What is a help desk?

Learn what help desk is (and isn't!), how it works, and what the benefits of a help desk are.

Published July 12, 2019
Last modified May 26, 2020

Most customer service interactions begin at a help desk. But what is a help desk? How do help desks work, and how can companies benefit from using them? Read on to learn more about help desks.

Help desk definition

Let’s get this out of the way: it’s not an actual desk, it’s software.

Help desk software is a set of tools that help companies track, prioritize, and solve customer problems. Help desks give customer service agents access to everything they need to deliver fast, personalized support in one place.

How help desk software works

Help desk software empowers companies to deliver great customer support by solving some of the biggest problems facing both customers and support reps alike.

Help desks start by collecting and tracking every interaction between customers and support agents, no matter where they started. That means that customer interactions across phone, chat, email, social media, and any other channel you can imagine come together, all in one place.

Help desks allow agents to track these interactions through Support Tickets. These interactive records help the company monitor progress on solving customer problems, allow multiple agents to collaborate on complex issues, and provide a holistic view of every customer’s experience.

Help desks also make it easy for customers to help themselves. By integrating with knowledge bases, customer support portals, and help centers, companies can anticipate the most common questions and issues, and resolve customer issues even faster.

Help desks also give companies deep insights into everything from the performance of their own teams, to the satisfaction of their customers, with analytics tools to understand what matters most. From average response and resolution time, to spotting trends in common customer issues, help desks make it easy for companies to stay on top of their relationship with customers.

No two companies are the same, and help desk software also provides a customizable backend that serves the needs of companies of all shapes and sizes.

Benefits of help desk software

Help desk software can benefit companies of all sizes - from multinational enterprises supporting millions of customers in multiple languages, to small businesses that need an out-of-the-box solution they can manage themselves without hiring an army of support reps.

  1. Resolve problems more easily - Of course, satisfied customers who receive quick and easy resolution to their problems are the most obvious benefit of a help desk. Help desks allow companies to deliver personalized support when and where they need it, so customers stay happy.
  2. Empower support agents - Help desks also help companies support their support teams. Support agents are on the front lines speaking directly with customers every day, and it’s important to arm them with the tools to be successful helping customers when they need it the most.
  3. Grow and scale your business - Help desk software also helps companies grow and scale. It configures to support any workflow. It’s powerful enough to handle the most complex business, but flexible enough to scale at any pace.

Learn more about help desk software.