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You Say Tomato: Help Desk vs. Service Desk

The English language is complex, in part because there are many ways to say the same thing. For native speakers it is no problem, but when it comes to IT, how many native speakers are there? In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy explains the dangers of taking on this same-meaning mentality when it comes to discussing the help desk and the service desk.

It’s Pronounced “Desk”

A lot of people believe that the help desk and the service desk are one and the same, and that their titles are interchangeable. In fact, “Many people consider a help desk as solving tactical IT issues only, whereas a service desk is considered to handle issues more strategically.” The confusion increases because service desks often help in resolving tactical issues.

The service desk and the help desk are two very different departments. The help desk mainly reacts to an end user’s problem, and the service desk analyzes the problem to decide whether there needs to be an adaptation for improvement. Service desks are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of service. This by no means implies that the service desk is more valuable; it merely indicates that the two have slightly different functions.

Understanding the differences and true functions of the help desk versus the service desk will prove imperative when making hiring decisions. Grasping the proper terminology will attract the right people to the right position. Expectations will be understood from the beginning, and everyone will be on the same page.

There are some software vendors that tailor their products specifically for the help desk or service desk. This makes it even more necessary to understand the differences so that the proper software selection can be made. One of the most important reasons to comprehend the differences between the two departments is identifying what the organization truly needs.

You can read the original post here: http://www.joetheitguy.com/2016/08/03/say-tomato-help-desk-vs-service-desk/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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