A Services Agreement can be key to happy customers and a successful business
Services Agreement for Clients and Customers
A services agreement is just what it sounds like: An agreement between you and your customers (or clients) for the services you provide. A services agreement can also be used for complex or custom products, products that are delivered over some period of time or recurring. In the online context, a services agreement is sometimes referred to as a “Terms of Service” or (TOS).
A services agreement serves two primary functions, and the importance of a good services agreement cannot be exaggerated. First and foremost, a services agreement establishes the tone between your business and your customer — and a well-worded, easy-to-understand, friendly-sounding and accurate services agreement can do wonders to maintain the satisfaction level of your customers. Second, a good services agreement covers all the bases between you and your customers, including but not limited to:
- Costs and fees for your services;
- Billing arrangements and payment terms;
- The specific services you will provide, under what circumstances or situations;
- If applicable, a service level agreement (or SLA) that specifies the level of performance one can expect from your service;
- Customer responsibilities or requirements;
- How to terminate the agreement or service;
- What constitutes a breach (aside from the obvious lack of payment or unfulfilled service, what about confidentiality, unfulfilled responsibility or other condition?);
- What happens if either party breaches the agreement;
- How to resolve disputes (i.e. sometimes a binding arbitration clause can be very helpful, although it can be an expensive hindrance at other times); and
- What options or services are excluded from your services, or available at an extra cost?
Each services agreement is unique to each business, and highly dependent upon how you run and execute your business. For example, if you can only process orders monthly, you don’t want a services agreement promising weekly delivery.
Making sure your services agreement is well-worded, easy-to-understand, friendly-sounding and accurate is not always an easy task. Depending on the nature of your business, consider some of these tips to improve the quality of your services agreement:
- Can your services agreement be “fine print” that is placed on the back of (or otherwise referenced from) your estimate, proposal or service order?
- Can you extract “customer specific” information onto a cover-page, that references the “terms of service” that follows?
- Does your business allow for placing a “Terms of Service” on your website, making it a “shrinkwrap” for all your customers?
If any of the above is possible, then make sure the “customer facing” document (i.e. the cover-age, estimate, proposal or service order) is friendly, adequately branded with your company’s graphics, and easy-to-read and understand.
L4SB can help you create a great customer services agreement.
How to get started
Simply fill out the L4SB Engagement Agreement (Click the “Hire Us” tab underneath the map), and send back to us. We will contact you and go from there.
Or, simply call us to get started!
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