What Makes a Good HVAC Dispatcher?
Every day you and the people that you employ are driving to your customer’s homes, to your supplier, your local hardware stores, and then home at the end of the day.
A good HVAC dispatcher can make all of this driving more efficient with field service management. They should plan out the most convenient order for your calls. They can also make or break your customer’s opinion of your business, by keeping the team on time and customers updated of delays or letting both fall by the wayside to the frustration of your customers.
Before you hire an HVAC dispatcher, it is worthwhile to consider what essential skills they need to bring to the job. Here are a few that should be at the top of your list.
1. Be Dedicated to Proper Triage
You may be most familiar with the idea of triage at a hospital. A triage nurse decides whose medical condition needs to be dealt with right away and who can wait. Your HVAC dispatcher should be making the same decisions about your calls but based on your business goals and values.
What are your priorities? If you provide emergency services, you may need your dispatcher to alert you about those calls right away. If you prefer to schedule short, two-hour jobs in the morning, leaving more challenging work for the afternoon, your HVAC dispatcher should build your schedule accordingly. To do proper triage, your HVAC dispatcher has to understand your needs and how to assess customer calls.
2. Have Routing Knowledge
In the past, you may have hired a local dispatcher so that they could plan your schedule with your route in mind. Now, with Google Maps, your field service manager doesn’t need to live in the area to plan your route; they just need to care. For example, if you have two calls in one day on the edge of your service area, you want those two scheduled back-to-back, so you don’t waste as much time driving out. A good HVAC dispatcher will also want to know where your suppliers and office are so that they can consider them.
3. Always Take Initiative
What should a dispatcher be doing while all of your employees are on a call? Ideally, they should be actively keeping you on track and on time. There are plenty of ways they can do that from their desk, including pulling permits, arranging for inspections at convenient times, and keeping customers updated about delays. Our virtual office assistant can do all three. What we’ve learned is that most customers don’t mind delays too much, so long as they are kept in the loop about them.
4. Be Clear and Polite
You and your employees won’t always be having a good day. Plus, sometimes, your customers will be panicked or angry when they speak with your dispatcher. So, he or she needs to focus on speaking clearly and politely. If your staff member disagrees with a decision your dispatcher makes, you need both to resolve the situation by effectively communicating and treating each other with respect—or they’re wasting time. Plus, nothing disarms an angry customer faster than a very polite and apologetic dispatcher.
In the end, a quality field service manager will keep your business running smoothly.
Need More Help with your HVAC Business?
Our HVAC phone answering services make it easy to handle increased call volume at the fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. We can also schedule service, dispatch, handle customer complaints, and even pull permits. Call now to learn more or get started with your free trial.