The Ultimate Glossary Of Service Desk Industry

The Ultimate Glossary Of Service Desk Industry

The Ultimate Glossary Of Service Desk Industry

The Ultimate Glossary Of Service Desk Industry
Employee Experience

Agent Activity

Refers to the entire set of activity an agent did or agent engagement on solving a ticket within a time period

Agent Collision

Two or more service agents work on the same tickets and the agents are not aware of it


Any physical or digital devices a company own which adds value to the business

Asset Management

Refers to all the processes and tools that enterprises use to manage all their assets digitally or manually

Audit Logs

Audit Logs, or Audit Trail, is essentially a chronological time-log of all the activities done on the helpdesk, by all the users.

Abandon Rate Percent

The percentage of abandoned calls compared to the total number of calls received.

Abandoned Call

A call where the caller hangs up before an analyst answers.


How easily the service desk can be reached by service desk staff, other employees of

the company, and customers.

Announcement System

Technology that greets callers when all service desk analysts are busy and can provide valuable information as customers wait on hold.

Automatic Call Distributor

ACD is used when the agents are busy. The users will wait in a queue listening to the recorded message

Average Call Duration

The average time it takes an analyst to pick up an incoming call.

Average Wait Time

The average number of minutes a caller waits for an analyst after being placed in the queue by an ACD; also known as average queue time.

Access Management

The process-related to receiving, reviewing, and if approved, granting users an appropriate level of access to specific IT resources.

Abandoned Rate

Used to measure the number of callers who ended their call while waiting in a queue compared to the total calls received.

After Call Work (ACW)

The amount of time an agent uses to complete required tasks after a call ends until becoming available for another call. Usually, the time is averaged to give the most accurate perspective.


A person who works at a Help Desk or call center and answers incoming contacts such as calls.

Application Program Interface

This is a bridge to software applications to communicate with each other. An interface creates a pathway by using common tools, coding, and protocols so data can be transferred between applications.


The tool lets employees know all the information they need and then creates a ticket on their behalf if the information provided is not sufficient.

Automated Attendant

Prompts callers with a menu choice allowing the ACD to route calls to specific locations based on their input.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

An average of the handling time of all calls. Handle time of a call is the sum of talk time and after-call work.

Average Speed Of Answer (ASA)

The total length of customer wait time in queue divided by the total number of calls.


Artificially Intelligent Service Management (AISM) is a tool that makes use of the current ITSM technologies like Incident Management, Problem Management, Asset Management, and so on but with the help of AI, it makes these processes way more efficient than the traditional ITSM help desk.


Backlog refers to new tickets that have been created but, not addressed in any form, by a support agent yet.


The process of comparing the service desk's services, standardized metrics, and practices to those of a rival or world-class company to identify ways it can improve.

Business Skills

the skills that are unique to the industry or profession the service desk supports, such as accounting skills or banking skills (industry knowledge)

Business Process Management (BPM)

A systematic approach to improving an organization's business processes.

Business Relationship Manager

the person who is responsible for maintaining a good relationship between a service provider and its customers.


A failure to perform some promised act or obligation.


To tire due to being overworked. For a Help Desk Agent, too many sequential calls, the pressure to wrap up calls quickly and low FCR can lead to burnout.

Business Intelligence (Bi)

To support better data-driven business decision making, BI provides reports, dashboards, and data visualizations from internal and external data sources.

Back-Stage Service Activities:

Activities that do not involve direct interaction with the customer, for example, back-office operations of a retail bank or marking of student coursework by a teacher.

Case Escalation

A case escalation occurs when a frontline service rep either can't solve a problem on their own or if a customer asks to speak to a manager.


A chatbot is an AI-powered application that runs within your live chat software and helps in interactively engaging your customers to better understand their issues.

Canned Responses

Canned responses are re-usable templates, that a support agent can quickly add to a ticket, to speed up typing the response

Customer Portal

The customer portal usually contains FAQs, Knowledge Bases, and a New Ticket Form which lets a user create new tickets.

Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT)

refers to the metric that directly measures the happiness of a customer based on the resolution of an issue.

Centralized Service Desk

A single service desk that supports all of the technologies used by its customers.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A business calculation that compares the costs and benefits of two or more potential solutions to determine an optimum solution.

Conversational AI

Chatbots and voice assistants can be viewed as a form of conversational artificial intelligence (AI).

Change Management

The process responsible for controlling changes to the production environment while minimizing service disruptions.

Configuration Items (CIS)

The individual records that are stored in an organization's configuration management system, such as IT assets, buildings, and documents such as SLAs, processes, and procedures.

Configuration Management

The process that focuses on capturing non-financial information about IT assets along with how the assets are related or configured.

Configuration Management System (CMS)

A set of tools and databases for managing IT asset information and linking that information to related incidents, problems, known errors, changes, and releases.

