Helpdesk & Service Support - A cornerstone of IT

If we were to imagine IT as a building, the service area would be the basement, entrance area and janitor all in one, because nothing runs without it!

Hardly any area of modern IT would function smoothly without help desks. These serve not only as a point of contact for various IT-specific problem solutions and questions of understanding, but also as the first point of contact for customers from all kinds of service areas.

We distinguish between three different service levels:

First Level Support

The primary and direct point of contact and first point of contact for customers/users when questions & problems arise. This is where the so-called call center agents are primarily, but not exclusively, used.

Second Level Support

If a problem that arises cannot be solved directly by the first level, the expertise of the second level employee comes into play. Often, no team is deployed in this area, but selected employees from various departments.

For example, the in-house network specialist is happy to take on the role of helping hand.

Third Level Support

Third or last level support is the last major point of contact. This can be external specialists on the part of the service provider or employees from the internal IT departments, such as DBAs (database administrators) or employees from software development.

Automation? Yes, please...but

In certain instances, the support is also completely automatic, e.g. via script AI. However, there are some sensitive areas, such as the financial/investment sector, where face-to-face contact is incredibly important. A great compromise, which has been made a lot, is the initial contact via chat robot, which has been fed with a multitude of FAQs beforehand.

Of course, this has clear advantages, but unfortunately also disadvantages. For example, the time saved by eliminating the need for initial contact is enormous, but the "person-to-person" method benefits statistically from significantly increased customer satisfaction.

However, what service support can and should ultimately support varies from company to company and should by no means be neglected in terms of organization and planning. It should also always be aligned with the processes and the *ITIL framework.

Communication is key.

The user helpdesk also plays an enormous role in software development and in the development of our products. Already during the development process we make sure that users/stakeholders always have a contact point.

Although the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) is usually primarily the project manager, at an advanced stage of the project there is a dedicated SPOC on the support side as well.

A central term in service support is SLA (Service Level Agreement). This defines the response times for specific incidents, problems or changes.

An important basis of every helpdesk is the "Knowledge Base", where all current and previous cases are collected. This serves the employees as a central database for problem solving of occurring cases and enables a more effective as well as more efficient work structure.

This type of fast and goal-oriented communication is reflected in particular in customer satisfaction.

In conclusion...

However, there is much more to a good service desk/user desk than conveying technical know-how and complicated processes. It is of enormous importance that every support employee approaches the customer with appropriate courtesy and empathy. The ability to act in a considered and thoughtful manner makes the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied help seekers.

Let's just address it: In many situations, support is the first frustration unloading station for naturally irritated customers. Keeping a cool head even in heated situations is the hallmark of first-class service support and should be appreciated as such.

The psychological aspect related to the technical expertise of an IT Service & Support employee is an incredible support for any company in the industry and serves as an important cog for smooth operations.

*ITILis a defining term for incoming or outgoing communication
with the users of IT services

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