Service Desk vs. Call Center

Most people have had a painful customer service experience with a call center or help desk. You just want to cancel Comcast or you need help installing new drivers on your PC, but whatever it was took FOREVER and left you feeling more annoyed than accomplished.

Unfortunately, this experience isn’t unlike what many people experience at their jobs. Almost everyone relies on technology in some way to support their daily work. When the technology is working, employees are able to happily follow a consistent process to complete their tasks. When technology doesn’t work… employees often must submit emails — or support tickets — only to never get their request resolved, and end up losing valuable time that could be spent being productive.

There’s a large debate over what companies should be using for their technology support, so we’re going to break down the differences between having a service desk or a call center to rely on!

When a company outsources a service desk (or manages an internal service department), there should be service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) that are defined to show if they are living up to the expectations or not. This makes the experience — and results! — consistent for callers.

Service desks should work with a company as a whole, in addition to the employee. This partnership allows the service desk to identify and lower the cost of technology ownership, support changes, and reduce overall costs by improving efficiency.

Service desks are responsible for handling incidents, problems, and questions. In addition, they interface with other operational activities within an organization.

While they can be easily confused, call centers and service desks tend to be quite different. Call centers are rather inconsistent compared to service desks and tend to be hardware-specific instead of organization-specific. Additionally, they don’t tend to have defined SLAs and really only handle incidents or problems on a case-by-case basis.

In general, both types of support resources live up to their names…

A Service Desk provides and manages services.

A Call Center receives and manages calls.

If your company has a specific piece of hardware or request you want help with, utilizing a call center could be the place to find that assistance. If your company has a systemic need of technology or service support, a fully operational service desk is what your organization needs. The creation of a call center, service desk, or position of “guy that helps Karen print” will create some value within your organization. Call Center support models will treat every request as a unique incident. Service Desk support models learn from every request that is submitted, providing your organization the ability to learn and gain value from every day in business.

About Leeward Business Advisors

Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.

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