How to Improve Your Plumbing Company’s Dispatching Process
The more calls your plumbing company can take per day, the more revenue you can generate. Getting your dispatching process right is key to make each call more productive and get more out of your day. Improving your dispatching process is a worthwhile effort that can improve your average call times, your calls per day and even improve customer service metrics. Here are a few ways to improve your plumbing company’s dispatching process.
Consider Route Optimization
Careful dispatching can help your staff minimize time on the road, so they are on more calls. When your scheduler is trying to book new calls, they should consider who is closest to the call and what other work you have for the day that is also nearby. By scheduling things that are physically close together back-to-back, they help your plumbers cut down on their commute.
Triage Your Calls
Likely, if you were the one taking the calls, you’d be able to make excellent decisions about which calls were most important and which can wait. You know what is likely going on just from the customer’s call, but the dispatcher may not. Empower your dispatcher and give them the detailed knowledge they need to triage your calls properly. Create guidelines on how to classify calls or even flow charts that the dispatcher can refer to when triaging.
Add Job Notes
Was there something unusual about the call you just completed? Making a note of that can really help you the next time you’re at the job. Those who sell maintenance contracts can really benefit from this. Imagine a customer’s basement is challenging to access for some reason, but you’ve made a note of that so you can come prepared. Maybe the customer speaks only Spanish fluently. If you have a note of this, your dispatcher will know to send a Spanish-fluent technician to their home, saving them the time of having to call someone else.
Consider Your Dispatching Software Options
There are plenty of dispatching software options out there that have some great features to help your dispatcher make better decisions. For example, one dispatcher keeps track of your customer’s equipment age and recommends technicians based on it. However, plenty of software options are clunky and add in cumbersome features that aren’t too useful for you as a plumber. If the software has you fill out a bunch of less than useful boxes before you can complete the schedule, that’s just a waste of time. Choose your software options carefully.
Hire a Stronger Communicator
When miscommunications happen at the dispatch level, your team may waste a lot of time. Your plumbers may show up with the wrong tools or parts, prepared for the wrong kind of job. They may miscommunicate with customers, setting the wrong expectations or even quoting incorrectly. Sometimes, giving your dispatcher better communications training, or hiring a dispatcher with stronger communication skills, is the best way to improve the dispatching process.
Develop Better Understandings of your Dispatcher’s Workflow
It’s vital to remember that your dispatcher is a real, breathing human being with their own sets of needs, stressors, and constraints. Reading anecdotes from other dispatchers can better help you understand their frustrations, and how other companies have approached them.
Every plumbing company uses some kind of dispatching process, whether it’s a single owner operator that keeps their own calendar, a dedicated dispatcher using pen and paper methods, or a multi-role office manager who has to juggle dispatching with clerical duties. And there is a lot to learn from how other companies have struggled to improve their dispatching process.
We Can Handle 100% Of Your Dispatching
Our plumbing scheduling service can remotely answer you calls, transfer warm leads to your own sales team, or schedule jobs into the software of your choice. All of our plans are 100% customizable to work on your terms, for your business.
Learn more about our plumbing dispatching service, or call today to speak with our team.