Understanding Users | Introduction to Help Desk Support Roles (2022)

This chapter is from the book 

Understanding Users

A primary purpose of help desk professionals is to support users. With this in mind, it’s important to understand them. Different types of users have different needs and skillsets, and will have a wide variety of different problems. When the help desk understands the users, their common characteristics, and their needs, they are better equipped to help them.

As an example, an ISP providing end user support for customers recognizes that many of these customers use their computers for simple tasks such as accessing their email and browsing the Internet. Common problems for these users are computer configuration to access the Internet, ensuring the proper hardware is in place and is configured correctly, and possibly configuring basic applications for Internet use.

In contrast, employees within an organization use their computers for work tasks. Employees typically use basic applications such as email programs but might also use highly complex applications such as computer aided design (CAD) or data mining programs. These employees contact the help desk for assistance when they are unable to perform their work tasks due to a computer or network issue.

(Video) Introduction to Users, Groups, and Roles | ServiceNow Tutorials

User Categories

One way of understanding users is with user categories. User categories can vary widely, but some common categories are related to their knowledge level, the applications they use, and where they are using the computers.

When an organization understands the users, it can ensure that help desk technicians are prepared to help them. The organization is able to hire the technicians with the appropriate skill levels and provide the needed training to ensure these technicians provide the best possible support to the customers.

Internal or External

One of the simple user categories is based on the user’s relationship to the organization. Internal users work in the same organization as the help desk, and help desk personnel typically prioritize incidents based on the user requesting assistance. For example, when an executive has an IT problem, this is often a high priority for the help desk. Similarly, if product sales is considered a critical business function, users working in the sales department might be given preferential treatment when they contact the help desk.

External users are customers of the organization. Often, an organization is selling some other product or service and the help desk technicians assist customers having a problem with the product or service. An ISP is an obvious example of help desk personnel assisting external users. As another example, an organization might sell an online application and then assist customers that have purchased the application. This assistance might be via email, chat, or phone.

(Video) 17. Categories, Roles & Users - Niagara 4 Video Training

IT Knowledge Level

It’s important to realize that just because users have computers, that doesn’t mean they have intricate knowledge of how they work or how they are connected to networks. Some users grew up with computers in their home and have in-depth knowledge of computers and networks, while other users rarely use them and don’t understand many of the details.

As an example, one help desk professional was working at an ISP assisting home users. Many home users installed wireless routers in their home, sharing Internet access among multiple users within their home, and they had a high level of IT knowledge. One day, a user from Virginia called and complained that he lost his Internet connection on his laptop computer. After some discussion, the technician discovered that the customer was a long-distance truck driver and was trying to connect his laptop computer from his current location in Oklahoma to his wireless network in Virginia. Experienced personnel working with computers know that wireless transmissions used within a house have a very limited range and certainly wouldn’t travel from Virginia to Oklahoma. However, not everyone has that same level of knowledge, so it’s important to gauge the user’s knowledge level during a trouble call.

Computer Usage

Another way of classifying users is based on how they use their computers. Some users operate a single application on their computer and rarely do anything else. Other users might have five or more applications open at any given time. By understanding common usage by help desk customers, the technicians have a better chance of predicting common problems. As an example, many home users run web browsers, email applications, and games, but do little else. These users have many common problems that typically aren’t seen by an in-house help desk.

In contrast, employees within a company will typically run word processing, spreadsheet, database, email, and other applications. Additionally, many organizations have dedicated applications for specific purposes. For example, sales people within an organization might use software to check inventory, track sales, and access customer information. Help desk personnel assisting these users need to have in-depth knowledge of these specialized applications so they can effectively help the users.

(Video) Jira Users Roles and Permissions

Location or Environment

Identifying where the customer is using the computer also helps to understand the potential issues they might have. The two primary locations or environments are home and within an organization. Home users will typically have basic issues with their computers and a help desk will often provide generic support to them. Users within an organization will have issues related to the computers and applications used in support of the organization’s mission. Internal users might have generic problems just as home users do, but they will also have specific issues related to accessing resources within the organization.

An additional location is mobile or remote. For example, personnel within a company might routinely travel as part of their job but still need access to the company network. Similarly, organizations might allow users to work from home. A common way these personnel access the network from remote locations is via a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN provides access to a private network through a public network such as the Internet, as shown in Figure 1-3. Once configured, remote users connect to the Internet via an ISP and are then able to connect to the organization’s private internal network. In many cases, the VPN users are able to access resources through the VPN just as if they were accessing the private network from within the organization. It gives remote users access to the internal network from almost anywhere in the world, as long as they have Internet access. The primary issue for traveling or remote users is likely to be related to connecting to the company network through the VPN, so it’s important for help desk personnel to understand what a VPN is and how it is configured within an organization.

