What is a Help Desk?

What is a Help Desk?  President of Connecticut based IT Support Provider NSI, Explains:  I recently stumbled across a Jenna Marbles vblog episode entitled, “What are this” (I would link to it, but she drops the F bomb… we provide a perfect excuse for you to visit YouTube at the end of this post, what you do from there is up to you).  The video made me think about how we communicate with our customers, and the assumptions we may be making after 28 years in the business.  Beginning with:  is it spelled Help Desk, or Helpdesk?  Officially, it’s “help”  “desk”, but there are many uses of “helpdesk” out there, so we use both which allows people to find the information they are looking for.

So, what is a Helpdesk, and why would you want one?

What is a Help Desk

A helpdesk is a dedicated team of professionals, trained and readily available for solving problems and answering questions.  When you call “tech support”, you are calling a helpdesk. When your cable TV service goes out, and you call customer service and they walk you through several steps to resolve your problem while doing things on their end to assist, you are working with a helpdesk. 

There are internal and external help desks:  i.e., there could be a help desk for your employees to call, and one for your customers to call.  At NSI, we use the same help desk for both employees and clients. If a sales rep isn’t getting their email on their smart phone, they call the NSI help desk because we support mobile devices for our clients and our employees.  Same for MS Exchange email issues, can’t print, lost a file, can’t connect, and the all too common, I can’t remember my password, or I can’t log in, or I got locked out.  All of these problems are resolved by the NSI help desk. 

The simplest way to put it is:  Help desks are for people.  Let me explain:

Managed Services is the ability to monitor (watch) and remediate (fix) problems before they start.

Our technical staff watches over hundreds of devices, and performs regularly scheduled tasks to make sure desktops, laptops, servers, software, applications, users, anti-virus, updates, patches are all where they should be.  The help desk assists the PEOPLE who use these devices.  Your PC’s may be managed by TotalCare and be completely up to snuff, running smooth and in perfect condition, but Employee A forgot their password, logged in three times and got kicked out:  Now what? Their PC is just fine, but they can’t work. Employee A is locked out of their computer, your network, and cannot function.  As a business owner, you are now paying Employee A to do, well, not much... if their job is contingent on their computer. 

Help Desk's generate revenue for small business. 

They do.  I know this, because I use the Help Desk and I am more productive because of it.  I also receive almost NO excuses or reasons why things aren’t done on time, because an employee couldn’t do their job due to an IT issue.  Help desks keep people working, they keep the ball in play.  They cut down on issue-sprawl (when one person has a problem, and they engage others, now you’re paying three people who aren’t working because of one problem – please stop and read this sentence again, this is important). 

Having the ability to announce to your entire staff:  If you have a problem, call this number”, is like removing a splinter from the paw of productivity.  It’s a sigh of relief, or at least it has been for me, as a business owner.

The realization of my own company’s productivity increase after we implemented our help desk was something I had not scrutinized, until deciding to write this.  And let me tell you, it was a big jump in productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction.  I receive more positive emails and feedback from staff about their positive experiences in working with the help desk, than almost anything else. 

I called the help desk and the guys took care of my problem in like, one minute.  Not being able to connect to the network means I can’t work… I can see why customers like it (TotalCare).” 

What are this?

Every once in a while, a detour from what I should be doing pays off, as it did in watching the Jenna Marbles vblog episode.  As promised, here is a link to NSI’s video on our YouTube Channel, describing the technical aspects of TotalCare.  We hope you enjoy watching it. Check out our other videos while you're there!

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About The Author

President of NSI, Tom has been helping small and medium businesses succeed in Connecticut for over 25 years.