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ITIL :: View topic - Difference between call center and Service Desk
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Difference between call center and Service Desk

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Joined: Nov 07, 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:53 pm    Post subject: Difference between call center and Service Desk Reply with quote

This is with respect to the types of service desks.
The difference between call center and unskilled service desk is not clear. According to ITIL both act as call collating and forwarding agents. What is the difference between the two types? A call center only records the calls, but does not provide solutions to the Users. These recorded calls are routed to specialist departments, which then resolve the queries and complaints. Unskilled or Call Recording Service Desk personnel record the user's call, describe it in general terms, and then route the call to the concerned department.
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Service Manager

PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:37 pm    Post subject: Interesting view Reply with quote

As SM in a UK SME I often look at the difference between the 'log & flog' call centre approach vs a skilled servicedesk.

My personal view is that users always expect:

1) a human voice on the telephone.
2) their problem fixed asap by a knowledgeable engineer.

Rather than thinking about the difference, I would urge you to concentrate on what you want to achieve and the resources available.

Sorry if that is not the answer youy were looking for.
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Joined: Dec 30, 2004
Posts: 6
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently run a Service Desk and have to say I agree with the last answer.

It is always a fine balance between answering and logging calls (the typical call centre) or fixing the fault (the Service Desk).

There is no right or wrong answer to this question - both realistically and in ITIL terms, the answer is whatever suits your organisation. The important question however is - what does your customer want and what do they expect?

If they want to have their call answered quickly by real person, to know that their incident has been recorded and will be acted on, then a log and pass call centre approach will probably suffice (don't forget the implications of motivating staff in this kind of environment though).

However if they want somebody to answer the phone, understand their incident and provide a response - be it to resolution or first stage incident diagnosis - then you are probably looking at a technically manned Service Desk. The balance of how many incidents are resolved on first contact will again be based on the level of skillset of your front line staff and the amount of time you can let them stay on the phone.

It is possible to move from one type of environment to another, however this will take time and dedication, both from the company and the staff involved (it can be very scarey for Call Centre staff to be told that they will be expected to take on more technical issues), and a determined PR campaign to promote the change in skillset, job role and ethos around the organisation.

I would suggest that you think about what Service your organisation wants their Service Desk to provide and align this with what the customer requires, this should give you a good starting point.

Hope this helps Smile
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Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Posts: 37
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference between Call Centres and Service Desks is determined by the activty being performed which in turn determines the skillsets. There is a huge convergence in this area, with processes and tools often being the same for each, so I can understand your confusion.

I know plenty of Service Desks which are "log and flog" (and you question whether they should be called Service Desks...) and Call Centres where first time resolution is performed.

Call Centres tend to have a "sales" focus attached to them, assisting customers with product information, questions and queries, responses to marketing campaigns, etc; while Service Desks tend to have a "technical" focus. What you implement should be deterimined by what you are trying to achieve. As Jodi said, it can be very scary for Call Centre staff to be told they are taking on more technical issues - two completely different skillsets.
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Joined: Dec 21, 2004
Posts: 3
Location: KL, Malaysia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Differences? Text book definitions. Reply with quote

I'm not a Service Desk manager by any means but I'd like to share with everyone a text book definition of the different setup:

Call Centre - emphasis on handling large volumes of telephone-based transactions. Call Centres do not react to those transactions but only register and forward them.

Help Desk - pupose is to manage, coordinate and resolve incidents as quickly as possible and to ensure that no request is lost, forgotten or ignored. Normally does not handle more than incidents.

service desk - extends the range of services allowing business processes to be integrated in the Service Management infrastructure - e.g. Change requests, maintenance contracts, software licenses, service level management, configuration management, availability management, financial management and service continuity management.

I hope this clarifies the definitions better.
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