Say goodbye to service desk stress

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A frustrated woman with long blonde hair wearing a headset is depicted against a light blue background. She is yelling, with her mouth wide open and eyes squinted in anger. Two hands, one on each side of her, are holding smartphones close to her face. The smartphone on the left has a speech bubble with a question mark, and the one on the right has a speech bubble with an exclamation mark. The image conveys a sense of stress and frustration, likely related to customer service or tech support.

By Naïma Lachhab on

Life at your service desk can be hectic – your employees are always busy putting out fires, and service desk stress is real. But with a few improvements, you can make your service desk employees happier while adding more value to your organization – all at the same time!

Find out why customers expect more from services and what it means for your IT department.

Why should you worry about service desk stress?

Before we dive into what you should be doing to combat service desk stress, let’s look at why you should be concerned about service desk stress in the first place.

The fall-out from service desk stress is what should worry you: it leads to high employee turnover, more costs to find and train replacements, and lower performance levels – all of which have a negative impact on both your employee experience and your customer experience.

According to GFI’s IT stress survey, insufficient budget, not enough staff, and unrealistic time frames are the main culprits that cause service desk stress. But the good news is you can do something about it! Follow these five tips and say goodbye to service desk stress forever.

1. Start a knowledge base "A hand holding a magnifying glass is depicted against a light blue background with abstract shapes in orange and blue. The magnifying glass is focused on a stack of sketched documents, symbolizing a closer examination or investigation of information. The image conveys the concept of searching through or analyzing a knowledge base or collection of documents.

Storing the collective knowledge of your service desk in a knowledge base has nothing but advantages for your service desk. Most importantly, it’ll relieve some – if not most – of the pressure on your service desk employees. Not only will a knowledge base help your service desk employees spend 20% less time on recurring incidents, but your customer satisfaction levels will go up as well.

With more time and a complete knowledge base at their disposal, your service desk employees will now also be able to solve complex incidents themselves – which makes for more of a challenge than simple, repetitive work. Ta-da! Working at your service desk has become more fun – and less stressful.

2. Use a chatbot to handle straightforward incidents A person holding a tablet displaying a chat interface against a light blue and green abstract background. The screen shows a conversation with text bubbles, and the person is interacting with it by touching the screen. A sketched speech bubble with a smiling chatbot icon is seen on the right side, indicating the presence of a chatbot in the conversation. The image conveys the use of technology and chatbots for communication.

We’ve talked about your service desk employees handling complex incidents with help of an active knowledge base. But wait – if your employees are using their magic to solve complex incidents, who’s helping your customers with more straightforward incidents? This is where a chatbot comes in.

Chatbots can make life so much easier for your service desk employees. How? Chatbots use your knowledge base (and its FAQs) to handle simple incidents. A chatbot analyzes the text of an incident and interprets its meaning. Based on this interpretation, the chatbot knows exactly what to ask or say to your customer.

Chatbots can take a load off your service desk employees’ backs by tackling simple, recurring incidents such as requests for password resets. Chatbots are the perfect solution here. They solve the incident; your customer is happy, and your service desk employees have more time to focus on more rewarding work.

The fall-out from service desk stress leads to high employee turnover, more costs to find and train replacements, and lower performance levels.

3. Empower your customers with a self-service portal Software screenshot of a TOPdesk self service portal.

Free up even more of your service desk employees’ valuable time by setting up a self-service portal. With self-service, you give your customers the power to find their own answers – in their own time. This makes life easier for your customers and encourages them to take ownership of their service experience.

And why is a self-service portal good for your employees? Well – having a self-service portal in place will free up a big chunk of their time. Time that your service desk employees can now spend on solving bigger, more complex incidents, or gathering customer feedback to find out how to increase your customer satisfaction levels. Ultimately, it simply makes working at your service desk less stressful, and more fun and diverse. And remember: happy employees make happy customers.

4. Implement problem management "A woman with long red hair wearing a blue sweater is depicted against a light blue background with orange abstract shapes. She is holding a red fire extinguisher and appears to be spraying it, with a look of excitement or enthusiasm on her face. A sketched cloud of smoke is illustrated coming out from the extinguisher, emphasizing the action of spraying. The image suggests problem management or resolving issues effectively.

Have your service desk employees become pro firefighters? If your service desk is constantly overrun with new incidents and you never really have time to fix bigger underlying issues, it’s time to start looking at problem management.

Focus on improving your service desk by looking for the root causes of incidents and trying to prevent them before they occur. Problem management relieves the constant pressure that the firefighting of incident management puts on your service desk employees. And it makes for less frustrating, more challenging work.

5. Invest in your employees’ well-being

A man with a shaved head and beard, wearing glasses and a colorful, patterned shirt over a white turtleneck, is depicted against a light blue background with a green abstract shape. He is in a meditative pose with his eyes closed, arms relaxed at his sides, and hands forming the 'okay' gesture. Surrounding him are sketched icons representing a clock, an exclamation mark, a document, a headset, an envelope with a notification, and a speech bubble with a question mark. The image conveys a balance between work-related stress and maintaining well-being. If you follow the tips above, your employees won’t be stretched so thin by the sheer amount of work anymore. But obviously, your service desk will still have to deal with lots of incidents at times – that’s just the way it is. In these cases especially, it’s important that you focus on your employees’ well-being.
Investing in your employees’ mental and physical health increases their concentration and boosts their productivity. So how can you make your employees’ well-being your number one priority? Invest in a massage chair and standing desks. You can also organize walking meetings or introduce a daily one-minute plank, perhaps during your stand-up. And don’t forget to provide snacks! Your service desk employees can’t function on an empty stomach. And they’ll love you for indulging their sweet tooth.

Stress no more

With these tips, you can make sure your service desk is running smoothly. But when things do get crazy at your service desk again, just remember to relax and take it easy. What are your tried-and-tested ways to deal with service desk stress? Let us know in the comments!

Naïma Lachhab

Content Marketer