Cost Per Contact

Historically called cost per call; the total cost of operating a service desk for a given period (including salaries, benefits, facilities, and equipment) divided by the total number of contacts (calls, e-mails, faxes, Web requests, and so on) received during that period.

Cost Per Unit

The total cost of operating a service desk for a given period (including salaries, benefits, facilities, and equipment) divided by the total number of units (such as devices and systems) supported during that period.

Critical Success Factor (CSF)

A measurable characteristic that must exist for something - such as a process, project, or team - to be viewed as successful.

Call Ticket

A call ticket is the information of an issue collected by the helpdesk. There might be complete information in the call ticket like demographics of the customers, previous case history, and actions taken to resolve an issue.

Closed Ticket

There is no further action required in the call ticker as the issue has been resolved.

Configurable Workflow

Even complex business cases can be solved using a simple equation.

Configuration Management

Infrastructure Library and is defined as a process that encompasses every element of the IT system - from servers in the data headquarters to end-user equipment.

Contact Channels

Pathways for customers to reach Help Desk agents for support. Examples of contact channels are email, phone, chat, and other methods.

Change Management

Software dedicated to governing different procedures within the IT Service Desk.


forms of artificial intelligence that can respond to customer inquiries via live chat.

Cost Per Call

Expenses of maintaining the call center divided by the number of calls received.

Customer Experience

The perception by the customer on how they were treated from start to finish when receiving support.


A bright display that sends out visual and, in some cases, audible messages to the service desk staff and to customer sites that have dashboards installed; also known as electronic reader board.

Email Ticketing

Email ticketing lets a user create tickets by sending in an email to a predefined mail address, without logging into the support portal as such.


To raise an incident from one level to another, such as from level one to level two, to dedicate new or additional resources to the incident.

Event-Driven Survey

A customer satisfaction survey that asks customers for feedback on a single, recent service event.

Exit Poll

A measurement technique that, on the Internet, combines questions such as "Was this information helpful to you?" with Yes and No buttons that customers can use to provide feedback.


The science of people-machine relationships that intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.


These are the customers interacting with the help desk software products. There may be personnel within the company or external clients who contact the call center, internal or external helpdesk.

Enterprise Ready

A marketing term meant to hook someone's attention and convince them that a product can perform under high pressure.


Enterprise service management in a nutshell is the practice of applying ITSM to various other areas of an enterprise or organization to improve efficiency, performance, and service delivery.

Expected Wait Time

Information is provided to customers on approximately how long they have to wait in a queue before the next agent will answer their call.


Feedback in the context of helpdesk or any support interaction refers to listening to what a user thinks/feels about something in specific.

First Response Time (FRT)

Service desk staff who interacts directly with customers.


A structure designed to enclose something.

Functional Escalation

The escalation that transfers an incident from one line of support to the next; occurs when greater knowledge or authority is required to resolve an incident or a target timescale has been exceeded.

First Call Resolution Rate Percent

The percentage of calls resolved during a customer's initial telephone call compared to the total number of calls received at the service desk for a given period of time.


A technique to improve the engagement of a service or product by offering incentives to encourage behavior while using the service or product. Incentives could include unlocking achievements and a point scoring system.

Help Desk

A Help Desk Software is the center-point of the entire customer support ecosystem.

Help Desk Report

A Report, or Reports or Reporting is a collection of data, usually tabulated or in the form of chats and other visualizations that aim to capture a certain performance Metric or metrics related to support.

Hierarchical Escalation

If incidents are serious (for example Priority1 incidents) IT management must be notified, for informational purposes at least. Hierarchic escalation is also used if the ‘Investigation and Diagnosis' and ‘Resolution and Recovery' steps are taking too long or proving too difficult to resolve and need additional resources.

Incident Management

Refers to a set of practices, processes, and solutions that improve incident detection, investigation, and response

Installations, Moves, Adds, And Changes (IMACS)

Activities include moving equipment, installing and configuring new systems, and upgrading existing systems; also known as moves, adds, and changes (MACs).


A secured, privately maintained Web site that serves employees and that can be accessed only by authorized personnel.

IT Operations Control

The function within IT that monitors the entire IT Infrastructure from a central console or set of consoles.

IT Service Automation

The use of software to create repeatable instructions and processes.

Incident Management

Incident management is the process of specifying, analyzing, and validating threats to prevent the reoccurrence of an incident.

Incident Ownership

A practice that ensures that when the service desk analyst cannot resolve an incident during the first call or escalates the incident to a person or group outside of the service desk, an incident owner is designated; also known as total contact ownership.

Incident Tracking

The task of following one incident from recognition to resolution.

Incident Management System

The technology used to enhanced trouble ticketing and management reporting capability.

