The IT Helpdesk Hierarchy: Key Players and Their Roles
As the old saying goes, sometimes you can’t tell the players without a program. In the case of IT helpdesk support, it means that different players on the team perform different functions. If you come from an environment where a single “IT guy” did everything, or if your organization has only now reached the point where it needs a full-blown IT helpdesk system, you may wonder who does what in this critical technical support area. To help you gain some clarity on the question, let’s look at some of the principal IT helpdesk players and their roles.
Helpdesk Agent - You may also hear individuals who perform this role referred to as Technical or Help Desk Analysts, or as User Support Technicians. The Agents are the IT workers who actually field the trouble calls each and every day. These individuals ask diagnostic questions and pursue standard troubleshooting routines to try and resolve low-level problems on the first try if possible. A problem that requires more time to figure out may be passed from Agent to Agent.
Helpdesk Team Lead - As the title suggests, this individual leads your team of Agents through their day-to-day activities. The Team Lead supervises and monitors agent performance to ensure that every member of the team provides uniformly excellent customer service and meets the goals specific in the helpdesk’s Service Level Agreement, onboarding the newer team members with appropriate advice and coaching as needed. The Team Lead feeds reports to the Team Manager (see below) based on this ongoing work, with suggestions for possible improvement in weaker areas.
Helpdesk Manager - The Helpdesk Manager essentially runs the helpdesk operations, from the hiring and firing of personnel to monitoring of the helpdesk’s key performance indicators. In response to incoming data from Team Leads and other sources, the Manager may decide to reorganize entire areas of the helpdesk’s functional structure to improve customer satisfaction, time to resolution, or overall efficiency.
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