FIGURE 1-3 User accessing company network via a VPN.

(Video) High Paying Work From Home Job $26 - $32 Hr | Remote Customer Support | No Degree

Services Provided to Users

Many users view the computer as a tool or resource they use to accomplish tasks. When computer problems prevent them from accomplishing these tasks and they can’t resolve these problems on their own, they ask for help. There are many reasons why users call the help desk. Some of them include:

  • Logging on. This can include problems related to a forgotten username or password, and locked accounts. Many organizations employ automated methods to assist external users, but they assist internal users directly. One common source of login problems is the CAPS LOCK key, which has been preventing successful logins for decades.
  • Asking for information. Users often call the help desk for information about a product or service. Help desk technicians will typically have some knowledge about products and services and have the ability to transfer the user to another area of the company if necessary. For example, if a customer calls about a product and wants to order it, the technician can transfer the call to the sales department.
  • Starting an application. Users sometimes have problems starting an application because they can’t find it or due to a software issue. For example, if the application has a problem such as a corrupt file or incorrect configuration, it might not start properly and terminate with an error.
  • Installing or upgrading software. When users are responsible for installing or upgrading operating systems and applications, they often need assistance. For example, users might have problems installing updates to the operating system or a specific program. Many times the instructions are available, but in some situations, the users simply can’t find or understand the instructions. In other situations, their system has other problems preventing the instructions from succeeding.
  • Configuring or troubleshooting hardware. If users are responsible for configuring or troubleshooting hardware, they might have problems and call the help desk for assistance. Printers often account for many hardware trouble calls within an organization, but other hardware problems related to mice, keyboards, hard drives, displays, sound cards, and speakers are common.
  • Using or performing a task with an application. Many times users are unable to perform specific tasks within an application. For example, when an organization deploys a new email application, users might not be able to do familiar tasks and ask for assistance. In this example, the help desk calls can often be reduced by providing users training before the new application is deployed. Many organizations provide online documentation and possibly videos to answer the common questions and problems.
  • Accessing a network resource. When users are unable to access a network resource such as the Internet, email, or any type of server, they will typically ask for help. The user’s computer might be the source of the problem, or the problem might be elsewhere. For example, misconfiguration or failure of the user’s computer network interface card (NIC) would prevent the user from accessing any network resource and the user’s computer would need repairs. If a network device such as a switch or router failed, a user won’t be able to access the resource, but the user’s computer isn’t at fault. Either way, help desk technicians are able to address the problem and take steps to resolve it.
  • Removing viruses or other malware. Malware causes a wide variety of problems, including system slowdowns, random reboots, lost files, errors, and more. Ideally, users will have up-to-date antivirus software running on their systems to prevent infections, but when a system is infected, users often need assistance removing the malware.
  • Recovering data. If you’ve never lost a file due to corruption, malware infection, or simply because you cannot locate it, you probably haven’t been using computers for very long. Almost everyone has lost a file at some time or another. If the file is important, users might call for help recovering it. If the file is corrupt, technicians might be able to restore it using special file recovery tools. If the file is backed up, technicians might be able to restore it from a backup. If the file is not backed up, technicians can use the problem as a teaching opportunity to stress the importance of creating backups. Some people simply never back up their data until they lose important files.
  • Rolling back changes. Users sometimes want to undo a change to their system. This might be uninstalling software, removing a recent operating system or application update, or rolling back a hardware driver. Operating systems and applications typically have methods to perform each of these tasks, but they are sometimes beyond the technical ability of common users.
  • Understanding errors and messages. Cryptic errors and messages can overwhelm users. Many of these are unclear and users aren’t sure if they should take action in response to them, or just ignore these errors and messages.


What are the roles and responsibilities of support help desk? ›

Help Desk
  • Provides technical support to users by researching and answering questions, troubleshooting problems, and maintaining workstation and LAN performance.
  • Provides answers to clients by identifying problems, researching answers, and guiding clients through corrective steps.

What are 3 qualities of a good service desk employee? ›

To ensure that you hire the best possible people in your help desk team, you should consider the below qualities.
  • Patience. Patience is one of the must to have qualities of a help desk agent. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Active listening. ...
  • Sense of urgency. ...
  • Good interpersonal skills. ...
  • Well-organized. ...
  • Speed and accuracy. ...
  • Creativity and flexibility.
23 Apr 2016

What is help desk Analyst role describe at least 3 roles? ›

Providing technical support on basic software and hardware issues. Assisting with the installation of various systems and software. Keeping detailed records of specific issues they were asked to assist with. Communicating with senior analysts and other IT professionals regarding more complex issues.