Incidents Resolved Within Target Time Percent

The percentage of incidents resolved within a target resolution time.

Inventory Management

A process that focuses only on collecting and maintaining information about IT assets, not the relationships that exist among those assets. See configuration management.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

ITIL as the name suggests is a library consisting of the best practices for delivering IT services.

Integrated ITSM Solutions

A suite of systems that companies use to manage their incident, problem, knowledge, change, service asset and configuration management, and request fulfillment processes; also called enterprise solutions.

Knowledge Management System (KMS)

A set of tools and databases that are used to store, manage, and present information sources such as customer information, documents, policies and procedures, incident resolutions, and known errors.

Knowledge Center

A knowledge base is a tool. The goal is to help customers help themselves.

Knowledge Management

The process responsible for gathering, storing and sharing information and knowledge within an organization.

Knowledge Automation

When you automate knowledge, you are optimizing the act of providing knowledge as a service.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

It is a metric used to measure the achievement of critical success factors for an organization

Live Chat

is a text-based communication medium similar to instant messaging.

Lifecycle Reports

Lifecycle refers to the time that a ticket spends on a specific ticket attribute. This could be an assignee/status/priority etc.

L1 Escalation

Has a working knowledge of the technical or functional area

L2 Escalation

More knowledge - senior people who may have years of experience

L3 Escalation

May involve the agent itself

Level One Analyst

A person who receives and logs contacts, answers questions and resolves incidents and service requests when possible; also called service desk analyst, customer support analyst, or service desk technician.

Level One Specialist

A person who researches complex incidents and handles service requests that require more skill or authority - or, in some cases, more time - than a level one analyst typically can devote to a single contact; also called service desk specialist, technical support specialist, or customer support specialist.

Level Two

The person or group that resolves incidents that are beyond the scope or authority (such as system access rights or permissions) of level one.

Level Three

The person or group that resolves complex incidents that are beyond the scope of level two.

Level One Resolution Rate Percent

The percentage of incidents resolved at level one, but not necessarily during the customer's initial telephone call.

Modern Ticketing System

Employees don't have to create tickets on a service management tool

Multi-Level Support Model

A common structure of service desks, where the service desk refers problems it cannot resolve to the appropriate internal group, external vendor, or subject matter expert.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score® is a metric that measures customer loyalty, by identifying what percentage of a product’s users could be “promoters” themselves.

New Ticket Form

New Ticket Form is the user-facing form that is used to create new tickets within a ticketing system.

Network Monitoring

Activities that use tools to observe network performance to minimize the impact of incidents.

Network Management Tools

These tools are used to find the health of your help desk infrastructure as well as system configuration information.

Overdue Ticket

The overdue ticket is a ticket that has an actionable pending on it, for which there was a hard deadline.

Overall Satisfaction Survey

A customer satisfaction survey that asks customers for feedback about all contacts with the service desk during a certain time period.

Problem Management

The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of problems.

Project Management

It is defined as an organized process that involves planning, organizing, managing, and controlling IT projects to accomplish specific IT goals.


An efficiency measure that relates output (goods and services produced) to input (the number of hours worked).

Personalized User Interface

The users can get customer information based on login or other identifying information with the help of a personalized user interface.


A Web "supersite" that provides a variety of services such as a site search to locate pertinent articles and white papers, a product and services buyer's guide, a discussion or message board, event calendars, and publications.


It is the database search to retrieved specified information help desk database.

Quality Control

Quality control is the section of your business that's responsible for delivering products that meet your customers' expectations.

Reopen A Ticket

When a ticket is moved from a closed status to any of the open behavior statuses, it is considered being reopened.

Release Management

A release management platform is designed to handle some of the specific challenges that come with new app releases.

Remote Customer Support

When Help Desk agents or IT staff connect to a remote customer computer via a network or Internet to provide technical support as if they are directly in front of the customer computer.

Return On Investment (ROI)

The value which is brought to the organization by the help desk is called ROI and this return is divided by operating costs of the help desk.

Response Time

A measure of the time taken to complete an Operation or Transaction.

Reactive Service Desk

A service desk that simply responds to events that occur each day.

Reopen Percent

The percentage of incidents an analyst opens back up compared to the total number of incidents that analyst closed during a given period of time.

Resolution Data

Details that describe how an incident was resolved, including all the fields required to track service level compliance and perform trend analysis, such as the person or group who resolved the incident, resolution description, date and time-resolved, customer satisfaction indicator, date and time closed, and possible cause.

Restoration Of Service

Returning of an IT Service to the Users after Repair and Recovery from an Incident. This is the primary objective of Incident Management.

Root Cause Analysis

It is a systematic process for finding and identifying the root cause of a problem or event.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

SLAs are the commitments made by a business to its customers. In the context of Helpdesk and Customer Support, these define, time-frames within which a Ticket Reply, Update to a Customer or a resolution needs to happen on any customer ticket.

