A range of skill options are possible, starting from a call logging service only – where staff need only very basic technical skills – right through to a technical service desk, where the organization’s most technically skilled staff are used. In the case of the call logging type of service desk, there will be a high handling rate but a low resolution rate, while in the case of the technical service desk, this will be reversed.
The decision on the required skills’ level will often be driven by target resolution times (agreed with the business and captured in service level targets), the complexity of the systems supported and what the business is prepared to pay. There is a strong correlation between response and resolution targets and costs – generally speaking, the shorter the target times, the higher the cost because more service desk resources are required.
This can also be achieved by locating second level staff on the service desk, effectively creating a two tier structure. This has the advantage of making second line staff available to help deal with peak call periods and to train more junior personnel, and it will often increase the first call resolution rate. However, second line staffs often have duties outside of the service desk – resulting in rosters having to be managed or second line staff positions being duplicated. In addition, having to deal with routine calls may be de-motivating for more experienced staff.