What IT skills are needed for help desk position? ›

Employer job listings often list ITSM, Communication Skills, Help Desk Support, Information Technology, Mobile Device, Customer Service, Hardware, Technical, Documentation, Computer Science or Troubleshooting as requirements in IT Help Desk Technician job descriptions; however, job seekers mention them far less ...

What is the difference between helpdesk and desktop support? ›

While a help desk can fix a broad range of IT issues, desktop support is dedicated to fixing only desktop or laptop issues. It can't help with printers or networks, but it can help you install programs or get a broken computer running. Desktop support is typically included in the help desk function.

IS IT help desk a good job? ›

It's a good gig, and it can be fulfilling. The median salary for computer support specialists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, is around $52,000. Education requirements vary, but the job requires deep computer knowledge and good technical and interpersonal skills.

What is the most important skill required by a service desk staff? ›

1. Communication Skills. The ability to communicate efficiently and assertively is a vital life skill and is most beneficial in the aspect of one's professional and social life.

What makes a great help desk? ›

High-performance service desks offer easy-to-use tools that enable end-users to create tickets, monitor their status, and even self-resolve some repetitive issues – reducing overall ticket volume and saving valuable time for the end-user.

How can I be a good helpdesk? ›

Installing new technologies and teaching end users how to operate them. Providing remote technical support via internet or phone.
If so, here are 10 qualities to strive for, from ITProTV.
  1. Put customers first. ...
  2. Have business awareness. ...
  3. Be empathetic. ...
  4. Have an analytical mind. ...
  5. Work well under pressure. ...
  6. Be willing to learn.
7 Feb 2020

What skills are required for a service desk analyst? ›

Service Desk Analyst Requirements:

Proficiency in customer relationship management (CRM) and task management software. Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills. Advanced collaboration, communication, and interpersonal skills. Excellent organizational and time management skills.

Which is a primary responsibility of a service desk? ›

The service desk acts as a single point of contact between the IT organization and the business for all incident reports, service requests, change notifications, and any other necessary communications.

What makes a good service desk analyst? ›

Technical expertise – as they regularly play a direct role in fixing a client's problems, service technicians need excellent technical and system expertise. Problem-resolving abilities – service desk analysts are mainly problem-solvers, so they should be able to devise technical and original solutions to user problems.

What is required for desktop support? ›

How to become a desktop support specialist
  • Earn a bachelor's degree. ...
  • Gain a professional certification. ...
  • Gain experience with operating systems. ...
  • Show your customer service skills. ...
  • Prepare your resume. ...
  • Seek technical support positions.
10 Dec 2019

Is help desk a customer service? ›

In simple words, a help desk is a company's central point of contact for customers regarding any issue related to its products/services. A help desk focuses on offering customers or end-users with assistance in the form of advice, guidance, or information that can help them solve their problems.

Which is the best ticketing tool? ›

The 11 best help desk ticketing systems
  • Zendesk. ...
  • HubSpot Service Hub. ...
  • Freshdesk. ...
  • Front. ...
  • Jira Service Desk. Best for engineering teams. ...
  • Freshservice. Best for IT support teams at enterprise companies. ...
  • Vision Helpdesk. Best for ITIL/ITSM. ...
  • JitBit. Best for teams wanting self-hosted software.
17 Jul 2022

Is help desk stressful? ›

Managing stress is an essential job skill for the successful help desk professional. Typically help desk agents experience burnout from two sources: 1) repetitive routine requests, and 2) frustrated customers. The combination can lead to stress, unless the help desk personnel manage their responses well.

What is the next job after help desk? ›

Jobs like security administrator, security analyst, systems administrator and network engineer are just some of the job roles you can land with these certifications. If you hold these three certifications, be sure to market yourself as a CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (CSIS)!

How long should I stay at help desk? ›

The general rule of thumb is that two to three years is probably the longest you want to be in a helpdesk role if you plan on moving up into a more specialized field. That is assuming that you are using such a position as a stepping stone.

What is the difference between a helpdesk and service desk? ›

A help desk is considered to be focused on break-fix (what ITIL calls incident management), whereas a service desk is there to assist with not only break-fix but also with service requests (requests for new services) and requests for information (such as “how do I do X?”).

