Kill the SLA

20140531-Stockhorn-0104
What if you removed all Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from your contracts? Nuts, you may think. How is that supposed to work?
Why should we not have any legally binding agreements on the services we offer? In the end, this is what our customers demand! Right? They want to be sure that their businesses – which are built upon our services – will run smoothly and delight their customers. They need insurance for that – ­they need an SLA.
No business will buy anything from us if we don’t give them some kind of technical service level agreement. Right?
Bollocks!
No SLA can compensate a business for its loss in customer satisfaction or loyalty. You cannot reimburse a bad customer experience. But you can design around it. So let’s design for this moment, this uncertainty: when your cloud goes dark,  your network goes down. Let’s design for that experience – and make it a good failure experience. Let’s turn the failure moment into a success moment.
Your customers don’t need an SLA. What they really need is an Experience Assurance (EA). They need someone who helps them to deliver a good customer experience despite a technical system failure.