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The differences between help desk, ticketing system & co. explained

Do you actually need a ticketing system, a helpdesk, a service desk, a solution desk, or something entirely different? All of these systems share a focus on communication both internally and externally. Someone submits a request – you try to resolve it. However, at their core, they bring a different value proposition that should be considered.

What this post is about

  • With a ticketing system you bring structure and order into your work
  • Help desk, service desk, and solution desk in turn determine the context of assistance
  • With a smart assistant like Zammad, you are prepared for any challenge in support

We admit: Getting started in the world of issue tracking systems like Zammad isn't quite that simple. That's where we come in, simplifying support by consolidating all your communication channels in one interface and speeding up your response process.

The only question is, what should you actually provide to offer the best interface for your purpose? We provide guidance by presenting the different variations here and helping you distinguish between them.

Ticketing system explained

A ticketing system is a software solution that enables efficient and consistent tracking of internal and external requests. Unlike project management tools, it consistently organizes tickets along a process logic – similar to a task workflow, spanning from creation and processing to resolution.

Such an environment helps by providing the ability to assign responsibilities, prioritize, and control processing status, particularly ensuring that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.

Introducing help desk

A help desk is a specialized platform designed to provide quick solutions to issues and offer support for user inquiries such as troubleshooting, outages, and other escalations. It can be set up within your organization or externally for external parties.

The focus is always on empathetic communication, aiming to resolve problems with a deep understanding of the individual situation of the counterpart. Typically, a ticketing system is employed to ensure prompt handling. However, what matters most to your customers are quality assurances, such as guaranteed response times.

Read on here how to set up your perfect helpdesk with Zammad in just five steps.

Inspire with a service desk

How deep is your understanding of your customers' processes and needs? Consider setting up a service desk if you wish to proactively collaborate with them, bring industry expertise, and have innovative employees.

With a service desk, you always aim for long-term work and customer loyalty, adopting a holistic approach from consultation to problem-solving. Together with customers, you work towards their business objectives and ensure a continuous enhancement of your service quality.

For recurring topics and challenges, it's advisable to maintain a knowledge repository that you can grant your customers access to. Here are our six favorite formats that should not be missing in any knowledge base.

Effectively utilizing a solution desk

The more complex the problems and technical challenges, the greater the demands on your problem-solving expertise. A solution desk is expected to deliver tailor-made solutions for unique issues.

To achieve this, you should assemble a dedicated team or empower your support staff to be able to creatively and innovatively combine proven methodologies. This requires creativity and a proactive approach.


Every purpose requires the appropriate environment. Set up a help desk for swift issue resolution, a service desk for a customer-centric approach, and a solution desk for intricate problem-solving. As a collaborative team methodology, a ticketing system is typically employed, allowing you to organize, delegate, and process tasks.

  1. Ticketing system explained
  2. Introducing help desk
  3. Inspire with a service desk
  4. Effectively utilizing a solution desk
  5. Summary
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