The 4 Main Help Desk Roles And Responsibilities

Celeste Mottesi September 28, 2023
- 14 min read

Establishing clear help desk roles and responsibilities is crucial to IT support – especially if you're building your service desk from scratch. Otherwise, your team won't have clear guidelines, causing overlaps, misunderstandings, wasted time, and a poor service experience.

The key to service desk staffing relies on two main aspects: the needed expertise to fill the different levels of support and the roles you need to cover in each tier. Here, we'll tackle the second one. Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the first one, attend October's Ticket Volume live session!

In this article, we'll review the four leading help desk roles, their frequent tasks, and the tools you need to provide them so they can perform their job fully. Let's begin!




Help desk roles and responsibilities

To kick off, we have outlined the responsibilities of the primary help desk jobs. The three roles work together to keep everything operating and handle any inconvenience effectively.

List of help desk roles and responsibilities

Role Main Responsibilities
Help desk agent
  • Respond to customer inquiries through email, phone, and the service portal.
  • Triage and solve the assigned requests according to the service desk's standard operating procedure. 
  • Ensure Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are met to maintain high-quality service.
  • Escalate issues as needed.
  • Organize and maintain file systems to monitor and track user complaints and problems.
  • Provide detailed reports on troubleshooting efforts, ensuring an organized and efficient approach.
Help desk manager
  • Supervise and coordinate the work and tasks of the service desk agents.
  • Communicate with the team to voice suggestions and concerns.
  • Handle software and hardware installation and updates alongside the support team when required.
  • Methodically troubleshoot problems and develop action plans for efficient issue resolution.
  • Record, track, and document team activities to provide regular updates to senior management and make data-driven decisions.
Help desk admin
  • Oversee and manage IT resources, systems, and networks to ensure optimal functionality.
  • Maintain and update the IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, and security protocols.
  • Implement and manage IT policies and procedures to ensure compliance and security.
  • Provide technical support and guidance to both agents and managers when needed.
  • Keep abreast of industry best practices and emerging technologies to improve the help desk's effectiveness.

Up to here, we covered the roles you need to hire personnel for. However, there were only three of them, and we said there were four. 

The last help desk role you need to consider is the end-user. Yes, it might sound odd, but your customer will shape the ITSM tool requirements you need to look for, the omnichannel support strategy you have to implement, and the number of staff members you should hire and their expertise.

So, incorporating them into the equation can make the jobs of those operating the help desk much easier and improve overall efficiency.

Now that their common responsibilities and relevance have been stated let's move on to each help desk position and see what they need to do their job.

Help desk customer



End-users are a determining factor of the success of your service desk, so let's start with them. As we mentioned above, help desk customers have specific needs and requirements that condition your vendor choice.

Typically, you need to offer them the following help desk features:

  • An intuitive UX so they feel comfortable with the tool and start using it (which will increase the adoption rates significantly).

  • Self-service options like:
  • Service desk integrations so that you can connect the tool with the software your organization is already using (this will discourage the usage of informal channels to contact support and thus also contribute to adoption rates).

As you can see in the video above, InvGate Service Desk covers all of those, plus it provides you with:

  • Customization capabilities so that you can design your portal to match your brand.
  • Adaptability to set up your help desk in your customers' languages and time zones.
  • Natural language processing so that they can see related knowledge articles when they type a query or a ticket subject.
  • Custom forms so you can request the necessary information from users as soon as it's created.

Help desk agent

Help desk agents are the ones who get their hands in the mud and make sure tickets are solved effectively. They provide technical support and assistance to customers, and – as part of their job description – they are responsible for addressing and resolving inquiries, problems, and issues efficiently and promptly.

Technicians are the front-line representatives of the support team, serving as the primary point of contact between users and the organization's IT services.

Service desk technicians' main responsibilities

Usually, service desk agents are in charge of:

  1. Responding to user inquiries.
  2. Managing tickets (creating, updating, and tracking them throughout their lifecycle). 
  3. Troubleshooting issues to identify root causes accurately.
  4. Escalating all the requests that can't be solved at their tier.

