A service level agreement (SLA) is a policy you define that specifies and measures the response and resolution times that your support team delivers to your customers.
On Enterprise plans, you can define group SLAs. Group SLAs are separate agreements between your internal teams that define a target ownership time for a group.
You can use the SLA and group SLA information that are visible in views and tickets to prioritize the tickets you address.
For more information about setting up SLA policies, see Defining SLA policies and Defining group SLA policies for internal teams.
Understanding SLA target statuses
- Active: An active SLA target is one whose metric has not yet been completed. For example, if the metric is "First Reply Time" and there has been no first public reply on a ticket, the "First Reply Time" target is still active on that ticket.
- Paused: A paused SLA target is one whose metric has not yet been completed, but we’ve temporarily paused the clock. A target can get into this state if its metric definition excludes certain statuses, like Requester Wait Time. When a ticket is put into pending, the Requester Wait Time target will be paused.
- Closed: A closed SLA target is one whose metric has been completed. For example, a ticket that’s already received a public reply will have a closed target for the “First Reply Time” metric.
- Active (breached), Paused (breached), and Closed (breached): There are also breached variants of each of these three states. Any given SLA target can be both active and breached, or paused and breached, or closed and breached. This just means that in addition to the definition above, the metric has surpassed the target time assigned to that ticket.
Seeing SLA statuses in views
You can view the SLA target status in the SLA and Group SLA view columns.
The color of the SLA badge tells you how much time is left before the SLA is breached:
- Green: Greater than 15 minutes
- Amber: Fewer than 15 minutes
- Red: 0 minutes (the SLA has been breached)
If a ticket does not have an SLA policy applied or if all of the targets on that ticket are closed, the SLA value will be blank for that ticket.
If at least one target on the ticket is active, the calendar time remaining before that target is breached appears. Once the target has been breached, a negative time value, like -15m or 4h, appears in red.
If the next target is paused, a pause icon will appear in the SLA column. For targets that haven't been breached yet, a green pause icon appears. For targets that have already been breached, the pause icon appears in red.
If your view contains the SLA or Group SLA columns, SLA and group SLA information will appear in the ticket preview when you hover over the ticket in the view. This information won't appear if your view doesn't contain the SLA or Group SLA column.
If an SLA is applied to a ticket well after it is created, it uses the ticket's metrics to calculate its targets, rather than starting from the time it is applied. For example: A ticket is submitted at 9 AM. At 12 PM, an SLA is created and applied to that ticket, with a First Reply Time requirement set for 1h. That SLA will immediately appear as breached when the SLA policy is applied at 12 PM because SLAs can't put events in the past. However, the breach time itself starts counting from when the SLA policy is applied. In this example, the breach time starts from 12 PM and continues until the ticket is replied to.
Seeing SLA statuses in tickets
When you start using SLAs, SLA information will automatically start appearing on any ticket where an SLA policy has been applied. Group SLAs are identified with a “Group Ownership Time” label and display which group the SLA is applied to.
The next action that needs to be taken by the agent will appear in each ticket along with the amount of calendar time that is left before the target will breach.
To view more information about the SLA target
Hover over the SLA badge to see other active SLA targets for the ticket and the exact date and time when the target will be breached. When the SLA policy is fulfilled, the badge disappears.
The SLA badge will always show the hours until the targets are due in calendar hours and days, but the target due date will be based on the hours as defined in your SLA policies and business hours. This means that SLA targets set with business hours can carry over to the following business day depending on the target set and what time of day the ticket was created.
For example, a ticket may have a target of eight business hours, but because it's a Friday afternoon, the target rolls over to Monday morning and the badge will show three days. This is because SLA badges are designed to help agents prioritize their workflows in real time. It's important to get all the badges on the same scale in a way that agents can easily understand.
Viewing which SLA policies have been applied to a ticket
You can see which SLA policy and corresponding targets have been applied to a given ticket by checking the ticket's events (see Viewing all events of a ticket).
Each time a policy or target is applied, removed, or changed, an event will appear. However, no event appears when an SLA is breached or fulfilled.
Hi, I'm stuck with SLA metrics in Explore, trying to get an overall SLA % for all targets over all tickets in a certain time frame.
Researching this I ran upon this: period is oct-dec 2020 for one customer; There was 1 ticket still open on dec 31, all others were solved and closed.
