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Levels of IT Help Desk Support

IT Help Desk Support Levels

IT help desk support services is the process of answering customer inquiries, resolving customer issues and providing customer service through a formal, organized system. The IT help desk is a critical part of an organization’s IT department as it’s responsible for troubleshooting issues with users that would prevent them from doing their jobs effectively.

Within help desk services, there are different levels of support provided to users. The level of IT support desk services required will be determined by the severity of the issue and the capabilities that the company has in-house. In this article, we will break down the different levels of IT help desk services, how they provide value and the differences between them. 

Help Desk Self-Service Support

This is also known as level zero (L0) support, which is self-service. At this level, documentation and instructions are created by the help desk and made available to users so that they can self-diagnose their issues and answer their questions without needing to contact the help desk. 

Self-service is essential for reducing the number of tickets created for the help desk and allows the help desk to focus on more critical issues. Even though the customer/user doesn’t interact directly with the help desk, it’s the responsibility of the help desk staff to maintain and update the documentation to ensure that it appropriately resolves user issues. 

Front Line Basic Level Support

The lowest level of support for an IT help desk is frontline IT Support or Level one (L1) support. Frontline IT support provides basic support for customer issues. This typically involves usage problems or fulfilling service desk requests that need IT involvement. For example, this would be helping employees that have been locked out of their accounts, providing them access to new company software or other routine tasks that don’t involve heavy troubleshooting. IT frontline support can be performed by lower-level technical personnel trained to solve known and frequent problems and fulfill service requests by following standard scripts/procedures. A typical example would be following the guidelines to unlock a user account or giving a user access to an application. 

Advanced Level IT Support

The next IT help desk support level is Advanced Level IT Support or level two (L2) support. In this level of support, more experienced and knowledgeable technicians troubleshoot, assess issues, and provide solutions for escalated problems from tier 1. The technicians at this level usually have deep knowledge of the product or service but typically aren’t the engineers or programmers that designed/created it. A typical example would be troubleshooting an issue with a common application such as ServiceNow. This can be done by technicians with significant experience with that application. 

Subject Matter Expert Level Support

The third IT help desk support level is subject matter expert support or level three (L3) support. At this level, the technicians providing support are typically subject matter specialists who are highly knowledgeable about the products/services they support. Many may be the architects or engineers who created the product or service. At this level of support, the first step in resolving an issue is identifying the root cause. Once this is done, the company may fix the problem or create a new solution depending on the severity of the issue. This level of support represents the highest level of technical knowledge within the company and consists of subject matter experts (SMEs). A typical example of this level of support is for custom-built applications. If an issue in that application cannot be resolved at the lower levels, then it would be escalated to the people who created the application. They will decide if/how to fix it or if it would be better to build a brand-new application.

External Level Support

External IT support (Tier 4 support) is an IT help desk level consisting of outside support for problems not supported by the organization. At this level, IT support services are provided by preferred vendors and business partners outside the company that support those particular products or services. A common example would be creating a support ticket with the software vendor for an issue that couldn’t be resolved internally and may be a bug or defect. Many companies offer support services as a standard part of their service/product offering, entitling clients to a certain amount of support for any issues they may experience.

Summarizing IT Help Desk Support Levels

A help desk is a department that assists users that have IT-related problems. Within the IT help desk, four levels of support can be provided to users depending on the severity of the issue and the capabilities of the company to diagnose the problem. The four levels of support are:

  • Front Line Basic Support (L1) 
  • Advanced level IT support (L2)
  • Subject Matter Expert Level Support (L3)
  • External Level Support (L4)

From levels 1-3, problems are escalated depending on the technical severity of the issue and consist of internal help desk support. In contrast, L4 is all levels of support companies provide outside of the organization to support certain products or services internally. 

Managed IT Help Desk Support Services from CG Technologies

As a small to medium-sized business (SMB) owner, an IT help desk may seem like something only large enterprises need or can afford. No matter its size, your business relies on IT to function efficiently. Managed Helpdesk services from CG Technologies removes the overhead from your company, saving time and money when it comes to managing IT and resolving IT operational issues.

CG Technologies has provided managed IT help desk support services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for over 25 years. Our IT help desk is staffed 24 × 7 × 365 with Canadian-based technology and service experts who can assist with

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