Useful help desk features for agents



For them to be able to perform their tasks properly, the help desk of your choice should provide agents with the following capabilities:

  • Dashboards - This feature allows them to start their day with an overview of their workload and priorities at a glance – and on InvGate Service Desk, they can customize them to see precisely the information they need.
  • Workload view - They should also have a panel to see the assigned tickets' details. On InvGate Service Desk, this section is called "My Work" and lets them classify requests based on their status and SLAs for better ticket prioritization.
  • A complete ticket view - A great way to contribute to your agents' performance is choosing a solution with a thorough ticket view so that they can see all the necessary details to solve an issue in one place. For instance, InvGate Service Desk ticket interface includes visual indicators for ticket status, SLAs, change logs, subtasks, participants, and shortcuts to actions like escalating or relating to a major incident.
  • The ability to filter requests - Besides the workload view, agents should be able to see the work assigned to the entire help desk to see if everything is assigned correctly and dealt with in case of need. InvGate Service Desk provides this under the "Requests" tab, which displays resolved, unresolved, and unassigned work. 
  • AI capabilities - Lastly, AI functionalities are a great way to ease the agents' work. That's why we added a support assistant to help them classify tickets and an AI-powered response option to improve their replies.

Help desk technicians can also benefit from the knowledge base since they can attach articles to tickets for the most common issues if the customer fails to read them.

Help desk manager

Help desk managers are responsible for overseeing and leading the support team to ensure the efficient delivery of technical assistance and support services to end-users. 

This role involves coordinating the efforts of help desk agents and administrators, managing resources, and making strategic decisions to enhance the overall performance of the help desk operation.

Service desk managers’ main responsibilities

Of course, along with great power comes great responsibility. So, let’s see what a manager’s tasks are:

  1. Leading and motivating the team.
  2. Supervising the ticket process workflow.
  3. Monitoring performance and analyzing metrics. 
  4. Coordinating the help desk activities.

Useful help desk features for managers



The following service desk features are an absolute must for managers to perform their work to their best:

  • Dashboards - Managers must also see a quick snapshot of the help desk performance. Some KPIs InvGate Service Desk provides are individual team member status, number of tickets assigned per agent, number of tickets waiting for action, collaboration statuses, and average customer satisfaction ratings.
  • A team panel - Since they are the coordinators, they can benefit tremendously from a tool that shows them a summary of all their team members and their current situation. InvGate Service Desk does this on the "Manager" section to display agent workload, performance, and availability. From here, they can assign tickets with a drag-and-drop, visualize work queues, and track working hours.
  • A ticket overview - Managers should also have access to the same ticket view as agents to stay informed about ongoing work. On InvGate Service Desk, this space takes the form of the "Requests" section.
  • Gamification capabilities - To motivate their teams and encourage positive behaviors, InvGate Service Desk offers a gamification module where managers can set quests for agents to win badges every time they hit a milestone.
  • Reporting - Tracking performance over time is a primary part of this help desk role, so an ITSM tool should provide them with easy reporting capabilities. On this topic, InvGate Service Desk allows them to customize, automate, and share reports.

Help desk admin

Lastly, help desk administrators are the ones in charge of building and maintaining the system. They configure, maintain, and optimize the help desk solution to ensure its smooth operation. 

As part of their tasks, admins customize the platform to meet the organization and team’s specific needs, managing user accounts and permissions.

Service desk administrators’ main responsibilities

The scope of responsibilities for admins include:

  1. System customization.
  2. User Management.
  3. Help Desk Management.
  4. Service catalog design. 
  5. Automation and integration setup.

Useful help desk features for admins



Since their primary goal is to set up the service desk architecture, they need a tool that is:

  • Easy to configure - The tool setup should be intuitive enough to take them the least amount of time to have it up and running – especially if you’re switching help desks. For instance, InvGate Service Desk has a 1-day basic configuration period. Which means you can start using it right away.

  • Easy to integrate - Next in line, the system should provide a wide variety of integrations so that they can easily connect the new tool to the existing ones. You can see all the tools with which you can connect InvGate Service Desk – and if that’s not enough, you can always use its API to link whatever you need!

  • Easy to customize - The tool's setup should be straightforward and flexible enough to accommodate the organization's needs and brand.

Final notes

A help desk is the front line of customer support, the backbone of technical troubleshooting, and the linchpin that keeps organizations running smoothly. To provide efficient support, each of the four main roles within the help desk ecosystem – customer, agent, manager, and admin – contributes with different skills and expertise and carries its own set of tasks and responsibilities.

However, each area needs its own set of capabilities to succeed. At InvGate, we know this by heart and thus designed our Service Desk to fulfill each role's needs. Ready to see it for yourself? Request a 30-day free trial!

Read other articles like this : Service desk, InvGate Service Desk, Service desk manager, Service desk agent

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