Browse Definitions:

service level

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to call center metrics

Service level describes, usually in measurable terms, the services a network service provider furnishes a customer within a given time period. When used as a call center metric, service level measures the percentage of incoming calls that an agent answers live in an established amount of time.

For example, a service level of 90% can be achieved if 9 out of every 10 phone calls are answered before the established time limit.

There are multiple approaches to determining service levels, each involving how call centers define abandoned calls. They may be treated, for instance, as:

  • Missed opportunities (counted against the service level)
  • Ignored (unavoidable and a part of doing business)
  • Completed (where the caller would have been serviced properly without a premature abandonment of the call when the wait time is reasonably short).

Learn more about service level agreements:

Negotiating service-level agreements and billing with cloud providers.

Measuring agent retention translates to the bottom line

SaaS evaluation: Considerations for a SaaS service-level agreement

This was last updated in November 2010

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.