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7 Reasons Why Service Desk and Help Desk Aren't the SameOctober 31, 2017

Often the term "Help Desk" and "Service Desk" are most of the time perceived as interchangeable, but the two are in fact very different in relation to the extent that they can have an effect on your entire organization. Although they both provide an element of technical support that gets end users back to work, the business consequences of each are affected on comparatively different scales and over varied timelines.

They really look similar at first glance, a closer and more practical look can reveal differences beyond the "potato/po-tah-to" thing.

1. The Definition:

There are definitions that separate the terms service desk and help desk. In this case, our 'dictionary' is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a comprehensive framework of best practices for IT Service management.

Service Desk — A Primary IT Service for IT Service Management (ITSM). It is intended to provide a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to meet the communication needs of both customers and employees.

Help Desk — It Provides the customer with information and support related to a company's products and services. It usually troubleshoots problems or provides guidance about products, through channels such as websites, toll-free numbers, instant messaging, or email.

2. The Focus:

Service Desk — is for both the employee and the customer. It's completely process focused, and aims to get everything in line with the ITIL framework.

Help Desk — is only for the customer. It's only support focused. The aim is to ensure the customer's happiness.

3. The Goal:

Service Desk — is to is to reduce costs and raise efficiency.

Help Desk — to fix the customer's problems.

4. The Nature:

Service Desk — is Strategic. It may have a help desk component, but it also has a goal of improving IT

processes, monitoring and assessing current processes and trends, and looking for opportunities for IT processes (including the help desk) to run more efficiently.

Help Desk — is tactical in that they are in place to solve problems as they arise.

5. How Do They Solve A Problem?

Jarvis's printer drivers no longer work and he needs to print out copies of a presentation before 9 o'clock.

Help Desk — it will focus on fixing his printer drivers or finding a workaround that will get those printouts in his hand by the deadline.

Service Desk — It notices that over the past week, several people on that same floor have had problems printing things, so the problem could be something deeper. The service desk dispatches someone to figure out what's causing the printer problems.

6. The Short Game & The Long Game.

Imagine a scenario where people are complaining about long phone queues and help tickets getting lost.

Service Desk — will need to figure out how help desk workers can keep end users happy, while determining if a fundamental change needs to be made, such as using a different help desk software provider.

Help Desk — they will concentrate on getting passwords reset and ensuring the new employee or the customer's laptop will arrive next week.

7. The Inclusion.

Help Desk —Includes:

  • Ticketing System
  • Self- Service Portal
  • Communities
  • Forums
  • Social Support.

Service Desk — includes Modules such as:

  • Incidents
  • Problems
  • Changes
  • Releases
  • Assets
  • Configuration Management

Should You Care?

Absolutely!!!, When it comes to Help Desk vs. Service Desk.

Yes, there are similarities. However, under the ITIL framework, they're different. It's important that you know the differences and uses the correct terminology in contexts where using the wrong term could make a difference.

Service Desk, Service Desk Software

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