10 Most Common Tools Used by the Service Desk
As you may already know, the Service Desk provides technical support for their clients, also known as “users”.
The Service Desk agents use a lot of helpful tools while assisting users with their issues.
We will take a look at the 10 most common such tools.
10. Active Directory
Active Directory is a database that stores all kinds of information about users, groups, and computers in specific domains and ensures the security of the authentication and authorization of the user’s accounts.
What exactly is this tool used for?
This tool allows the Service Desk agents to perform password resets and unlock their customers’ accounts. It can also be used to grant clients access to specific shared folders, mailboxes, or security groups or even to edit the attributes and features of these items.
9. Office 365 Exchange Admin Center
Office 365 Exchange Admin Center is used for the configuration and management of cloud mail accounts, like mailboxes, calendars, meeting rooms, and other actions, such as automatic replies and email forwarding. The Service Desk is also responsible for creating and managing access to Distribution Groups, Shared mailboxes on the cloud.
PowerShell is a tool mostly used by advanced technical support agents and is a scripting platform constructed for Windows.
This tool is used for creating various things, like shared mailboxes, shared calendars, meeting rooms. It also allows agents to grant specific access to different files and mailboxes.
The PowerShell application is a more complex tool and agents are required to know scripts, also known as commands, in order to work with it.
Although the software is quite vast in scope, the Service Desk agents have limited access to it.
7. Remote Connection Applications
Most people have used at least once the application called TeamViewer/LogMeIn, connecting to a friend’s computer to help with whatever issues they had.
This program allows a computer to connect remotely to another one and take control of the workstation in order to assist the clients.
The Service Desk uses it on a daily basis especially when a user needs assistance with applications issues that are running on their workstations.
Citrix is actually a virtual computer (so a computer inside of a computer) within the client’s domain.
Agents use this program to access specific applications needed for providing assistance to their users.
Most of the service desk projects use this program. Within this virtual machine is found every key tool, ranging from Outlook and Skype for Business to Active Directory or other client-specific applications.
The Service Desk is highly dependent on Citrix due to its importance. If the application has connectivity issues, the agents cannot offer high quality assistance to their clients.
Basically, if the Citrix server is down, the Service Desk is extremely limited in providing assistance.
5. Outlook/Skype for Business
This is an obvious tool that is used not only by the Service Desk, but almost by every digital citizen.
What is the role of these applications?
Well, every agent needs to get in contact with clients one way or another. Outlook and Skype for Business are used to provide information and updates to users about their tickets or for requesting additional information from them.
Furthermore, these two programs are also used for scheduling meetings and organizing and hosting conference calls regarding different subjects, such as procedures, escalations, special situations, or even training sessions.
4. Ticketing System
The ticketing system within a Service Desk is one of the most important tools and it varies from project to project. All ticketing systems have a basic structure with different interfaces or settings, depending on the client’s preferences.
Why is this system helpful for the Service Desk?
All tickets and requests are logged into this system. There are four ways to submit an issue or a request.
- The users can call the Service Desk to have a ticket opened on his/her behalf
- They can fill in a form with the exact details of the issue
- They can send an email to a certain email address, that automatically creates a ticket in the system
- They can even use the chat system to get in contact with an agent
This ticketing system is used every day because every information about the clients, other support groups or procedures is present within.
3. Knowledge Base
You might be wondering what Knowledge Base is. This can be considered an encyclopedia of Service Desk procedures.
There are a lot of articles created to offer help to the agents and guidance in certain situations.
These articles contain troubleshooting steps, information about ticket routing procedures, or how to proceed in critical situations.
All in all, every relevant information can be found within this Knowledge Base. It is like the “Holy Bible” for the Service Desk agents.
Because there are things that might be missing from the Knowledge Base, another very important tool is Google.
Whenever an agent cannot find a solution to a more complex issue that the user is encountering, he or she can make use of Google in this situation.
As you may already know, on Google you can find almost everything. Of course, it is recommended not to follow every instruction found out there.
The reason behind that is that it might not be a secure solution and might do more harm to the user’s computer.
So, more or less, be sure that for some of the issues that are submitted by the clients, the agents do at one point “Google it”, even though the clients might not know this.
Is this a surprise? No, of course not. The main “tool” used by the Service Desk is the phone.
Although it is not a call center, the agents receive calls from their users. It is a lot easier to call the Service Desk whenever they have an issue, especially if it can be resolved immediately (e.g password resets).
The calls have priority, so if it is an urgent matter that needs to be reported, it is better to call and log a ticket as soon as possible.
The troubleshoot will be performed right away or the ticket will be sent to a proper support group. Otherwise, it will take a day or two to be acknowledged and resolved.
These are the tools most often encountered while working at a Service Desk. It might seem a little complicated, but it is actually not that hard. There are a lot of procedures that need to be followed and a lot of tools that need to be used. But in time, all of this can be learned.
“Every difficult problem is easy if you know how to.”
― Debasish Mridha