A service desk is the main contact point between users/service providers, handling issues, refunds, and more. A common example is the IT Service desk.
Acting as communication centers where users can request help and
receive IT support, IT service desks are also designed to address
broader business needs, and increase the user’s tech experience in the
workplace. IT service desks facilitate communication between other
service management and the user community—usually the organization’s
employees and other stakeholders. They also play a role in capturing change requests, maintaining third party contacts, assisting with problem management, and managing software licenses.
Service desk is integrated into a range of processes, including:
Often, businesses will use the terms ‘help desk’ and ‘service desk’
interchangeably. But while these tools share certain similarities, IT
help desks and IT service desks serve different functions within an
organization and have different sets of goals.
Help desks are more tactical, and help resolve end users’ needs, issues, and incidents. A help desk is usually reactive in nature, and is meant to provide fast and efficient remediation to specific problems as they arise. They can either be part of or separate from larger service desk operations. Some key traits of help desks include:
Service desks function in a broader sense, and are more strategic.
They usually service wider business needs rather than only focusing on
solving a user’s needs. The goal is to be proactive in improving IT
processes within an organization, and they are used to identify
opportunities to run IT processes more efficiently. Some key traits of
service desks include:
IT service desks are highly beneficial to companies of all types and sizes, regardless of their service or product. It is crucial for a company to provide a point of contact between customers and an IT department so that customers can have their issues resolved in a timely and effective manner, and IT teams can keep operations running smoothly.
When a service desk is properly staffed and correctly implemented with latest AI-based automation, it is capable of effectively managing a large portion of the routine IT workload. It is a low-cost option that transfers more simple work from high-cost engineering teams and IT professionals. This frees up valuable technology experts to focus more of their efforts on strategy and more-complex issues that need to be addressed. In other words, the right service desk allows businesses to get more out of their existing IT resources.
Proper data tools can help organizations identify and address service issues before they become something larger. IT service desks acting as early-warning systems can enable proactive problem management, service changes, and preventative maintenance to reduce the impact of outages and service issues.
Many key processes and IT services begin at the service desk. As such, it is often the primary point of contact between users, IT services, and business processes. Monitoring these interactions may provide useful insight into user sentiment as it relates to products, services, needs, and the organization in general.
Although the IT environment continues to evolve, the concept of an IT service desk is one that has been around for some time, and is well established throughout a range of industries. This widespread adoption has helped businesses refine their approach, resulting in a number of tied-and-true best practices for service desk implementation.
A service desk is not a stand-alone solution; to provide value to users and businesses, it requires strong support software. The following are essential technologies for getting the most out of your IT service desk:
This is the core area for IT service desks. Help desk ticketing orchestrates both incidents and service requests throughout the service desk and related support teams. Essential functions include alerts, escalations, automated routing, workflow management, and SLA management.
There are many issues that generate user calls into an IT service desk. Some of these issues could be resolved without a call if the end user had the right tools and access to information. Self-service provides agents with the time and opportunity to resolve more complicated requests. Aspects of self-service include a self-service diagnostic tool, service request form, automated common processes, and a knowledge search option.
Knowledge maximizes operational performance by providing a resource to service desk agents. Essential functions include a knowledge database, separate end user and agent knowledge data, known issue and error database, suggest keyword searching based on an incident description, and knowledge management to support a knowledge lifecycle.
Reporting functions help IT service desk leaders optimize operational costs, which in turn helps them manage user satisfaction, ensure SLA compliance, and identify issues that may be impacting business. Reporting also gives management a larger look into operations to help them make informed decisions. Some key capabilities include service performance dashboards, agent metrics, known-issue analytics, SLA conformity reports, and major incident management capabilities.
Finding the right tools for your service desk is crucial to supporting operations and helping resolve issues and is often referred to as IT Service Management (ITSM.) The service desk is the point of contact between customers and an organization’s IT team, which means that tools like knowledge management and reporting are critical to providing IT service desk solutions. The right tools also provide easy setup and customization, enable proper collaboration, adapt to user needs, and scale with the growth of a team or organization. This helps IT support desks deliver the right support to help users get the most out of their IT resources.
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