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The Definitive Guide on using Profiles in IT Service Desk

Reading time 25 minutes
Updated December 2022

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What is the definitive guide on using profiles on the IT service desk?

This guide uncovers how to utilize behavioral user profiles when running an IT service. It gives insight into what creates value or frustrates your employees and helps you design and develop your services accordingly. There is a bit of reading (approx. 25 min), so if you prefer, you can also download the guide as a PDF from here.

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The definitive guide on using profiles in IT Service Desk - cover image

HappySignals Guide to IT Profiles

What’s the difference between Profiles and Personas?

Profiles or Personas are both a way to describe and group customers based on their behavior and motives. Personas are a semi-fictional representation of customers, often containing assumptions. Personas are usually based on market research and survey data with little interaction with the customer, whereas profiles rely on real customer conversations and interactions. When research is done in interaction with the customer, the assumptions (or hypotheses) about customer behavior and motives can be validated or invalidated in customer profiles.

Why are profiles relevant to IT service desks?

The more you understand your customer, the better decisions you can make when developing services for them. Companies often benchmark against other companies in the same industry to get this customer understanding. But we have discovered that the behavioral model with IT problems is similar regardless of the industry. The biggest differentiators in user behavior and value creation come from culture and behavioural IT profiles. 

IT profiles give the service desk a good understanding of how specific groups of customers should be addressed, their main pain points, and what creates the most value for them. This knowledge can be utilized in direct customer service interactions and investment decisions between different service channels, processes, and products, etc. 

In the Happy in 15 podcast, Sami and Pasi discuss using IT Support Profiles in Service Management

HappySignals IT Support Profiles

HappySignals behavioral IT profiles are based on dozens of one-to-one interviews and 20 group interviews with end-users in different roles and different organizations. All in all, more than 500 people were interviewed, and the two main factors impacting the user experience and behavior were recognized and documented by our psychologist.

happysignals it support profile matrix

1. The Competence indicates how capable the user is of fixing the IT issue themselves or talking about IT-related matters.

“Calling the service desk can be very stressful for someone with very little IT knowledge; some callers feel intimidated because they fear they may have done something wrong or because they feel people would judge them due to their lack of experience with IT tools. Other callers may find it difficult to understand instructions, especially if given in other than their native language.  At the other end of the spectrum are the highly competent users, who have probably already done everything they can to fix the issue or avoided fixing it for as long as possible. These users may even be able to fix it themselves but don’t have the rights for it.”

2. The Attitude indicates users' willingness to solve the problem on their own.

“Attitude describes whether a user wants to fix the issue themselves or have someone else take care of it. Several things influence a user's attitude. Some users are interested to learn, others don’t have much time, or the criticality of the problem forces their hand.”

When these two drivers crossed paths, we got four behavioral user types in the HappySignals IT Profiles: Doer, Trier, Prioritizer, and Supported.

"Attitude describes whether a user wants to fix the issue themselves or simply have someone else take care of it"

side image Sami Kallio

IT Profiles explained

HappySignals IT Behavioural Profiles are divided into four: Doers, Prioritizers, Triers, and Supported.


are capable of solving issues themselves by utilizing self-help tools, and often also help colleagues.


Doers are eager and also capable of solving IT-related problems themselves. They Google solutions before contacting IT support. People often ask Doers for help. Doers are happy to help but might end up using up too much of their work time for this. Sometimes Doers try to teach others to solve issues themselves, but it’s often quicker to fix the issue.


What they value

  • Keeping all users informed on new tools and best practices - lessening the number of people asking for help from Doers
  • The sense of achievement that follows a solved problem - a channel for sharing the solutions
  • Culture of asking and sharing in the organization – encouraging users to share solutions and providing tools for that
  • Clearly communicated responsibilities - people would find the right experts and not ask everything from Doers (only questions about Doer's actual expertise areas)
  • Professional and knowledgeable IT services – direct contact with second-level support
  • Using IT language and terminology
  • Status tracking for tickets

What frustrates them

  • Doers might know more than the first-level service desk and, as such, can get frustrated.
  • Doers like fixing things themselves, and they have already tried to solve the issue before contacting the help desk - so first-level remote access causes them frustration
  • Acting as unofficial ICT support in some areas where they are not competent.
  • Doers are often advised not to use the time to support others but to concentrate on their own work. This causes Doers stress.
  • For fluent English-speaking Doers, the help desk’s English isn’t always on the same level

