


For example, you might set up an alert to notify the assigned agent and their manager 2 hours before a high-priority ticket's first reply SLA is set to expire. 


This proactive approach ensures that critical issues are addressed promptly, minimizing the risk of customer dissatisfaction and potential escalations.


Optimizing SLAs for Customer Satisfaction

While you should set and monitor SLAs, the goal is to enhance customer satisfaction. In this section, we'll explore how to align your SLAs with broader customer satisfaction objectives and use the data gathered to improve your service delivery continuously.


Linking SLAs to Customer Satisfaction Goals

SLAs are more than just internal metrics; they are vital in shaping the customer experience and driving satisfaction. You can create a powerful tool for improving overall service quality by aligning your SLAs with customer expectations and needs.


Meeting or exceeding SLA targets can significantly improve customer experience. Prompt responses and efficient resolutions demonstrate your commitment to providing exceptional service, leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.


For example, imagine a customer who submits a support ticket for a critical issue. If your team responds within the promised SLA time frame and resolves the issue quickly, the customer will likely feel valued and well-supported. 


This positive experience can turn a potentially frustrating situation into an opportunity to strengthen the customer relationship.


Let’s say a software company implemented strict SLAs for their enterprise clients, promising a 30-minute response time for issues. 


After six months of consistently meeting this SLA, they saw a 25% increase in customer satisfaction scores and a 15% reduction in churn rate among their enterprise customers.


Continuous Improvement Through SLA Analysis

SLAs should not be static but regularly reviewed and optimized based on performance data and customer feedback. This ongoing analysis allows you to refine your service delivery and stay aligned with evolving customer needs.


Analyzing SLA data lets you identify bottlenecks or areas where your processes need improvement. This analysis can inform strategic changes to streamline workflows, allocate resources more effectively, and continuously enhance customer service delivery.


Here are some ways to leverage SLA data for process improvement:

  • Identify common causes of SLA breaches

Look for patterns in the types of tickets or issues that frequently result in missed SLAs. This can help you address underlying problems or allocate resources to challenging areas.

  • Optimize team scheduling

Use SLA performance data to adjust your team's schedules, ensuring you have adequate coverage during peak times or for handling high-priority tickets.

  • Refine your knowledge base

If certain inquiries consistently take longer to resolve, consider creating or improving self-service resources to help customers find answers more quickly.

  • Adjust SLA targets

If you consistently outperform certain SLAs, consider tightening them to push for even better service. Conversely, if particular SLAs are frequently missed, you may need to reassess whether they're realistic or if additional resources are required.


For example, a retail company noticed that their SLA breaches often occurred with product return inquiries. They analyzed the data and identified that the process for initiating returns was confusing for customers. 

Then, they simplified the return process on their website and created clear video tutorials. As a result, they saw a 30% reduction in return-related tickets and a significant improvement in SLA adherence for the remaining inquiries.


Building Customer Loyalty with Powerful SLAs in HubSpot

Imagine a customer's question answered promptly, thanks to clear SLAs set up in HubSpot Service Hub. These agreements go beyond setting expectations. They build trust, showing customers you care and are ready to help.


Clear deadlines keep them informed and avoid frustration. When your team consistently meets or exceeds these established response and resolution times, you build a reputation for reliability and responsiveness. 

HubSpot Service Hub makes setting SLAs simple. With real-time reporting, you can proactively identify areas for improvement, ensuring exceptional customer service remains a constant. This fosters customer loyalty, which leads to happy customers and a thriving business.


Elevate Your Customer Service with Origin 63

Ready to transform your customer service with HubSpot's powerful SLA tools? Partner with Origin 63 to implement HubSpot Service Hub and leverage SLAs effectively. 


Our experts will guide you through setup, customization, and optimization, ensuring you maximize your business's SLA benefits. 


Contact Origin 63 today and take your service to the next level!


Why go O63
  • Elite HubSpot Solutions Partner
    Origin 63 ranks in the top 1% out of the 2,400+ HubSpot Partners in North America. Less than 9% of all HubSpot Partners globally achieve the HubSpot Partner “Elite” tier status.
  • Member of HubSpot Partner Advisory Council for North America
    We influence change and growth with HubSpot by sharing perspectives and creating strategies together.
  • Tailored solutions paired with a high-touch service model
    We offer advanced support services for custom technical projects, high-touch onboarding, and a subscription program for strategic ongoing HubSpot support needs.
  • Core focus is 100% dedicated to professional HubSpot solutions
     As a “master of our trade,” our technical expertise and efficiency are unrivaled by our competitors.

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