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Tier 1 Help Desk

Launch Plan

Tier 1 help desk is an initial point of contact between users and tech support that handles basic issues, e.g., hardware or software setup, login and access problems. In IT help desk since 2007, ScienceSoft is ready to take on the L1 support function and ensure fast issue resolution and increased user satisfaction.

Tier 1 Help Desk - ScienceSoft
Tier 1 Help Desk - ScienceSoft

Tier 1 Help Desk: the Summary

Tier 1 support is the first line of technical support that solves basic issues and requests reported by users. L1 support agents should ensure fast response and resolution time to minimize the disruption in users' work routine.

Typical tasks managed at the L1 level:

  • Installing, reinstalling, uninstalling user apps.
  • Configuring user apps.
  • Granting and removing access to data and services.
  • Resolving basic network connectivity issues.
  • Managing licenses (buying, assigning, handling activation errors).

Lineup of a help desk tier 1 team: a team lead, L1 support agents, a system administrator.

Outsourcing cost: $8 - $18 per ticket based on the scope of activities covered and the complexity of supported IT infrastructure.

ScienceSoft helps both IT and non-IT companies handle T1 help desk requests in line with mature ITSM processes and ITIL principles.

Level 1 Help Desk Setup Plan

When establishing tier one of IT help desk support for employees, we factor in the maturity of your company’s IT infrastructure and IT landscape complexity. When setting up the support for customers, we take into account the complexity of products or services the help desk will deal with.

ScienceSoft outlines the following general setup steps for both options:



Duration: from 2 weeks
  • Define the users to provide support to.
  • Define the scope of workload, including the types of issues (e.g., software usage issues, service description inquiries) your help desk needs to process, the estimated number of monthly requests, and the size of the support team.
  • Identify the goals of your help desk (increasing user support cost-effectiveness, improving CSAT and user adoption rate, etc.).
  • Calculate the budget and create a risk management plan.

At ScienceSoft, we usually advise customers to consider introducing Level 2 help desk or outsourcing L2 support services, if they are likely to receive complex tech requests from users.

Help Desk Manager at ScienceSoft


Tier 1 help desk design

Duration: from 2 weeks

At this stage, ScienceSoft usually takes the following steps:

  • Define KPIs to track (including first response time, resolution rate, etc.).
  • Draw up standard operating procedures (including standards for ticket resolution, reporting process, etc.).
  • List communication channels you currently use for business communication in your company (e.g., phone, email, messengers) and decide on additional support channels relevant to your users.



Choosing between in-house and outsourced models

Duration: from 3 months

3.1. If Tier 1 help desk is done in-house

Hiring and training staff

Duration: 1-3 months

  • Define the qualifications a help desk manager and L1 agents need to possess according to your user support needs.
  • Conduct onboarding training with hired staff to get them familiar with your company’s organizational structure and products or services you provide.

Best practice: ScienceSoft recommends establishing a mentoring program involving experienced support agents to help newcomers handle calls, use ticketing software, and master other user support skills.

Ticket management software selection and customization

Duration: from 1 week (for ready-made software)

  • Choose between a free and functionally limited ready-to-use ticket management software, a paid solution with extended features (e.g., omnichannel support, AI-driven chatbots), or custom software completely fitting your case.
  • Perform customization (for platform-based software) and integrate it with required IT systems (e.g., CRM, ERP).

Best practice: To increase the effectiveness of our services, ScienceSoft’s L1 help desk teams implement feature-rich tools providing ticket management automation, omnichannel communication, monitoring functionality, a knowledge base for agents and users, integration and customization capabilities.

3.2. If Tier 1 help desk is outsourced

Vendor selection

Duration: ~3 months

If you want to get reduced costs for outsourced help desk, up to 24/7 service provision, and an experienced support team, ScienceSoft’s consultants recommend adhering to the following vendor selection steps:

  • Short-listing 3-5 vendors with experience in providing L1 help desk services.
  • Requesting cost estimate and service presentation from the pre-selected vendors.
  • Discussing KPIs, service provision protocols, reporting methods, and knowledge transfer terms.
  • Negotiating SLA and ticket costs.
  • Deciding on the most appropriate vendor and signing a collaboration contract.

If you need to choose a reliable vendor to manage your help desk processes, search for:

  • Certified partners of providers of platforms/software you use (e.g., Microsoft, AWS, IBM, Oracle, ServiceNow, etc.).
  • Companies that adhere to ITIL standards while providing their services.
  • Companies that ensure fluency of their help desk specialists in the languages required by you.

Help Desk Manager at ScienceSoft


Help desk launch

Duration: 2-4 weeks

To launch Tier 1 help desk, either an in-house system administrator or an outsourced team should check whether all agents have access and the necessary permissions to help desk software accounts and functions, configure the infrastructure, set up communication channels for users, and perform a help desk demo run.



See first-hand how L1 help desk processes are organized.  

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Consider Professional Level 1 Help Desk Services

ScienceSoft's services are backed up with 35-year experience in IT and 17-year experience in application support.

