What is help desk support / technical support?

Wat is helpdeskondersteuning oftewel technische ondersteuning?

A help desk is the generalised term for all the centralised help and technical support that a business offers its customers and staff. Other terms like an IT response centre, client support centre, resource centre and technical support centre are also used. Whatever you call it, their role is dealing with more technical customers queries, and helping them solve their issue step by step.

Definition and roles of a help desk

A help desk is a type of customer service that provides more advanced assistance and support to users of a particular product or service. Help desks are typically staffed by customer service representatives or technical support specialists. The primary role of a help desk is to aid users (or sometimes technicians / store managers) in resolving problems with a product or service.

In many cases, help desk representatives will use a knowledge base or FAQs to resolve issues. If a problem cannot be resolved using these resources, the help desk may escalate the issue to a more senior member of the support team. Help desks play an important role in ensuring that customers are satisfied with a product or service by providing timely and efficient assistance.

The overarching purpose of a help desk is offering technical support to whomever needs it within the enterprise, often with the aid of tailor-made software. A help desk can be a single individual, but it more usually consists of a team of customer support agents, or an external specialist service that customers contact in order to get help or technical support.

In the case of corporate or multinational companies, their help desk may be a global organisation that deals with online support requests submitted from all over the world. Many companies choose the option these days of outsourcing their help desk or technical support function to companies that specialise in offering 24/7, multilingual customer support.

Related content: When is the right time to outsource customer service?

What are the functions of a help desk?

These may vary from business to business, but the core principle of a help desk is just that – to offer technical help and support wherever it’s needed within the business. The focus should always be on providing a service to its users in a fast, efficient, and friendly way – whether these are paying customers, or employees of the business itself.

Examples of technical support functions

  • An IT help desk may assist with hardware, software, and networking issues, and offer guidance on how to use specific applications and troubleshoot common problems.
  • An appliance manufacturer may have their own in-house helpdesk, where both customers or technicians out in the field can get technical support.
  • A smartphone or laptop producer may have a dedicated technical support centre where customers can get assistance troubleshooting any problems, while a separate customer support centre assists with things like contract upgrades and sales.

In general, help desk staff are responsible for logging and tracking user issues, troubleshooting problems, and escalating issues to higher levels of support when necessary. In addition, help desks often maintain a knowledge base of known issues and solutions. This information can be used to help resolve problems more quickly.

Why is technical support important to your business?

A fully optimised help desk is an invaluable multi-dimensional resource for your business. It facilitates the speedy resolution and satisfaction of the real-time needs and technical issues of customers. It records, tracks, and manages any incoming incidents and issues raised. It therefore serves as a single point of contact (referred to as a SPOC) for technical support.

It’s an unmissable element in ensuring customer satisfaction and promoting your company’s objectives and growth by building your customer numbers.

It aids quality control as it records and tracks all customer complaints, problems, and pain points. It also records the recurrence level of issues, how often escalation was necessary. This highlights product shortcomings which generates valuable insights for product development and improvement.

This in turn improves productivity and efficiency by clarifying issues, highlighting solutions resulting in long-term cost savings. It also increases positive CX and staff satisfaction levels with less frustration and smoother interactions with customers. As the help desk also provides real-time feedback, there’s a more efficient utilisation of staff skills as tickets are directed to agents best qualified to deal with them.

Note: It’s always a good idea to have lots of self-service resources available for customers to access, like community groups or forums, video tutorials and step-by-step guides, for customers who’d like to try and resolve issues on their own first.


At Digital Customer Care Company, experience has taught us the inestimable value of an excellent help desk and technical support function. But we also know that unless you have the requisite expertise and in-house resources, offering your customers top-notch technical support is not easy, and can become a costly nightmare! This is where we can help you.

However, we’ll never presume to know more about your business than you do! If you outsource your technical support to us, we will normally relieve you of about 70-80% of queries. However, the more difficult and technical queries we’ll forward to your skilled and knowledgeable inhouse customer support team.