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Service Desk vs Help Desk Software: Which Does Your Company Need?

service desk vs help desk

For any business that provides service to customers, or to any end-user, a support portal is imperative. In fact, hiring patterns confirm that technology is becoming “the cornerstone of nearly every industry.”  

While customer service is generally provided via a help desk, the term is frequently used interchangeably with the term “service desk”.  But are they the same?  In fact, a help desk and a service desk can fill similar roles, and since there are no industry rules regulating the naming of software in the IT world, knowing what role a portal needs to fill is essential when choosing software since important differences between the two do exist.  To determine which your company needs, in order to facilitate the purchase of the correct IT support software, understanding those key differences between service desk software vs help desk software  is crucial.  So what are those key differences?  Below are 5 things to know.

help desk vs service desk software

What is a Help Desk Software?  

A help desk is primarily focused on meeting the needs of the end-user.  As such, its aim is to manage and resolve complaints, or incidents, as quickly as possible by acting as an intermediary between end users and support staff on a daily basis in order to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.  Once an unexpected problem is reported by an end-user the help desk is where the issue is logged, tracked and eventually resolved in one way or another.  Typically this is the only point of contact for an end-user, who can submit any concern via email, phone or web portal.  In addition to logging and tracking incidents, a help desk should be able to provide access to a knowledge base and to track tickets.

What is the function of Help Desk Software?  

The purpose of help desk software is to assist in improving the efficiency with a business’s help desk processes are carried out. This may include sending out alerts when end users submit incidents, receiving, logging and sending tickets to the proper technician and instigating any necessary follow-up after an end-user’s incident has been resolved.  

What is a Service Desk Software?  

A service desk can generally do everything that a help desk does while also enabling the planning, structuring and delivery of IT services at the same time, rather than simply reacting to incidents.  Like a help desk, a service desk is also a single point of contact, but in this case it serves as such for end-users as well as for IT service providers.  Rather than being singularly focused on meeting the needs of end users, a service desk also aims to meet IT objectives as well as to manage and improve service processes.  As such both end-user to IT communications and internal IT communications take place through a service desk.

What is the function of Service Desk Software?  

service desk software by Vision Helpdesk

The purpose of service desk software is to automate as many of the common functions of a service desk as possible in order to streamline those processes.  These might include change management, problem management, configuration management, release management, security management, service level management and availability management.  This software is best when based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is the service desk management framework made up of a set of IT best practices.  The standardized ITIL framework helps the service desk to best meet the base needs of a business through service strategy, improvement, design and delivery.  A more expansive service desk can even function to provide an organization’s entire scope of support services including human resources, accounting, legal and facilities departments as well as change management.

What benefits do a Help Desk and a Service Desk Software share in common?  

Both a help desk and a service desk act as a single point of contact for end users, which results in the more prompt resolution of incidents and streamlined service.  As a result both increased end-user satisfaction with service as well as a reduction in service costs for the business should follow.

Is it ever appropriate to have both a Help Desk and a Service Desk Software?  

Once a business’s decision-maker understands the differences between a help desk and a service desk the appropriate choice between the two may become clear.  Upon careful consideration of the level of internal IT communications and management needs versus the number of end-user incidents reported, however, one may wonder whether there it ever makes sense for a business to utilize both a help desk and a service desk.  In short?  The answer is yes, there are businesses that stand to benefit from the implementation of both.  If choosing only one, a well-functioning help desk is vital to the health of a business.  When an end-user reports an incident, or when something breaks, it needs to be fixed or addressed.  If a help desk is seeing enough activity, however, that top-dollar technical resources are regularly being tied up answering questions that are not technical, the addition of a service desk can ensure that those questions that are not technical are addressed in a more cost-efficient manner, freeing the technical resources at a help desk to address purely technical concerns.  A service desk will also free pricey technical resources by detecting concerning trends and process problems before they are detected by end users.  It stands to reason, then, that a business that continues on a steady trajectory of growth will eventually benefit from having both.

To talk more about implementing the correct help desk or service desk software for any business, please contact us for the most accurate assessment of that business’s needs.

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Megha JadhavService Desk vs Help Desk Software: Which Does Your Company Need?
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