Tier 1 help desk consulting

  • Designing Tier 1 help desk and drawing up a launch plan.
  • Composing a help desk team.
  • Defining an optimal sourcing model.
  • Selecting ticket management software.
  • Defining the process and team KPIs (first response time, resolution rate, etc.).
Go for consulting

Outsourced Tier 1 help desk

  • Defining a number of tickets per a required period.
  • Calculating price per ticket.
  • Defining KPIs and service provision protocols.
  • Performing knowledge transfer from your company to our help desk team.
  • Delivering the first level of help desk tech support according to SLA.
  • Providing comprehensive reporting
Go for outsourcing

Our Selected Projects

What Our Customers Say

ScienceSoft has proven to be a great partner and a much-needed addition to our IT support team. They got on board with our processes in no time and maintained consistently high user satisfaction ever since. After two years, we know for sure they’re reliable and committed specialists, so it was a no-brainer to let them handle L2 cases. They stick to SLAs, provide competent support, and make sure incidents are resolved or escalated as soon as possible.

To alleviate some of the burden on our inhouse engineers, we sought out a professional team of Tier 1 support staff with a technical background. We partnered with ScienceSoft, and it turned out to be an excellent match. Within just two weeks, their support agents seamlessly integrated into our processes and became an invaluable asset to our team. Thanks to their assistance, we can now process any Tier 1 issue within 15 minutes.

In 2022, we commissioned ScienceSoft to work under our brand and deliver 24/7 L1 support to our clients. After a year of steady collaboration, ScienceSoft’s team resolves around 88% of all incoming cases from more than 30 of our clients, letting our support engineers focus on more complex tasks. They’re quick but very thorough agents, so we can rest assured they will see matters through for every single ticket.

Why Choose ScienceSoft for Help Desk Services

  • 35 years of entire experience in IT.
  • 17 years of experience in help desk services.
  • 16 years in IT service management (ITSM).
  • Strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Amazon, ServiceNow.
  • Serving worldwide 24/7: North and South America, Europe, the Gulf, Asia, Australia.
  • 750+ IT professionals on board.
  • Quality-first approach based on a mature ISO 9001-certified quality management system.
  • ISO 27001-certified security management based on comprehensive policies and processes, advanced security technology, and skilled professionals.

Typical Roles and Responsibilities in a Tier 1 Help Desk Team

Project manager

  • Plans and manages the budget.
  • Decides on staffing and/or outsourcing needs according to the number and types of issues the help desk deals with.
  • Defines KPIs and oversees their achievement.
  • Designs or approves Tier 1 help desk processes (such as escalation, reporting procedures).

Team lead

  • Establishes goals and KPIs for the help desk team and manages their achievement.
  • Plans agents’ work schedules to ensure sufficient support coverage during operating hours.
  • Arranges and oversees team's professional development.
  • Monitors help desk channels to collect performance data.

L1 support agent

  • Processes incoming user requests via phone, SMS, email, messengers, etc.
  • Creates tickets for all reported issues and collects as much information about incidents as possible.
  • Handles common user support cases (e.g., password reset, product usage guidance), and basic technical tasks (basic software troubleshooting, reinstalling software applications, etc.).
  • Escalates complex tech issues to a higher-tier support team.

System administrator

  • Installs, configures, and monitors all necessary help desk software and hardware.
  • Resolves arising software and hardware issues to ensure stable help desk operations.
  • Provides timely software updates.

Sourcing Models of Help Desk Level 1

All in-house


  • Complete control over the help desk infrastructure and resources.
  • A support team has a deep understanding of your internal structure and processes, products and services you provide.


  • High setup and management risks.
  • Longer establishment period due to staff hiring and training, and software selection and customization.
  • A high turnover of L1 agents.
  • Risk of underloaded agents (e.g., an agent can handle 400-500 tickets per month, so two agents are needed to cover 12/5. If an organization has less than 800 tickets, agents will be underloaded).

L1 help desk resources are partially outsourced


  • In-house support team augmented with experienced third-party L1 agents to quickly handle the increased number of support requests.
  • Optimized level 1 support costs by easily scaling up and down the number of first line support agents according to the volume of incoming inquiries.


  • May be challenging to synchronize in-house and outsourced teams’ work.

The entire L1 help desk is outsourced to a third-party vendor


  • Optimal L1 help desk costs.
  • On-demand team scalability.
  • Pre-vetted support team.
  • Up to 24/7 service coverage.


  • Possible cooperation challenges with other departments of your company (e.g., data exchange between the help desk and a sales department) that can be mitigated by data integration.
  • Challenging communication with in-house L2 help desk should be well-established and carefully managed.

Benefits of Tier 1 Help Desk with ScienceSoft

Mature ITSM processes

Rely on our 14 years of experience with ITSM.

Self-management and service transparency

We deliver our services based on KPIs and SLOs set in the SLA.

Multiple communication languages

Our support team speaks 7+ languages.

Service coverage options

8/5, 12/5, 24/5, 24/7 – choose what’s best-suited to your business.

