A helpdesk is a department in a company that provides technical assistance to employees and/or customers. A helpdesk can be a physical section in a company where people can go to ask questions. More often than not, however, a helpdesk is a contact center that people can call, send an email to, or visit online and chat with a support professional. People manning helpdesks are trained not just to troubleshoot for technology-related issues, but also to provide excellent customer service to keep customers as happy as possible.
Helpdesks are very important for any business. They provide the service that customers need in order to get any malfunctioning equipment to run smoothly again. Without a helpdesk service, repair centers will be backed up with work orders and technicians will need to keep making house visits. This means less satisfaction for customers, since even simple problems will need time to be addressed. It also means much higher expenses for companies, since more technicians will need to be hired.
Industries that rely heavily on helpdesks include the computer industry, telecommunications industry, TV providers (cable and satellite TV), and electronics manufacturers.
Some of the problems faced by helpdesk agents in coming with a resolution include non-standard equipment (equipment from a different company that is hooked up with the equipment they are trained to troubleshoot for), uncooperative customers, customers that have difficulty following instructions, and continuous updates and changes in the equipment/service they support, including new products.