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Helpdesk, Tech Support, Etc: Understanding Organizational Assistance Terms

“I contacted customer support, and they couldn’t figure out my technical problem at all!” Many people don’t understand the subtle but definite differences between different types of organizational assistance, and the vagueness of the terminology doesn’t necessarily help things. Let’s take a moment to break down the different categories of support, including both what they cover and what they don’t.




Helpdesk - “Helpdesk” is a term generally applied to the first point of contact for any problem an organization’s customer or employee might have. But anyone expecting to receive instant solutions for any conceivable problem will likely be disappointed when they call into a general helpdesk, whose workers will transfer them to the particular department that handles their kind of issue.


Customer service - A customer service desk performs the same functions as a general helpdesk, except that it focuses entirely on customer or vendor partner problems. Employees will need to contact an internal support department instead to get their issues resolved.




Technical support - Technical support refers to the teams that specifically solve technical complaints and questions. This area includes a sub-category known as desktop support, in which the tech support team members make use of phone, email, virtual chat, mobile devices, and/or remote PC access to work through a trouble call with the customer or employee. IT departments commonly provide technical support for computer networks, servers, and workstations, but not for other technical/mechanical issues.


IT helpdesk - The IT helpdesk drills down even more specifically to focus on lower-level technical support problems, most of which can be resolved quickly and easily by these professionals. Only the more complex or stubborn problems get escalated to the rest of the IT department’s tech support team. Gravity Helpdesk can take this category of problem off your plate entirely, so contact us if you’d rather focus on providing other kinds of assistance!

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