service desk management

Find out what a help desk really is and the benefits it offers you

By Anna Benzaquen
Published: 17/11/2022

IT service desks are meant to serve larger business demands and improve the user's tech experience in the workplace by acting as communication centres where users may seek help and get IT support. So whether you are a VSE, SME or large company, you could all benefit from implementing a service desk management.

IT service desk management promotes contact between other service managers and the user community, which is often composed of workers and other stakeholders within the organisation. They also help with modification requests, maintaining third-party relationships, trouble management, and managing software licences.

This guide will help you understand what the differences are between a help desk and a service desk. We will also tell you all about the benefits and features you should be expecting when looking for a service desk

What does a service desk do?

A typical service desk processes issues and service requests, as well as user interactions.

A service desk is a communication hub where customers may seek assistance from their IT service providers. As stated in the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) service desk definition, this assistance may take the shape of incident resolution or service request fulfilment, but the purpose of a service desk is to give high-quality support to clients in a timely way.

There are significant connections between issue and change management procedures as well.

This assistance might be in the form of incident resolution or service request fulfilment. Service desks frequently involve a variety of ITSM (IT Service Management) duties. The aim is that they are a strong, service-oriented, and customer-centric method of providing assistance.

What does a help desk do?

A help desk is an organisation that receives online or in-person assistance inquiries. It might be as simple as a physical desk where a customer service representative answers calls.

Support professionals are frequently used to handle the help desk. Most businesses of any size have an IT help desk to assist workers and other internal users of computers, software, and networks. Help desk personnel answer queries submitted by consumers via:

  • mail,
  • phone,
  • messaging applications in real time.

Help desk software is used by staff to produce help desk tickets that track client support. When an initial contact cannot be answered promptly, help desk personnel use the ticketing system to ensure that client demands are addressed.

The ultimate purpose of a help desk is to optimise the overall business from different processes:

help-desk-services© Tarian

Help desk vs. Service desk

A help desk reinforces pre-existing IT activities. Help desk support might be considered a part of comprehensive service desk skills. A service desk facilitates the delivery of IT services throughout the full service-based ecosystem. Different organisations will assign different weights to the help desk vs. service desk argument. A help desk supplemented current IT operations, but a service desk is a component of a service-based IT service delivery and support ecosystem.

Some people may regard a help desk to provide a subset of service desk skills, or they may be characterised as having a restricted scope by words such as "the progression of the help desk to the service desk.". Most people think of a "service desk" as an advanced form of a help desk designed in the ITIL mould.

Features of a service desk

1. Ticketing administration

It is the central system for recording and organising consumer complaints into tickets and tracking their progress from receipt to resolution.

To eliminate duplicate ticket responses, excellent help desk software displays the ticket status and who is handling it. Ticketing should also be capable of:

  • Swiftly converting emails to tickets,
  • allows for the automatic prioritising, assignment, and monitoring of events and concerns presented via various channels for speedier resolution.

2. Channels of communication

The contact channels section includes all of the ways a service desk may be contacted. Telephone, email, instant messaging, social networking, and self-service processes are examples. Some alternatives will provide assistance channels as optional features that help desk users can purchase.

Companies now have tools that provide a powerful omni-channel experience to ensure a positive customer experience. With RingCentral, you can connect customers to the proper resource the first time, whether through self-service or a live person, in any channel.

3. Automation

The software automates repetitive, predictable, or normal processes such as answering repeated customer enquiries and doing administrative chores such as filling out forms and generating daily reports.

Automation may cover the whole support service spectrum, from turning emails to tickets to forwarding them to the appropriate employees. It also handles informing management of pending or resolved

4. Dashboards

Allows for full view of real-time and historical data to aid in the optimization of performance, productivity, effectiveness, and other processes.

5. Management of SLAs

Help desks enable organisations to build and manage various service level agreements in order to maintain the quality and speed of support that end customers have come to expect.

To avoid a SLA breach, IT teams may define bespoke SLAs, automatically activate multi-level escalation, and allow real-time alerting regarding ticket modifications. It assists with ticket prioritisation based on SLAs and decides if escalation or deadlines should be used to create management rules.

