Help desk heads for the Web

Help desk heads for the Web

Automated teller machines, Web banking and pay-and-pump gasoline have made users prefer self-service instead of help queues and trouble tickets, the chief executive officer of Help Desk 2000 of Atlanta told a forum last week.

Cliff Oxford, speaking at the Federal Help Desk Forum, part of the CRM Support Services conference in Washington, said users want immediate resolution of their computer problems anytime, anyplace and on their own terms. His company tries to do that with its site, at

Oxford described the ideal help as level-zero monitoring applications, which watch for and fix system problems before they reach a point that requires intervention by help desk personnel. Level one-half help, he said, is a self-service Web site with frequently asked questions that users can search by natural-language queries using a search engine such as the one from Ask Jeeves Inc. of Emeryville, Calif.

'Shruti Dat', Christopher J. Dorobek, Susan M. Menke and Michael Cheek

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