What is a help desk explain in brief? ›

A help desk is a centralized team within a company that serves employees or customers en masse, using a software product to organize conversations.

What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›

7 Must-Have Qualities of a Stellar Customer Service Rep
  • Problem-Solving Skills. The number one skill you need to excel in for good customer service is problem-solving. ...
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Friendly Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Business Acumen. ...
  • Product/Service Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Time Management.

How do you manage helpdesk? ›

10 important help desk best practices
  1. Choose the right ticketing system.
  2. Create a service catalogue.
  3. Offer a knowledge base.
  4. Develop a culture of helping.
  5. Hire good employees.
  6. Build a workflow that tracks issues end-to-end.
  7. Customize your work environment.
  8. Collect feedback.
15 May 2020

What is the role of Level 2 support? ›

2nd level support helps customers solve more technical issues usually by remote diagnosis on the phone or via Internet online support in a timely manner.

What is the role of service desk in Capgemini? ›

Service Desk, Troubleshooting, Customer Service Orientation, Financial Services and Healthcare are some of the popular skills required to work as a Service Desk Analyst at Capgemini.

What is the role of service desk in Wipro? ›

Managing Data and implementing changes, providing employees/Clients with guidance in handling difficult or complex problems or in resolving complaints. Responding in a timely manner to service issues, request, and take care of the complete operations.

What is L1 L2 L3 in support? ›

L2 support handles the tickets that L1 routes to them. This support team can also generate tickets for any problem they notice. L2 support specialists have more skills, more experience in solving complicated problems relevant to them and can help L1 support people troubleshoot problems.

What is L0 L1 L2 L3 support? ›

L0 Tier of Technical Support. Understanding L1 Tier of Technical Support. Understanding L2 Tier of Technical Support. Understanding L3 Tier of Technical Support. In a Nutshell.

What is difference between L1 L2 and L3 support? ›

They have more knowledge, more experience in solving related complex issues and can guide/help L1 support folks job in troubleshooting. If the solution not provided at this level then escalate to the L3. L3 is the last line of support and usually comprise of a development team which addresses the technical issues.

What is a help desk explain in brief? ›

A help desk is a centralized team within a company that serves employees or customers en masse, using a software product to organize conversations.

What makes a good helpdesk? ›

Make sure your help desk is measuring a variety key performance indicators such as, calls per technical agent, first call resolution, turnaround time and client satisfaction. Keep those metrics front and center with your help desk team so the focus is always on how to improve the client experience.

What is the most important skill required by a service desk staff? ›

1. Communication Skills. The ability to communicate efficiently and assertively is a vital life skill and is most beneficial in the aspect of one's professional and social life.

How you can connect for the support in Capgemini? ›

Connect with us for an amazing experience

The best way to understand the capabilities of Connected Support offerings is to see them in action at our Connected Employee Experience Showcase facilities. Come and see a live demo, or contact us for details on how to access our virtual environment.

How do you raise a ticket in Capgemini? ›

How to raise your ticket on our support Portal? (Method 2) - YouTube

How do I contact Capgemini? ›

For all the interview-related queries, updates on your candidature, offer letters, please write an email to cg_interview_helpdesk.in@capgemini.com with all the relevant details.

What is the salary for freshers in Wipro? ›

Average Wipro Fresher salary in India is ₹ 3.2 Lakhs per year for employees with less than 1 year of experience to 3 years. Fresher salary at Wipro ranges between ₹ 1.6 Lakhs to ₹ 5.5 Lakhs per year.

What is the difference between a helpdesk and service desk? ›

A help desk is considered to be focused on break-fix (what ITIL calls incident management), whereas a service desk is there to assist with not only break-fix but also with service requests (requests for new services) and requests for information (such as “how do I do X?”).

Why do you want to join in Wipro? ›

Example: “I want to work at an organization with a proven record for innovation and success. I am impressed that Wipro has been in business since 1945 and has offices in over 50 countries around the world.


1. Creating Users and Roles in Desk.com
(Desk.com: Fast, awesome customer service)
2. An Animated Introduction to the Key HR Functions
(Umn Hrir)
3. #1 ServiceNow Development Training - Users, Group and Role | ServiceNow Training Online
(Basico ServiceNow Learning)
4. HCC Help Desk: Adding Users & Roles to a UCS
(David Gilchrist)
5. Understanding Users and Jobs | Know Your User
6. Manage Users and Roles for Oracle Integration Cloud
(Oracle Cloud TechSupper Ankur)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 01/13/2023

Views: 5855

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.