From help desk to service desk – what’s the difference?

Service Desk, Help Desk?

It was the invention of the phone that facilitated the first help desks. As a customer you could call a company and explain your problems, instead of meeting up in person. When large companies organized the receipt and processing of customer inquiries in the 60s, the concept of call center was introduced in earnest.

In the 80s, many companies started organizing help desks focusing on IT and support on mainframe systems. The ITIL concept was formed throughout the 1980s as a result of the British government being dissatisfied by the quality of the IT support given to them.

We had to get into the 90s before help desk software was used to a greater extent. Focusing on accepting inquiries in a Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) and solving IT issues in the first, second and perhaps third line of support, the systems were largely aimed at the IT part of the companies’ support departments.

New features were eventually added to make help desks more effective. Service desks emerged to be communication centers for efficient handling of IT-related errors, orders, and information needs. Today, service delivery to internal colleagues and external customers makes up a very large part of the work done in an organization. This is often where you can make a difference to customers and increase efficiency to gain strategic competitive advantage. 

So what exactly is the difference between helpdesk and service desk? The concepts are used interchangeably, and it matters less if you call it help desk or service desk. Simply explained, help desk is a subset to a service desk.

The most important thing is to know what opportunities exist in a modern service desk. With good self-help services such as dynamic FAQ, targeted information and chatbot on a web portal, a significant portion of the workload can be unloaded, which gives it time to deliver faster and better service on the issues requiring manual handling.

CMDB (Configuration Management Database) presents a logical model of your organization’s objects like equipment, services, and documentation (object, CI), to get more control and overview of how they relate.

By linking the objects to the cases you register, valuable reports can be used to proactively improve the service delivered.

Register today, and try out our Service Desk for 60 days! It's free and with absolutely no obligations!