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What is an IT help desk?

An IT help desk is what many companies call their IT support service. At ServiceNow, we call it a service desk.

Why are IT help desks important?

An excellent IT support help desk or service desk keeps a company humming along. But when the help desk system misses a beat, productivity comes to a screeching halt.

A well-functioning service desk is essential for an organization to support both customers and employees—providing them with solutions to product, service, or IT issues. When these issues aren’t handled properly or in a timely manner, the wheels come quickly off the once smooth-running organization.

Implementing a help desk that effectively responds to user requests is vital to keeping staff members and customers happy. When IT support functions at peak efficiency and manages support issues well, customer satisfaction is high, and the organization has a window into what’s working and not working with its products and/or services. 

How is a help desk set up?

Depending on the size of the organization, a help desk can range from one person with a phone and a PC answering questions—all the way up to a multi-national structure with thousands of agents aided by IT support software solutions. 

For internal customer IT questions, the help desk is supported by IT support software like ServiceNow® IT Service Management and its applications, including:

For external customer requests, the help desk is enabled by customer support software solutions like ServiceNow® Customer Service Management.

How does a help desk provide IT support services and customer support services?

The best way for a help desk to provide IT support services is to enable internal users and external customers to help themselves (a.k.a. self-service). Many people like solving their own computer or technical problems without having to wait. 

Most help desk self-service portals allow users to create and submit tickets. Once a ticket is created, the user can check the ticket status in the portal without involving an agent.  

When complicated problems require human intervention, the help desk self-service portal should encourage users to phone, chat, or email an agent for further assistance.     

Does ServiceNow have a solution that manages face-to-face IT support requests?

Yes, ServiceNow® Walk-Up Experience is an easily accessible, streamlined channel for capturing and managing face‑to‑face IT support requests. This app features online check‑in, transparent queue estimates, and automated notifications to help customers make the best use of their time, improve the service experience, and increase customer satisfaction.

VitalityHealth transformed with ServiceNow

Working with ServiceNow solutions, VitalityHealth Insurance re-engineered its IT service operations and kick-started its vision with the Vitality service desk.