Why an SLA?
Because what I sell is me… for the most part I provide a service, not a product and if you’re paying me you should know what you are going to get. Fair enough, right? You can read more about the thought processes behind creating my SLA here
Who Does This Apply To?
Active clients, people I generally like and even some I don’t.
Business Hours , Response Times and Communication Methods
LOL… ‘business hours,’ what are those?! The last hourly job I had was in college and since then I am yet to punch in and out like some factory lineman. Believe me, I don’t consider this a bragging right as I would just about kill for an evening without fear of a server alert going off, a client creating a new campaign at 5pm or an otherwise routine update going awry at 9pm. However, these things happen and if I wanted to clock out at 5pm, I chose the wrong profession. So with that said lets get to how I work.
I consider standard business hours to be 9am – 5pm Monday through Friday. I am human after all (and though a rarity) I do plan for down time, family time, a good meal (sometimes a craft beer or two) and few hours of shut eye.
During ‘business hours’ you can expect me to meet the communications standards set forth in this document.
Don’t worry, we’ll talk about what happens at 5:01pm.
I’m a patriot and follow and recognize the standard U.S. federal holiday schedule. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the President’s golf schedule.
Personal Time and Vacations
Everyone needs to refresh, to see the world, grab a good meal and hit the beach from time to time. I’m no different. In fact I will fully admit that a dream of self employment is to have more of these things. However, during these times I still follow my standard communication policies, deal with emergencies and work out reasonable timelines on projects.
Much to my wife’s annoyance, when traveling connectivity is always the first challenge dealt with and often before the bags even come down the carousel. Most people don’t leave the house without their phone and wallet, during business hours, I carry a laptop – no joke.
Lets chat! Phone support is provided during standard business hours at 703-662-5792. If I should miss your call I will do my absolute best to get back to you within 2 hours or before end of that business day.
I hate email, I feel it is an absolute productivity sucker though understand it has its place as the most common and easiest method of communications. During business hours I check email no fewer than every 2 hours. I feel that this this is adequate time to get tasks done without the interruption of email, yet still remain responsive to client requests via email.
Emergency support requests should be placed by ticket system or phone. Email support and response can be expected within standard business hours. I do check email in the evenings and weekends to monitor for emergency situations but standard responses will be made during business hours.
I utilize a support ticket help desk managed by Zendesk to keep track of client requests and all communications. I have found that this helps me stay on task, stay organized and facilitate quick and archivable communication on any task. Your fastest method of support is to log into the ticket system at fatlabllc.zendesk.com or to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (which will create a ticket). The ticket system alerts me via mobile device of the new support request between 7am and 10pm Eastern time. If you do not utilize the ticket system, the same efficiency of communication will not be experienced. Please use the ticket system.
After Hours, Holiday and Weekend Support
I consider myself on-call during waking hours for emergency situations, but also work hard to balance work and personal time. Emergencies are when mission critical systems are offline and/or security related issues arise. Sometimes in the course of working in website maintenance and support after-hours work is necessary and this will be scheduled accordingly. Non-emergency after-hours support is at my discretion and not guaranteed. I may also advise of greater billing rates to accommodate non-emergency evening and weekend support requests.
Emergency Requests and Rush Rates
I do not charge an emergency rate and handle such situations to the best of my ability. Each situation is different and dealt with accordingly. Please note that your idea of an emergency is not always my idea of an emergency. Believe me, I have had clients that mark everything ‘urgent’ to get my attention or love to check things off their to-do lists by passing tasks to me on Sunday afternoons. I’m reasonable… We’ll make sure your issue is worked on.
What Do I Get if the SLA is Broken?
Hey go easy, I am human after all! My clients (some with me for over 10 years) will tell you that everything in the document is pretty much how I conduct myself at all times. However, if there is ever an issue, I am happy to talk it through and find solutions that work for both of us. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
business hours photo by Edward Webb / cc