Service Desk vs. Help Desk: The Major Difference

Understanding the differences between help desk vs service desk helps ensure that your organization is getting the best use out of your IT support structure.

While many still seem to confuse help desk vs desktop support, there are significant differences between both service desk and help desk.

This article with be covering:

  • What are help desks and service desks?
  • The different types of service desks and help desks
  • The benefits of using a help or service desk

help desk vs service desk

Service Desks

Service desks are defined as “the single point of contact between the service provider and the users.” Apart from serving as the communication medium between users, the standard service desk manages incidents and facilities service requests.

Regardless of the type of help provided, the main goal of service desk software is to help providers deliver high-quality services to customers in a quick, efficient manner.

ITSM, or IT service management, refers to the end-to-end delivery of specific IT services to customers. One of the main advantages of service desks would be that they support a vast range of core IT processes, such as:

  • Knowledge management A self-serve online library of information available anywhere including FAQs, troubleshooting guides and additional need-to-know details.
  • Change management – Helps ensure business continuity by minimizing risk, helping to avoid bottlenecks and reducing IT disruptions.
  • Problem management An incremental part of ITSM frameworks, problem management desk tools help identify and manage the causes of IT issues and incidents.
  • Incident managementThis service desk tool helps ensure normal business operations are quickly restored and that impact is minimalized following a disruption.
  • IT asset management The asset management desk solution ensures business hardware, software and systems are deployed, maintained, upgraded and managed.
  • Configuration management Helps store relevant information regarding all significant entities in your IT environment.

As the first point of contact between the service provider and user, service desks are instrumental for organizations prioritizing incident and service request resolutions around valuable customer services.


Top 3 Benefits of Service Desks

Organizations built around improving customer relations often choose service desks over help desks because it prioritizes service and task execution to customers and offers these benefits:

  • Improve customer connections – Provides service-focused help in a timely manner.
  • Boost efficiency – Improves ticketing system efficiency and better-managed workflows.
  • Knowledge management Helps businesses streamline information across the organization.


Want to Know More About Helpdesks? Read these Articles.


Help Desks

Help desks are resources or services that provide information and support to users, typically relating to computer systems, hardware and software.

As a tactical solution, the main objective of help desks is to solve problems efficiently. Unlike service desks, which emphasize delivering service to customers, help desks are routinely limited to a single ITSM activity, such as break-fix process or incident management.

Help desks are so effective, in fact, that 86% of service teams in 2020 reported that having a helpdesk system drastically increased their productivity.

Compared to service desks, help desks operate as a subset of service desks because service desks cover a far broader range of ITSM activities.

Type of Help Desks

Finding a help desk that’s best suited for your business depends on your demands, size and customer relation model. With three main kinds of help desks available, you can see which one would be ideal for your business:

  • Customer Service Help Desk – A customer-centric help desk focused on answering questions for customers and troubleshooting issues with products and services.
  • Business Help Desk – Ideal for businesses wanting to implement processes outside the IT domain, such as HR, finance and legal.
  • IT Support Help Desk – Focuses on solving IT problems of varying complexity from resetting passwords to handling network outages.

Top 3 Benefits of Help Desks

While help desks may support limited ITSM activity, their extended functionalities make them essential for businesses and include additional benefits like:

  • Improving customer satisfaction by providing a knowledge base with answers to FAQ
  • Prioritizing tickets for better efficiency and resolution time requirements
  • Monitoring customer support health by tracking metrics and gauging performance


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Help Desk vs Technical Support: The Four Top Differences

While there are many similarities between service desk vs help desk, there are differences that separate the two, such as:

  • Service desks evolved from the original help desk and help to manage incidents and service requests with a focus on delivering high-quality services quickly.
  • Help desks were created as an add-on for existing IT processes, while service desks are part of the IT support and IT service delivery ecosystem.
  • Help desks center around incident management while service desks provide additional capabilities such as requests for information and service requests.
  • Service desks embody IT service-centricity while help desks were moulded around IT-centricity.

Improve Customer Relations with Service and Help Desks

Help desks and service desks perform essential roles in improving customer relations with organizations worldwide from automating processes and improving efficiency.

Depending on the demands and structure of your organization, a service desk vs help desk scenario may not be an easy question to answer accurately. But, at VTC Tech, we’re committed to helping organizations identify their ideal service model and overcome all their IT challenges with precision.

To find out whether a help desk or service desk is best for your business, connect with one of our specialists today.


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