A support center is a resource designed to provide the client or end-user with information and support related to a companys or institutions products and services. A first-level support help desk or helpdesk is the unit within the company that is responsible for providing assistance and consultation regarding topics related to a companys products and services. Help desk support refers to the process of providing information and assistance related to the information about a business, and also the information related to an organizations products and services, to an end-user/customer. Help desk support is the process of responding to customer inquiries, taking tickets, solving customer problems, and otherwise providing customer support via a formal, organized software system.
Help desk support is a generalized customer support service provided by a broad variety of businesses. Some help desks perform more generic customer service functions, while an IT Help Desk is more akin to a Technical Support Desk, working to ensure that systems and software are working correctly for customers or organizations. In contrast, technical support is designed for customers that need specific assistance for technical issues, typically requiring more time and complexity than general help desk inquiries.
As a help desk technician, you are responsible for responding to emails, chats, or telephone inquiries, and providing technical support for customers using computer systems, hardware, and software. Help desk technicians are critical in providing technical support systems for IT users, including employees and customers. Help desk technicians can either be employed internally or remote, freelance, and their daily tasks can vary depending on the nature of issues raised by employees or customers.
Desk technicians must be courteous, patient, and polite, and must also be able to clarify situations and offer helpful information and advice. IT support desk technicians are often the first port of call for customers experiencing tech issues, and should serve as an extension of the brand. Often the first port of call for network issues, IT support technicians are experts at providing customer support in addition to solving problems.
To accomplish these technical tasks, Help Desk technicians must frequently bring in non-technical skills such as communications, customer service, problem-solving, etc. While help desk technicians possess good knowledge about IT, it is just as important to possess soft skills, like communications skills and an appreciation for the importance of customer service. As a support technician, your duties and responsibilities include receiving a technical support ticket, call, or e-mail, communicating with a user or client, listening to his/her concerns, diagnosing the issue, and walking him/her through a solution.
Anytime the client or customer encounters an issue that is of technical nature while using the IT infrastructure at your company, IT helpdesk is called to address the problem promptly. Staff uses Help Desk Software to generate helpdesk tickets, which keep track of customer support. When an initial call cannot be resolved immediately, helpdesk staff uses a ticketing system to ensure customer requests are resolved in a timely manner. Help desk analysts working with particularly time-sensitive issues will spend a significant portion of their days maintaining tickets and following up with reminders to ensure that their tickets are on the path to being resolved quickly.
Customer issues often involve many different teams for resolution, so triaging, prioritizing, assigning, and tracking tickets helps teams save time and increase responses. Reporting customer support issues and trends helps support teams optimize their efforts, motivate and compensate representatives, and make smart decisions about team priorities and staffing.
A feature of helpdesk reporting typically includes dashboards informing managers of the resolution times of tickets, customer satisfaction, productivity of the representatives, the customers experience, etc. This system allows the help desk to track and sort user requests using unique numbers, and it is often possible to categorize issues by user, computer program, or similar categories. Other names for an IT Help Desk include a customer support center, an IT solutions center, resource center, an IT response center, an information center, a technical support center, or other variations, but they are all, in essence, IT help desks.
This type of help desk usually provides a self-service portal where customers, both internal and external, can send requests for routine support tasks. Desktop-based support usually relies on a virtual chat or a phone call to communicate with a customer as they are working on an issue. First-level support might be able to solve a customers concerns or issues themselves.
In cases of advanced requests, first level support will also monitor and update the customers status and information, as well as relay any customer feedback or suggestions to appropriate internal teams. Occasionally, the Customer Service Manager might dip in to the mailbox to dig into how things are going, or handle an escalation, but for the most part, they should stay away from front-line support. The features inside a support ticketing system a customer support rep would most likely be using would probably be automation, user experience, increased productivity, and actually being able to support customers within an interface.
Since a customer support agents role is one that involves interacting directly with customers, being able to communicate with people, understand their issues, queries or concerns, and being able to offer a clear solution is crucial. A support team is equipped to handle more basic questions, and to provide solutions for relatively straightforward problems such as resetting passwords, app support, software assistance, and server backups. Where technical support is able to provide a more proactive fix for many problems, updating software, and keeping problems from happening, the help desk is usually more reactive, offering solutions for problems that have already happened.
A Level 1 support analyst usually takes an initial inquiry from the customer (usually submitted as a ticket through the self-service portal) and handles relatively straightforward issues with equipment, software, or networking. A Tier 2 analyst may handle more difficult systems and application issues.