A service desk technician wearing a headset while sitting at a desk. Over the image is text that says, "Service Desk vs. Help Desk: Defining the Difference."

Service Desk vs. Help Desk: Defining the Difference at PC Corp

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Overseeing a company’s technological needs requires significant time and effort. Many businesses outsource this work to managed service providers, who can streamline operations and ensure continued customer satisfaction. When seeking outside IT support, people often struggle when having conversations relating to a service desk or help desk. Often, they combine the terms, yet when it comes to a  service desk vs. help desk, they accomplish different goals, requiring distinct procedures and skill sets. Let’s compare the service desk vs. help desk to better guide the conversation for your business.

What is a Service Desk?

A service desk manages a business’ overall technical needs, operating as a centralized communication hub for customers and employees. It largely supports your comprehensive IT processes acting as a facilitator for issue resolution traffic. The service desk will monitor and report on key performance metrics reflecting your infrastructure’s overall health.

Service Desk Benefits

A service desk enhances your business’ long-term productivity and improves efficiency. In turn, this gives your end users a seamless experience with consistent service, ensuring smooth issue resolution through effective management of the ticket flow. As result, a Service Desk is ultimately responsible for the delivery of Service Level Objectives.

Potential Service Desk Queries

Service desks can be requested to initiate the integration of new devices into the workplace, from setting up employee laptops to configuring software programs. The service desk also manages incidents, such as server or system malfunctions. Beyond the basics, a service desk can provide support with budgeting, quality control, process development, and human resource efforts, like training and hiring.  

What is a Help Desk?

A help desk exists for basic technical support, addressing immediate software and hardware issues.

Potential Help Desk Queries

Someone reaches out to a help desk to troubleshoot a technological issue. For example, the help desk can provide support with resetting a password, fixing a printer problem, or a VPN connection issue. They can also support customers with product bugs or recover unsaved or deleted files. 

How Are They Similar?

Service and help desks can be complementary to full technical support, one being basic technical support and the other procedural support. A service desk will often combine a help desk into its workload, although a help desk can also be provided separately. 

Key Differences

Generally, a help desk offers basic technical support to end-users, whereas a service desk focuses on the business process of managing technical issues through the system within specified acceptable parameters. 

Help Desk

  • End-user focus. A help desk focuses on addressing basic technical support with/for end users.
  • Reactivity. A help desk focuses on day-to-day problem-solving to find quick solutions to IT problems but does not take a strategic approach to address technical needs.
  • Break and fix model. Typically, a help desk solves problems only when the user reaches out for support. 
  • Task by task basis. A help desk works within a limited scope, taking an ad hoc approach to technical support. 

Service Desk

  • Business focus. Through every user interaction, a service desk exists to optimize a business’ technical operations.
  • Proactiveness. A service desk also reduces errors by identifying patterns and planning for future incidents.  
  • Looking at the big picture. A service desk enhances overall IT performance and ensures that the company complies with its desired service levels.

Our Service Desk Can Support You

At PC Corp, we provide our Service Desk to our clients as part of our Managed IT Services. You can access our IT specialists who can provide support through our client portal, email, or by phone. Connect with us today to see how you can benefit from our Service Desk support. 

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