service desk different from help desk


A lot of IT analysts and experts claim that there is no substantial difference between a service desk and help desk. Users are even more confused about which term to use or what department to call if they need assistance.

Before we dive deep into these two different terms in the world of IT, it’s very important to know where they originated and how it is defined back then.

Back in the early 1980s, the help desk is more focused on troubleshooting IT issues along with the goal of helping IT teams and not the end-users. Service desk, however, is the point of contact between the service providers and end-users where they manage service requests and handle communications with the users.

Basically, the help desk is considered as a division of a service desk.

Throughout the 2000s, both terms weren’t considered different, companies might call it a Service desk while end-users call their IT Support as a help desk.


What is Service Desk?

A service desk serves as the communication center of an employee or companies where they can ask for help from their IT service providers, this means that regardless of the kind of help being provided, the goal of a service desk is to provide high-quality assistance to customers in a timely manner.

Service desk often includes multiple aspects of IT Service Management (ITSM) such as:

 •  Service Request Management 

 •  Incident Management 

 •  Knowledge Management 

 •  Self-service Support

Generally, it provides a customer-centric and robust way of providing support from IT to customers. A Service Desk can almost do what a help desk does, but it goes much further.


What is a Help Desk?

IT help desks is all about meeting the needs of the end-user. If something needs troubleshooting, you call for a Help Desk and log a ticket so it can get fixed. Organizations use the help desk to help customers on a specific request aiming to provide technology solutions.

It is typically composed of a group of technicians who finds a solution that best responds to their customers’ needs or requests which is usually divided into two levels:


Level 1: Deals with customers asking for common information regarding a product or service. 

Level 2Usually require a technician for assistance through on-site support or telephone support due to the complexity of the problem. 


A Help Desk uses helpful features such as Email ManagementTagging, and AutomationThese features help in ensuring that all incoming requests are being tracked, monitored, and resolved. 


What are the differences?

Service Desk team or individual is the company’s internal support that is responsible for handling hardware and software issues. While the help desk is the external support that handles a company’s product or services.

Each type caters to a different audience: help desk for customers and service desk for employees’ IT well-being. A help desk can also function as the PR team for companies since they deal with consumers on a daily basis. 


Infographics about differences of service desk and help desk - Uniserve IT


How a Help Desk and a Service Desk can help your business?

If your company requires immediate action to be more productive, a help desk is recommended but if you want to focus on corporate strategy and give importance to your IT functionality then a service desk is more beneficial for your business.  

Both services exist to fix what is not working. Systems and devices must run smoothly, and both of these services ensure that preventive solution is being implemented to avoid future technical issues. 

In conclusion, both services are valuable for the company to function daily. Understanding their difference will help your business to develop more efficient support.  


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