IT Help Desk: What is a Help Desk?


What is a Help Desk? Wise Geek states “A help desk is a resource designed to provide end users with information and assistance regarding problems with computers and related devices or software.”

What is a Help Desk? Webopedia states “A department within a company that responds to user’s technical questions.”

Companies and their employees need a reliable group to obtain IT help from. An IT Help Desk is not just having an knowledgeable person available but creating the processes and deploying the tools needed so the end user experience meets expectations by an IT Help Desk Agent with customer services skills. The people, process and technology needs of building your IT Help Desk fall into many specific categories. We have identified many of the IT Help Desk specific categories with detailed ITIL based information about them in separate posts.

 Major specific categories of an ITIL Help Desk;

  • IT Help Desk Mission and Vision statements
  • IT Help Desk structure
  • ITIL Incident Management
  • ITIL Problem Management
  • Product, Services and Support offered
  • Governance policies and procedures
  • Service level Management
  • Performance Metrics and Reporting
  • Help Desk Staffing
  • Help Desk Training and Development
  • Knowledge Management
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure
  • Call volume analysis
  • Remote control
  • Ticket tracking software
  • Web portal and Self Service
  • Customer Communication

With so many specific areas involved in building an IT Help Desk, you may be thinking what is a Help Desk and where do I start? Wayne Schlicht, a 20 year veteran Help Desk architect, provides some insight. Wayne states;

“You start by interviewing your IT staff currently providing support. They can provide information about the most common support request types, challenges and  recommendations that they receive. You then need to meet with your customer groups that have been requesting support. You find out what is most important to your customer and focus on those items when building a new IT Help Desk.”

Listing to your staff and customers is very important in building a customer focused IT Help Desk. Regular meetings will ensure that the communication between IT Help Desk Management, Agents and customers is a priority. It is important to discuss in these meetings the agreed on support expectations so they are understood. Using IT Help Desk ticketing applications to track and classify support requests received from customers will really help with the customer meetings. If you ticket classifications are setup correctly you can provide a trend analysis, top reported issues and first contact resolution reports. This gives everyone in the customer meeting hard data to work from. In one of my posts I discuss in detail about IT Help Desk ticketing applications and ticket classifications. I also have many vendors advertise on my site so go ahead and check their websites out.

Again, creating the processes and deploying the tools needed so the end user experience meets expectations by an IT Help Desk Agent is one of your main goals. Continue on and read the various posts related to building an IT Help Desk. We will initially focus on the major specific categories of an ITIL Help Desk.

I encourage you to leave your feedback and comments. I am interested in reading if these posts helped you and your company. I also am open to specific ideas you may have for future posts.

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