Table of contents

The GDS Way and its content is intended for internal use by the GDS community.

How GDS provides user support

The Support Operations team help GDS service teams respond to user enquiries, providing 1st line support for many teams within GDS including GOV.UK, GOV.UK Verify and Digital Marketplace.


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:

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.

Use the GDS Rotas app to manage your support rota.

Further reading

To find out more about user support and incident management read how to:

Contact Support Operations

Contact the Support Operations team using the #user-support Slack channel.

This page was last reviewed on 18 December 2018. It needs to be reviewed again on 18 June 2019 by the page owner #gds-way .
This page was set to be reviewed before 18 June 2019 by the page owner #gds-way. This might mean the content is out of date.