Help Desk vs. Knowledge Base: What’s the Difference?

7 min read
Jan 5, 2023
help desk and knowledge base

Have you ever sent an email to a help desk, only to receive a canned response that appears generic and vague?

Or perhaps you've been lead down a path of endless help center webpages, all in hopes of finding the help you need for your problem.

As technology advances, help desks have become necessary components in every organization's IT infrastructure, but it is often difficult to know when help desks are useful, and when knowledge base software is more appropriate.

Fear not!

In this article, we'll dive deep into help desks versus knowledge bases so you can make better decisions to receive the help you need without wasting time or frustration.

The Difference Between Help Desk and Knowledge Base

Let's start with basic definitions to distinguish help desks from knowledge base software.

What is Help Desk Software?

Help desk software enables help desks to manage their customer service solutions more efficiently and help them stay on top of incoming queries by automating several processes such as assigning tickets to team members, tracking help desk operations, providing help materials, and generating reports.

In short, help desk software provides a ticketing system where users can submit support requests and help staff respond quickly using organized information for efficient resolutions. It allows help desks to progress from manual systems that require a lot of time and resources with cumbersome emails to self-service automation.

What is Knowledge Base Software?

Having self-service knowledge base software can be incredibly helpful for users who need help with their product or service, but many times don't want to wait for (or even contact) a customer service representative. It's so much more convenient for them to look up the answers themselves without having to navigate through portals and complex customer support processes.

That's what makes self-service knowledge base software such an invaluable asset - it offers customers self service help 24/7/365 and saves businesses time, energy and money. People of all ages and backgrounds appreciate the independence knowledge base software gives them in finding their own problems and solutions, allowing customers to view content at their own pace while remaining in control of their experience.

Benefits of Using Help Desk Solutions

As we've discussed the definitions of both solutions, the certainly have their benefits. Let's now briefly explore what they are, starting with help desk software.

More personal help and customer service

Help desk solutions are an incredibly valuable tool for businesses that want to do more to serve their customers. 

One of the biggest benefits of using this technology is that it enables customer service representatives to provide a higher level customer support and experience. It allows them to be more personal by engaging users or answering their questions quickly and conveniently. 

This gives customers a sense of being truly heard, allowing them to feel assured that companies and reps care about their individual needs. In other words, help desk solutions can help make customer service more personalized, providing a high level of customer satisfaction.

Automated ticketing systems to help organize requests

An automated help desk ticketing system is an especially powerful tool for organizing help desk requests. It not only allows for custom ticket tracking and routing, but can also automate processes like issue escalation, automatic ticket categorization and assignment of SLAs.

All of this helps to ensure that help desks can track customer inquiries efficiently and prioritize cases effectively. Plus, the built-in reporting capabilities allow them to analyze important data points quickly, allowing help desk staff to research problems more efficiently.

By taking advantage of an automated ticketing system, businesses can feel more organized while giving customers a better sense of resolution times when submitting support tickets.

Quick resolution times

With so many technology issues that come up in the workplace, having quick resolution times for help desk tickets is critical to efficient operation.

Help desk solutions play a vital role in offering rapid responses to employees when problems occur, with response times that often span just minutes. This helps staff members quickly receive information they need to solve their issue and get back to work sooner; ensuring employee productivity is maximized and everyone remains productive.

Plus, since these solutions automate ticketing processes and prioritize requests, users won't have to wait endlessly for a response or worry about their request becoming lost or forgotten.

All told, quick resolution times seen with help desk solutions can be a major boon for any organization in need of reliable tech support.

Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty

The last benefit of using help desk solutions is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By streamlining the support process and making it easier for customers to submit queries, addressing their issues and resolving them quicker, customers are more likely to keep coming back.

Additionally, having a dedicated area to manage customer feedback and comments means businesses can respond quickly to issues or queries that arise, allowing customers to feel valued and taken into account.

By engaging with customers in a prompt manner, businesses can show that they truly care about their experiences. This tangible demonstration of care often leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.

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Benefits of Using Self Service Portal

On the other hand, using a self service portal like a knowledge base software offers the following benefits:

24/7 access to help documents

Having 24/7 access to help documents is a massive advantage provided by knowledge base software. Not only can you save an incredible amount of money on customer service hours, but your customers can receive answers to questions or solutions to problems immediately.

Knowledge base software offers anytime access to information such as FAQs, how-to guides, troubleshooting advice, and more. This means customers will find the goal they were searching for faster and without having to wait around for support staff - so everyone's happy!

Easy searchability for help material

Having all your help material stored in one place allows customers to quickly access what they need, whether they type in keywords or even scan through categories that apply to the topic they are searching.

This saves time on both sides as customers don't have to bother customer service agents and representatives with too many questions, and representatives don’t have to spend time looking up information every time a customer contacts them.

This also helps create better customer experiences overall since they will always get quick response times, no matter how complex the request is.

Lower support costs and improved customer satisfaction

By creating a comprehensive database of help articles, this type of software ensures that customers get the help they need quickly, without having to wait for a member of the support staff to become available.

This helps businesses save on infrastructure costs associated with staff and other resources, and it also improves customer satisfaction by allowing their support queries to be resolved faster than ever before.

On top of all these benefits, knowledge base software can also lead to lower support costs overall. When customers have the tools they need at their fingertips to find answers on their own, it reduces the burden being placed on staff members and allows them to focus on more complex or nuanced problems that require human interaction instead.

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The Advantages of Utilizing Both Solutions Together

Utilizing help desk and knowledge base together can help businesses achieve the best of both worlds.

Help desks offer personalized customer service and help that is tailored to each customer's individual needs. This ensures customers are receiving a personalized experience, while knowledge bases help provide faster resolution times and lower costs.

Combining the two together can help businesses get the most out of their customer service operations.

By utilizing help desk solutions for personalized help and knowledge base software for quicker help queries, customers are getting the help they need without having to wait around too long.

With the right combination of help desk and knowledge base solutions, businesses can ensure their customers are receiving the help they need with minimal wait times - all while staying within budget and improving customer satisfaction.