However, the metric 'Tickets with an active SLA policy' indicates 4. Even when I look at all recent tickets, there are only 2 in jan (one open, one solved). How can there be 4 tickets with an active SLA policy?
(cf this in the article: Note: When a ticket status is set to Solved, all SLA targets are considered met, and closed as a result.)
Hi Harold! Would you mind elaborating a bit more on how you have this specific report setup?
I'm afraid I wasn't able to locate a built-in metric called 'Tickets with an active SLA policy' on my end. Are you perhaps referring to the 'Active SLA Tickets' metric, 'Active SLA Targets' metric, 'Active SLA Policies' metric, or something else?
I'm sorry I didn't respond any sooner, I hoped it was just incidental.
But I just ran into this issue again. There's a ticket that has been closed in Nov 2020. According to Explore it still has one active SLA: Pausable Update Time.
I use a metric called D_COUNT(Active SLA tickets) and selected 'Status of SLA target' to be null (this is also how I found some tickets that an agent created on behalf of the customer which didn't get any SLA targets).
Hi Harold! According to Zendesk's help documentation, it says "Tickets set to Solved immediately fulfill all active SLA targets" so I'm not sure why you'd see an SLA Metric that was in a Closed Status without being able to inspect the ticket myself.
I'd recommend reaching out to Zendesk's Support team so that they can take a closer look at your Explore query and this particular Ticket ID for further assistance.
Hi ZD Community,
Apologies if this was asked or proposed already but would it be possible to add a third color for the SLA badges?
For example, it would be great to have the SLA badge turn yellow when it's getting closer to breaching. Ideally, Admins can choose when the badge would turn yellow (48, 24, or 12 hrs, etc. until breaching).
Visually, this would help Support agents identify pending breaches a little better than just the green and red badges.
Hi Nate, thanks for this feedback – for visibility, would you mind posting to our Feedback on Support topic and using our template to explain your use case? Thanks!
Is there an article with best practices for setting up Talk SLAs? We've committed to our partners that 70% of phone calls received during business hours will be answered within 20 seconds. How to we set this up in Zendesk?
Another user had a similar question, about how to calculate the Talk SLA % in Explore – there's an example of how to set that up in Hannah's comment here: Calculating Talk SLA % in Explore
Shouldn't a SLA start over once the first SLA is met? See ticket #29145.
That's not a ticket number in our system, are there some digits missing? And some SLA's (Next reply time, Periodic update time, and Pauseable update time) do reset on certain events – for more information, see Defining and using SLA policies
Does the view automatically refresh to show the Next SLA Breach updates? If so, how often it is?
Views are not refreshed automatically; for more information, see Can views be refreshed automatically?
Is there a way to filter the SLA for reply and solving time?
Ideal would be to have a view for each. Or a to add a tag dedicated to one of both breached.
Or a way to prioritize one to another?
Example for us might be important to reply time over the solving time when breached.
Or to sort them based on metrics
The only way to filter SLA's for response time and solve time is via creating a query in Explore. You can check this article for more information: Explore recipe: Reviewing SLA performance
As for views, unfortunately, we do not have a way to create a view for specific SLA's. The view conditions for SLA's applies to the last breached tickets and hours before ticket breach. We also cannot create a trigger or automation that can add tags for tickets that are breached.
It would be a great feature to have control over when the colour changes happen as time expires towards the next SLA breach. For example we have an SLA for a 1st response within 8.5 business hours. But it would be good for that to change from Green to Amber after e.g. 4 hours or something configurable (either as a % of the SLA time or a specific time). Having it only change 15 mins before the SLA i.e. breached is not so much use since a ticket could take longer than 15 minutes to answer. So having more of a configurable change could help with support team prioritisation
Is it possible to create different SLA policies for each group?
The SLA's vary for each team such as T1 & T2.
Hi Stephanie, you certainly can! :) You can add the group as a condition in your SLA like this one:
This way, the Tier 1 SLA will only apply to T1 and then you can make another one for Tier 2 SLA
Is it possible to show the sla breach column in the view that is in use for the organization?
So when opening an organization you can see which tickets need the first action.
Or can we only add that column to custom views?
Currently, SLA breach targets can only be added to ticket views, unfortunately. This is a great idea! Would it be possible if you can post this in our Product Feedback discussion here.
Our Product Managers are constantly reviewing suggestions submitted in our forum to be considered in our future updates.
I have a question . What should I do if I added a new SLA policy . but in the Next SLA Breach column , it does not show the time until its breach?
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