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title: How GDS provides user support
last_reviewed_on: 2021-02-04
review_in: 6 months
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The Support Operations team help GDS service teams respond to user enquiries, providing 1st line support for many teams within GDS including [GOV.UK]( and [GOV.UK Verify](
## Zendesk
Support Operations require GDS teams to use [Zendesk]( to manage communications with service users. Support Operations work with GDS teams to help manage Zendesk setup and configuration, for example with:
- choosing agent types, groups and ‘pass-through’ to other government departments
- [General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)]( considerations, such as data disclosure and data retention
## Support Operations dashboard
The dashboard gives an easy way to show how Support Operations meet [service-level objectives]( for both GOV.UK user support and GDS service teams. The dashboard shows metrics related to end users, for example service levels and the average amount of contact from users.
The Support Operations dashboard pulls data from a variety of sources including Zendesk, web traffic on GOV.UK and service status pages like [GOV.UK Platform as a Service (PaaS)](
## Support lines for your service
GDS teams provide support in 3 groups, known as ‘lines’, for each product.
### 1st line user support
1st line support provide resolution for basic user enquiries and triage frequent, repeatable incidents. For example, issues signing in.
### 2nd line technical support
2nd line support provide direct incident resolution and triage user requests. For example, when users receive timeout errors or performance issues.
### 3rd line product teams
3rd line support are technical specialists associated with an existing product team. Their involvement in incident management is limited to the diagnosis and resolution of more complex incidents, such as a data or security breach, or a complete service outage.
## Document routes to support
Document the routes into each support line for your service. For example, users might contact 1st line support using an online form or by email. 2nd line support respond to issues raised through 1st line support and also alerts from failed tests, monitoring and vulnerability scans.
Understanding your service’s routes into support will make sure support and product teams monitor the relevant channels. It will also make sure your service users and team understand how to reach the level of support they need.
## Support hours and support rotas
Document and share your support team’s operating hours. Many GDS teams operate a rota for their 2nd line support and escalation contacts.
## Further reading
To find out more about user support and incident management read how to:
* [set up and manage user support]( in the Service Manual
* [manage technical incidents](incident-management.html) for your service
## Contact Support Operations
Contact the Support Operations team using the [#user-support Slack channel](