Global IT Experience Data™ tells us

  • Doers usually represent the majority of employees - 54% in 2022
  • Doers prefer self-service channels such as portal
  • Doers are the most critical IT profile when scoring IT service performance - Happiness Score™ +73
  • Doers perceive losing time on average 3h 16min per ticket
  • Doers value being informed about the support process and pay attention to lack of skills and attitude


is familiar with IT but does not want to use their own time with IT issues, expects the service desk to do it




Prioritizers often have the competence to solve IT issues but are unwilling to use their own time. Prioritizers see dealing with IT issues as not part of their job. They only want to know how long solving it takes and if there are any workarounds. Prioritizers are on a schedule. They value fast service and prefer solving issues during the session. Prioritizers might also put off problem-solving or finding workarounds if they see contacting support as too time-consuming.


What they value

  • Quick and prompt help – chooses self-help if it’s the easiest way 
  • The problem is solved with minimal participation – 'Someone should do it for me' attitude 
  • Possibility to take care of more than one problem at a time 
  • Easy to find and choose the channel for help 
  • Direct contact to 2nd Level assistance – solving an issue during the session
  • Status updates

What frustrates them

  • Unscheduled demand for users' participation in solving the ticket: service desk calls at inconvenient times or remote control takes a long time
  • If the support agent re-does things that the prioritizer has already been advised to try
  • Explaining the issue several times

Global IT Experience Data™ tells us

  • Prioritizers represent an average of 18% of employees in an organization (2022)
  • Prioritizers prefer channels where they can solve the issue during the session, such as on the phone
  • Prioritizers are the second happiest IT profile when scoring IT service performance (Happiness Score™ +81)
  • Prioritizers perceive losing the least time (2h 46min) per IT issue 
  • Prioritizers value being informed of the progress of solving an IT incident and pay attention to lack of skills or attitude


tries to fix IT issues themselves but usually can’t, prefers personal help and wants to learn from it.




Triers are willing to solve IT issues themselves but are usually incapable. They want to learn but might not want to admit that they don’t know how to fix something. They often rely on only one or two colleagues they trust and are not eager to contact new people. Triers might also think they know how to solve the problem even if they can’t. In this case, Triers won´t contact support but will try everything, ask someone close by, go to Youtube, and often invest too much time on the issue before contacting support. 

What they value

  • Clear and easy self-help instructions
  • Sharing blogs/tips/updates on current common problems
  • Clear instructions on who to contact when IT support is needed
  • Knowing the IT personnel
  • Personal help that enables them to learn


  • Triers don't have the patience to search for instructions, especially if they exist in several locations 
  • Triers are not familiar with IT language and terminology
  • Triers might not want to admit they are not competent in IT issues
  • Triers might come to wrong conclusions when trying to solve issues themselves and confuse the helper with misleading theories

Global IT Experience Data™ tells us

  • Triers represent the minority of employees – 8 % in 2022
  • Triers prefer channels where they can prepare their answers, such as email and portal
  • Triers are the second most critical IT profile when scoring IT service performance (Happiness Score™ is +80)
  • Triers perceive losing most time (3h 29min) per IT issue when compared to other profiles
  • Triers have difficulties knowing where to start when having an IT issue. They value proactive IT service.


is not comfortable with computers, not willing to read instructions, or learn to use self-services




Supported are not competent in solving IT issues and also not willing to try it on their own. Supported might avoid contacting official IT support because they are embarrassed to admit they are unfamiliar with IT. They hope someone can help them out so they can get back to work. When finding help, they favor familiar people and onsite service if available. Supported rarely use self-help channels since they have difficulties understanding the instructions and are not interested in learning about the solution.



What they value

  • On-site help - easily reachable support person
  • Help from familiar channels and familiar people - loves personal service or at least knowing who is helping them
  • Screen sharing or video recording the problem, reposting tickets - not having to explain the problem verbally
  • Patient assistance – a good relationship with someone at support who knows their work and reoccurring problems
  • Service with simple, everyday language
  • Ease of finding the service channel, possibly have it/them somewhere visible when working

Challenges they have

  • If possible, supported tries to avoid solving the IT issues altogether
  • Raising a ticket and describing the problem is difficult for Supported since they do not understand what went wrong with the software/app/equipment 
  • Does not understand instructions in IT language
  • Challenges with understanding IT language or English drives Supported to solve the issues locally 
  • Explaining the issue several times frustrates Supported

Global IT Experience Data™ tells us

  • Supported represent an average of 19% of employees in an organization (2022)
  • Supported prefer channels where they don´t have to read instructions like phone. 
  • Supported are the happiest IT profile when scoring IT service performance (Happiness Score™ +84)
  • Supported perceive losing on average 3h 9min per IT issue 
  • Supported have difficulties knowing where to start solving IT problems and understanding instructions.