Support Channels

Channels refer to the different mediums through which a ticket can get created in a Help desk.

Self-Service Portal

An interface for employees to resolve their problems with the information found in the intranet without interacting with the main IT Support desk.

Service Catalog

A service catalog is defined as a centralized database of accurate information about active IT service offerings, and a subset of the IT service provider's service portfolio.

Service Request

As defined by ITIL, a request for information or advice, access to an IT service, or a standard change.

Service Automation

Employee support is provided quickly and accurately through automated systems.

Service Desk Management

Service desk management evolved from the help desk, and it meets great and complex demands more efficiently and effectively with processes.

Service Desk Manager

The person who works closely with the senior service desk manager to prepare the service desk's budget and plan its activities for the coming year.

Smart Knowledge Management

With the help of AI, centralized information can be accessed easily and in a few clicks.

Service Desk Supervisor

The person who oversees the day-to-day operation of the service desk, which includes making sure the service desk is meeting its SLA commitments, monitoring and evaluating the performance of service desk staff, and ensuring that the staff is properly trained; also called team leader.

Service Asset And Configuration Management

The process responsible for collecting and maintaining information about IT assets and showing the relationships that exist among those assets.

Skills-Based Routing (SBR)

An ACD feature that matches the requirements of an incoming call to the skill sets of available analysts or analyst groups. The ACD then distributes the call to the next available, most qualified analyst.

System Integration

Linking together different computer systems and applications physically or functionally.

Service Level Management (SLM)

The Process responsible for negotiating Service Level Agreements, and ensuring that these are met. SLM is responsible for ensuring that all IT Service Management Processes, Operational Level Agreements, and Underpinning Contracts, are appropriate for the agreed Service Level Targets. SLM monitors and reports on Service Levels, and holds regular Customer reviews.

Service Desk Goals

Measurable objectives that support the service desk's mission.

Single Point Of Contact

Providing a single consistent way to communicate with an Organization or Business Unit. For example, a Single Point of Contact for an IT Service Provider is usually called a Service Desk.


Software as a Service is a model that is released on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted by the vendor.

Social Listening

The faster and more reliable your responses are, the more you can leverage social media as a powerful support channel.


The process of determining a customer's need and routing him or her to the appropriate support group.

Ticket Resolution

Resolution refers to a ticket issue getting resolved. When a ticket resolution is said to be expedited or sped-up, a ticket is taken up for priority handling by support agents and closed as fast as a process could permit

Task Management

A task is a small individual work item on a ticket that can be allocated to an individual user and then tracked via a ticket.

Ticket Properties

Ticket properties refer to all the multiple attributes of a ticket that can be changed and modified to reflect the accurate status of the work item that the ticket corresponds to.

Ticket Priority

Ticket Priority is a ticket attribute that determines the degree of importance that is supposed to be given to a ticket.

Ticket Status

New Open In-Progress Solved Closed

Technical Skills

The skills people need to use and support the specific products and technologies the service desk supports.

Target Escalation Time

A time constraint placed on each level that ensures that incident resolution activities are proceeding at an appropriate pace.

Target Resolution Time

A time constraint placed on each level that ensures that incident resolution activities are proceeding at an appropriate pace.

Target Response Time

The time frame within which the service desk or level two acknowledges the incident, diagnoses it and estimates the target resolution time.

Trend Analysis

A methodical way of determining and, when possible, forecasting service trends.

Time Idle

The average length of time an analyst was idle during a given period of time.

Tier 3 Support

The third level in a hierarchy of Support Groups involved in the resolution of Incidents and investigation of Problems. Each level contains more specialist skills or has more time or other Resources. e.g. Architecture

Tier 2 Support

The second level in a hierarchy of Support Groups involved in the resolution of Incidents, Service Requests, and investigation of Problems. Each level contains more specialist skills or has more time or other Resources. e.g. Desktop Support, Technical Operations, etc.

Tier 1 Support

The first level in a hierarchy of Support Groups involved in the resolution of Incidents and Service Requests. The first level is the single point of contact for the Users. e.g. Service Desk.

Total Cost Of Ownership

The complete cost of a product or service that goes beyond the initial purchase cost. It includes expenses of licensing, maintenance, warranty, installation, and support.

Virtual Service Desk

A service desk that gives the impression of a centralized service desk by using sophisticated telephone systems and the Internet. In reality, the service desk analysts may be located in any number of locations, including their homes.


A method used to deliver presentations, lectures, workshops, or seminars over the Web; short for Web-based seminar.

Wrap-Up Time

The average length of time an analyst was in wrap-up mode during a given period of time.


Reducing or eliminating the Impact of an Incident or Problem for which a full resolution is not yet available.

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