Navigating 3 key service satisfaction metrics: SLA, CSAT, and ELA

Federico Baronti
Jan 17, 2024 4:30:00 PM

If we dive into the goal of offering better customer experiences, we can find ourselves in a universe of different methodologies, concepts, and acronyms; that is why, in this blog post, we will explore three relevant metrics to drive customer service satisfaction and understand the distinctions between Service Level Agreements and Customer Satisfaction.

In the dynamic landscape of Customer Experience (CX) and IT Service Management (ITSM), two critical metrics play pivotal roles in gauging the effectiveness of service delivery - Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Though these terms are often used interchangeably, they serve distinct purposes and contribute uniquely to the overall success of an organization's service strategy.

Service Level Agreement (SLA): Defining performance expectations

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Defining performance expectationsAt its core, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formal document that outlines the agreed-upon expectations between a service provider and its customers. This contractual agreement shows the specific services to be provided, the quality standards that must be upheld, and the metrics used to measure performance. In the realm of ITSM and ITIL, SLAs establish a framework for delivering services in a timely, efficient, and consistent manner.

Typically, the key components of an SLA include:

  •    Service scope and description: Clearly defines the services being provided.
  •    Performance metrics: Specifies measurable indicators, such as response time, resolution time, and uptime.
  •    Responsibilities: Outlines the responsibilities of both the service provider and the customer.
  •    Escalation procedures: Details the process for handling and escalating issues.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Evaluating user contentment

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Evaluating user contentmentOn the other hand, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a metric designed to measure customer satisfaction with services received. CSAT is often expressed as a percentage and is based on customer feedback through surveys and other feedback mechanisms. This metric is subjective, reflecting the customer's perception of the quality of the service provided.

Typically, the key aspects of CSAT include the following:

  •    Survey feedback: customers are generally asked to rate their satisfaction on a numerical scale or provide comments.
  •    Benchmarking: comparison of current satisfaction levels with predefined benchmarks or industry standards.
  •    Continuous improvement: CSAT serves as a valuable tool for identifying areas of improvement and enhancing service quality.

Considering both definitions, Can we define service-level agreements based on customer happiness? Yes, we can! That's why we have crafted the concept of Emotional Level Agreement (ELA), a metric measured in the app for Jira we've developed: Gomood, winner of 2023 Atlassian's hackathon, The Codegeist Unleashed.

Emotional Level Agreement (ELA): Creating customer happiness through services

This might be the first time you've heard about it: ELA. How often have your customers approached your service desk feeling upset or frustrated? And how many times have you identified that and successfully turned their mood around positively? That's the aim of having an ELA in place – it's a metric that not only resolves issues but allows you to enhance customer satisfaction through timely responses, and focusing your overall approach.

ELA: Emotional Level Agreement to measure customers happines.

Important factors in ELA:

  •    Measure customer inputs: from start to finish, analyze everything customers say using a centralized system.
  •    Reporting: pay attention to the right customer's tickets based on insights to get a customer mood overview and track customer sentiment evolution.
  •    Take action: do something to improve the customer's happiness; it can be as simple as answering in a friendly way after finding the customer is upset or using straight and concise language if the customer is in a hurry.

Centralize in Jira customer insights to track their happiness with the service provided
Centralize in Jira customer insights to track their happiness with the service provided

SLA, CSAT, and ELA at a glance





Nature of measurement

Objective and quantifiable metrics focused on performance and adherence to predefined standards. Subjective. It captures the customer's perception and emotional response to the service received. A centralized system captures customer sentiment and emotions from start to finish.


It serves as a contractual agreement outlining expectations and responsibilities. It's a feedback mechanism to assess customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. Internal agreement to enhance customer sentiments through service support.

Time orientation

Emphasizes timely delivery and performance within predefined timeframes. Reflects the overall satisfaction at a specific time, often after a service interaction. It shows the evolution of customer sentiment during the ticket's life.


Focuses on the entire service delivery process and specific performance metrics. Targets customer's experience, capturing feelings and opinions about the service. It aims at the customer's sentiment and emotions using AI to analyze their comments.


Striking a balance for optimal service delivery

While SLAs, CSAT, and ELAs measure different aspects of the service lifecycle, they are complementary in ensuring a holistic approach to service excellence. SLAs provide the structure and benchmarks necessary for consistent and reliable service delivery. At the same time, CSAT offers insights into the customer's subjective experience and satisfaction levels, and ELA could be a mix of both, defining internal agreements to create customer happiness.

Try Gomood now from the Atlassian Marketplace to measure customer happiness

Start undergoing customer sentiment analysis

If you're aware of the actual value that reports offering a top-tier service experience to customers at your service desk, it's the right moment to start establishing and measuring Emotional Level Agreements for success in an automated way.

To that end, we encourage you to try Gomood today, a new app for Jira, available in the Atlassian Marketplace, that uses artificial intelligence to identify customer happiness.


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