6. Customer satisfaction poll

This would be closely connected to analytics, but with a specific goal in mind: to demonstrate the relationship between customer satisfaction rates and sales trends. You may utilise the feature, for example, to see if the amount of complaints is inversely proportional to your sales trajectory.

7. Database of knowledge

A good help desk provides an integrated knowledge base to aid end users in finding appropriate answers to frequent inquiries in order to swiftly fix technical difficulties without opening a ticket.

An integrated knowledge base not only provides an additional IT support channel, but it also assures 24/7 help for end users with limited resources and reduces the cost per incident.

8. Customization

Most help desk software allows businesses to personalise their help desk to include the company's colours and logo. Custom integrations may also be built on top of the help desk to increase the software's usefulness.

9. Analytics and reporting

Companies may use help desk software reporting tools to measure critical metrics such as agent productivity, customer satisfaction, and support expenses. Detailed analytics enable continual service quality and efficiency improvement.

10. Email assistance

If something goes wrong, you may send a support email to a specific address. These communications will then be transformed into tickets automatically, allowing agents to benefit from a structured ticketing system.

Service desk management roles and responsibilities

The primary job of a service desk manager is:

  • To satisfy customer service,
  • To support performance targets and expectations.

These include ensuring that all service desk processes are well documented, periodically audited, and improved. Other important roles include managing all relevant stakeholders, such as the support desk staff, customers, and other service desk teams.

Other significant duties of the service desk manager include:

  • Support corporate and IT goals. The service desk manager's responsibility is to assist business and IT objectives. To do so, he or she must keep top management informed of service desk difficulties and concerns on a frequent basis.
  • Provide concrete and, where feasible, data-driven advice on how to improve IT services. As a result, the team can participate in cross-functional projections and organisational activities. Keeping senior management informed and involved in all initiatives or changes that affect service.
  • Evaluate and analyse interactions between IT workers and customers in addition to talking with top management. To achieve this goal, the management should have procedures in place for obtaining information, evaluating it, and disseminating the results.

Benefits of a service desk

Enhances staff and consumer satisfaction

A service desk solution can minimise your workers' burden while also improving the client experience. You may also use gamification to make your employee experience more enjoyable and thrilling. You may, for example, create a scoreboard for the most questions addressed in a week or the greatest FCR rates (First Call Resolution).

Savings on expenses

When appropriately staffed and properly deployed with the newest AI-based automation, a service desk is capable of effectively managing a major percentage of the normal IT task.

It is a low-cost solution for offloading routine tasks from high-cost engineering teams and IT specialists. This frees up valued technical professionals to devote more time and energy to strategy and more complicated concerns. In other words, the proper service desk enables firms to make better use of their existing IT resources.

Work from Anywhere in the World

Cloud-based help desk softwares may be accessible from anywhere in the globe via a variety of devices including PCs, laptops, and mobile phones.

Remote access to the ticketing system may be a useful function, particularly when an agent needs rapid assistance from a teammate or management. Even when your agents are not at their workstations, they may use their help desk mobile applications to observe and reply to consumers.

Assists you in streamlining your procedures and operations

A service desk software solution can assist you in determining how a ticket will be addressed. It can prevent tickets from being lost or delayed, as well as duplicate and inconsistent responses.

Even if there is a new team member, the technology can shorten the time it takes to get them up to speed.

Automate Manual Processes

Managing the majority of your customer support responsibilities manually might result in a tedious and cumbersome procedure. An automated help desk system can help you save time in the following ways:

  • Canned responses, which are stored templates for email or chat responses, can be created;
  • Customisable chatbots capable of understanding consumer moods and assisting them with simple enquiries.

Decreases workload

A help desk software decreases the team's effort and allows them to focus on more vital activities. Modern support desk systems are also highly automated. For example, if a client has queries about their payment plan, the service desk person may access all of the information about that customer's plans.

So, why use a service desk management?

You may automate ticket management to handle service requests, problems, and provide timely answers by adopting strong service desk software. Aside from that, you may lessen your agents' burden by implementing robust and effective procedures.

Employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners interact with IT service desks as the "face" of IT operations. They provide a single resource for obtaining assistance with IT problems as well as IT service requests such as password resets and database access requests.

ITSM, the best-practices framework for "managing IT as a service," relies heavily on service desks.

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