Proactive approach

We don’t just resolve issues, we perform root cause analysis to prevent them.

Ticket Management Software Recommended by ScienceSoft

As L1 help desk provision usually requires dealing with a large number of user inquiries, you will need reliable ticket automation software. Here are ticketing management tools ScienceSoft’s professionals typically implement to streamline our L1 help desk services.

Jira Service Management


Strong performer in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Service Management, Q4 2019.

  • Prioritizing, tracking, and assigning incoming requests from various sources (including Slack and Microsoft Teams) to suitable L1 agents.
  • Issue root cause analysis to quickly document the root cause of an issue and optimize resolution guidance.
  • Knowledge base for users’ self-service.

Best for:

Collaboration-focused IT help desk for small and medium-sized companies.

ServiceNow® ITSM Platform


A 7-time Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for ITSM Tools.

  • Incident management functionality to classify tickets by impact and urgency and assign them to agents.
  • Employee service center serves as a single source of information for your employees.
  • Virtual Agent for personalized conversations with employees or customers to help resolve L1 issues automatically.


IT help desk for companies with 1000+ employees.

ServiceNow® CSM Platform


Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

  • Automatically assigning tickets to L1 agents based on their availability.
  • Predictive intelligence for analyzing case descriptions to automatically categorize tickets and recommend solutions to agents to resolve issues faster.
  • AI-powered chatbots to resolve common customer issues without an L1 agent’s involvement. The interaction context can be transferred to an L1 agent when human help is needed.
  • Self-service portal for customers with a knowledge base.


Proactive support of 1000+ customers.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service


Leader in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.

  • Automated ticket management functionality (creation, routing, escalation, etc.)
  • Multiple communication channels (phone, email, web, chats, social networks, SMS).
  • AI-driven recommendations of knowledge articles for agents.
  • Customizable templates for user surveys to get feedback on the help desk agents’ work.


Ticket management requiring multiple integrations with business applications.

Salesforce Service Cloud


Leader in Gartner CRM Customer Engagement Center Magic Quadrant for 12 consecutive years.

  • An agent console with integrated telephony, digital channels, and a 360-degree customer view to resolve user issues faster.
  • Trailhead (free online learning platform to increase help desk agent productivity and grow skills).
  • AI-powered contextual recommendations for L1 agents to follow and provide a better customer experience.
  • Einstein chatbots to handle routine requests and optimize your L1 agents’ workload.


Customer-oriented ticket management requiring extensive AI capabilities.



Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice 2020 in Digital Experience Platforms.

Can serve as a ticketing system due to its customization and integration friendliness.

  • Creating, prioritizing, and organizing L1 tickets into groups (new, important, etc.).
  • Color-marking to highlight top priority tickets.
  • Tools for building a knowledge base with articles and FAQ for users to handle simple and repetitive questions.


Cost-effective solution with basic ticketing capabilities.

Choose Help Desk Software with Expert Help

ScienceSoft is ready to assist you with the selection of the right automated ticketing system to cut operational costs and increase user satisfaction by reducing issue resolution time.

Level 1 Help Desk Costs

ScienceSoft’s consultants note that help desk costs vary greatly from project to project. The average cost of tier 1 help desk services ranges from $3,200/month to $7,200+/month. The main factors that determine the actual cost of your help desk setup are:

General cost factors

  • The number of L1 tickets (per month).
  • Service time coverage - 24/7, 12/5, 8/5, etc.
  • IT landscape complexity or product/service type (higher complexity implies more skilled staff or a higher price per ticket).
  • Whether a knowledge base is to be maintained (although the maintenance incurs cost, the knowledge base may reduce the number of tickets).

Outsourced model cost factors

  • SLA - response time, first contact resolution, etc. (a higher service level may cause a higher price per ticket).

Note: Additional costs include ticketing software customization and licenses (usually charged per user) and maintenance of the ticketing software.

ScienceSoft typically binds prices per L1 help desk ticket to the number of tickets per month. Here are sample dependencies to get the picture:

$8 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 24/7
  • 900+ L1 tickets per month

$12 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 24/7
  • 215-899 L1 tickets per month

$18 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 24/7
  • 75-214 L1 tickets per month

Learn More About Help Desk Practices

How to Launch L2 Help Desk

How to Launch L2 Help Desk

We describe the process of setting up the second tier of technical support and provide experience-based tips and details. Our guide will be useful for those who want a help desk in-house and those who outsource.

Guide to L3 Help Desk

Guide to L3 Help Desk

In our guide, you will find answers to important questions: What budget to plan for advanced technical support? What source model to choose? How to draw up a launch plan?

Real Cost of Help Desk Outsourcing

Real Cost of Help Desk Outsourcing

We provide average price ranges of L1–L3 help desk and offer a simple calculator to estimate an individual cost based on your requirements.

About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and IT services company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. Since 2007, we provide help desk outsourcing services and application support services to help reduce our customers’ support costs and increase the user satisfaction score. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers' data security.