THE Help Desk
Information technology and the use of end user information systems (EUIS) have brought along with it a need for the Help Desk. This paper will define the term help desk and identify the technologies that are associated with the help desk. The causes for effective and ineffective help desks agents are highlighted as well as the pros and cons for outsourcing the help desk. The Information Age brought along EUIS and software is playing a major role in the integration of the help desk as it moves toward the future. The help desk is a service that uses a live agent to respond to calls from end users who have problems using software or a hardware device. Help Desk agents respond to an end user’s question in real time. There is a high volume of calls entering the help desk on a daily. Call center technology, computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, and web-enabled support are technologies that help desk agents are using to provide assistance to users that is in many instances provided 24 hours, seven days a week. Call center technology involves the use of call centers that routes the calls to the agents in a round robin fashion. The introductions of end user information systems are changing the future outlook of call centers. Some call centers are now being called contact centers because they also are fielding faxes, e-mail, and Web site hits (Regan, & O’Connor, 2002, Pg. 245). When computer support is bundled with the telephone system, the technology is computer-telephony integration (CTI). The help desk agent answers the phone and pulls up the customer’s information at the same time. The information shows previous problems and how they were handled. This is a technology that is in use by some utility companies. Interactive voice response (IVR) allows the caller to use the telephone keypad or his or her voice to navigate a menu that will result in helping. If help is not available through the menu, callers have the option of...
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