The top factors behind service experience

Updated December 2022

According to HappySignals benchmark data, the most important factor affecting a positive service experience for all IT profiles is clearly the speed of service.
Human interaction is another important factor, showing why it's important to invest in making sure service agents are able to serve end-users with a positive attitude and suitable skills. (directing IT tickets to the right person as fast as possible).

Factors influencing a positive experience with IT Services and Support


Factors indicated when IT services and support get a neutral score

Looking at neutral scores (7-8 on a scale from 0-10), we start seeing the reasons that can lead to negative feedback but are not yet felt enough to warrant a score of 6 or less.

Factors indicated when IT services and support get a negative score

Negative experiences, rated 0-6 on the 0-10 scale, have the same top two factors as neutral reasons, but the factor of not being informed about the progress is much more pronounced than in neutral feedback.

Using IT Profiles

As you have just learned from our profile descriptions, there is much potential to use IT Support Profiles in everyday service desk work. Here are some of the use cases our customers have been successful with.

Icon - Agent feedback

IT Profiles in the HappySignals Platform



Find out how to use IT Profiles in the HappySignals platform, in the video above.

Use Case: Personalize communications

How you speak, chat, or communicate with your colleagues, employees, or end-users is the first thing that profiles allow you to personalize. With Doers and Prioritizers, you can use IT lingo and speak very directly about what they've already done and what should be done next; it’s more cooperation with the person on the other end than a service desk agent trying to blindly solve the issue. On the other hand, Supported and Triers really appreciate you taking your time and speaking calmly and in plain language.

Let’s take a simple example, an employee calls with a laptop issue.

Script for Doers and Prioritizers:

“Hi, so I’m sure you already restarted your computer and have checked the updates etc. Let’s see what the log tells us, so can you please go to…”

Script for Triers and Supported:

“Hi, don’t worry, we’ll get this sorted. First, we’ll try the old-fashioned way of shutting down everything and unplugging all cables. So can you click the Start menu and select shutdown…”

Best practices would be to make a quick cheat sheet for Agents, three things to do and three things to avoid with each profile. This way, you're not making the topic too difficult for your service desk, but rather reminding them how to talk to the person on the other end.

"Make a quick cheat sheet for Agents, three things to do and three things to avoid with each profile"

3 do's and don'ts for IT support profiles

Use Case: Understand the channel they prefer

  • Learn from the data

  • Promote channels for profiles

  • Fine-tune the language you use in each channel.

HappySignals Channel Analytics helps you understand how different channels work. We can also drill down into this data using profiles.

Using Profiles with ServiceNow or other ITSM tools

Use Case: ChatBot (Virtual Agent) can talk differently to different employees

As shown in the use case: Personalize communication, using this same approach with your Virtual Agent allows you to automate personalization. Creating different workflows by using the Profile.

Example: Virtual Agent in ServiceNow provides links to Knowledge Bases for Doers and suggests ways to start a discussion with a Live Agent for Supported.

Using Profiles for IT Development

Understanding what your end-users prefer, how they behave, and what motivates them is priceless for any IT development project. Even more important is using these as high-level drivers for your whole IT strategy and digital transformation initiatives.

Use Case: IT strategy can be tied into IT Profiles

When you understand who your end-users are, you can make better decisions on trendy things like the consumerization of IT. Why would you drive a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy if most of your end-users are in profile, Supported, and don’t care or need fancy devices, but rather simple things that just work. On the otherhand, if your company is full of millennials and Doer profile employees, then BYOD could be crucial for their employee experience and productivity.

Having the profile data continuously up to date, you can use it with the kick-off of all your IT projects and offset the research cost from individual projects. This allows you also to tie the success of your IT project into employee experience and productivity.

The goal of your IT project could look like this:

  • Let’s make Doers more productive in our ERP

  • Let’s make it easier for Supported to have consumer-level simplicity


Watch our Happy in 15 Podcast episode on Profiles for more use cases

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