Developing the Perfect HVAC Dispatcher Script for Your Business
While you might get that occasional dispatcher who has an easy time talking to and converting your customers every time, it is better to have a script for them to work from. Scripts help get more consistent results. HVAC dispatch scripts also help ensure that your customers are treated the way that you want them to be, every time. It’s important to have receptionists who are educated about your services and your industry, who can go off script, but just as important to have a comprehensive script to guide them through most situations. They can use their knowledge to supplement the script, and sound more knowledgeable.
So, once you realize you need a script for your HVAC dispatcher, how do you go about writing one? This guide will help you create a script that helps you maintain your brand identity and treat your customers well.
The first step in writing your script is deciding how your receptionist will answer the call, what the very first words out of their mouth will be. You’ve probably heard many brands’ versions of the introduction over the years, and it might go something like this:
“Thank you for calling Taylor’s Finest Clothing Emporium. We have a sale on loafers today, buy one get one free. How can I direct your call?”
While these kinds of retail introductions are most common, and they service their purpose for these stores, they aren’t ideal for an HVAC company. You should avoid trying to sell to an HVAC customer before you hear what they need. You can promote your maintenance plan all you want, but if the customer is calling about a broken furnace, that will be their priority no matter what you say. You should also take the possibility that the customer could be calling with an emergency seriously, so keep the introduction short to allow them to get to it.
Still, like a retail introduction, yours needs to identify your company, so people know they’ve called the right place. It needs to sound friendly and forge that first connection with the customer. It also needs to invite them to talk. Here are some possible introductions:
- “Hello, I’m Jane from Heather’s HVAC. What’s going on today?”
- “Good morning/afternoon, you’ve reached Gold Star HVAC. How can I help?”
- “Hey, Webb’s Heating and Air here. What can we do for you?”
All three responses achieve the basic needs of the introductory phrase, and they keep it short, allowing the customer to get to the point and minimizing their frustration. You can choose to let the receptionist identify themselves or not.
After the introduction, your receptionist should sit back and listen to the customer’s concerns. If they can’t find out what the concern is, you should have a phrase or two for them to use to help them clarify the issue.
- “This sounds like an emergency. Is everyone safe?”
- “You’re concerned about your _____ (any HVAC appliance)?”
- “You have questions about _____ (any HVAC concern)?”
- “I’m hearing your ____ isn’t working at all?”
Using the HEARD technique is one of the best ways an HVAC dispatcher can respond to a customer, especially if they’re worked up from dealing with an HVAC emergency.
Once they can identify the customer’s concern, you should have a dedicated section of the script for each concern, so the receptionist responds appropriately before jumping right to collecting information.
- “Our technicians need to look at the equipment to answer that one. Do you want to schedule an inspection?”
- “We can get you a repair technician. Do you want to book an appointment?”
- “Would you like to schedule a meet with our installation team?”
You will need a different phrase if the customer has an emergency because customers want to know that your receptionist understands the urgency of the situation. Options include:
- “Okay, we can get a technician out to this emergency right away.”
- “For an emergency call, we can get you help today.”
Next, your receptionist will need to gather basic information about the customer so that your technicians can get to them and that you can build a customer profile. You need a checklist or a form your receptionist can fill out to accomplish this. First, though, they’ll need to check if this customer is in the system:
- “Have you ever worked with us before?”
- “Are you an existing customer?”
Then they’ll need to follow a checklist with at least this basic information:
- Full name
- Address, including unit number if applicable
You also may need them to gather other information about their HVAC concern, so your technician arrives prepared. If you feel you do, you need to make a checklist with the information you need for each kind of concern. That might look like this:
- For emergency furnace repair: approximate age of furnace and fuel type.
- “Do you know how old your furnace is?”
- “Is it electric, gas or propane?”
Ending the Call
Once the information has been gathered, your receptionist script needs to indicate that they’ll offer a timeslot, and the customer will accept or reject it. Once the appointment is set, they need to end the call. This is actually an opportunity to confirm that your customer has been understood. Write a confirmational statement into your script to do this. It might look like this:
“Our technician ___ will meet you at ___ (time) on ____ (day) to look into your ____ (concern)?”
The customer will confirm and be reassured that they’ve been understood throughout the call.
Once confirmed, the receptionist must end the call more officially, thanking the customer and letting them go. Any personality you may have wanted to put into that introductory phrase, you can add here, as time is no longer of the essence. Be creative and try variations on these:
- “Thank you for calling Heather’s HVAC. Call back if anything changes. Otherwise, have a great day.”
- “Webb and his team will be there; we guarantee we’re on time to every call. Thank you for booking the appointment.”
- “Okay, thank you for choosing Gold Star HVAC. Please call us if you need to talk before your appointment. Goodbye now.”
Test the Dispatcher Script
Before you finalize your HVAC dispatcher script, read it over out loud. You might also use it on a few calls and listen in to see how it sounds. The ideal script will sound:
As you go, you can make tweaks to the script until you’re happy with it.
Understanding Customer Complaints with the Dispatching Process
Your dispatching process can make or break your business. Surf around on Yelp and it’s hard not to find reviews like “I didn’t even hire this company because their receptionist was so rude,” or “the technician never showed up. I would give this company zero stars if I could!”
Understanding customers’ common complaints with HVAC customer service can make you better equipped to tailor your dispatching script to avoid or directly address those issues as necessary. We also strongly recommend going through your own reviews to see where your customer service falls short, since addressing those issues in your dispatching script is a great way to address the problems in a standardized, easily controllable way. That’s why so many customer service companies depend on a call script: because they bring structure and direction to potentially chaotic conversations, and because they work.