Dispatching: Why your front line needs to be in order


From summer months with no A/C to winter months with no heat, disgruntled customers to quarterly maintenance, your dispatchers hear and handle it all. But does your front line have what it takes to maintain a steady flow of work and get every job handled efficiently?

I've put together a quick checklist to ensure maximum efficiency for your organization.

  1. How do they do under pressure? Nothing sparks tension more than a broken furnace on a cold winter night, which means your dispatchers will talk to people on their very worst days. How do they handle the heat? If they get frazzled easily or are hard to work with once they've taken a few tense calls, it might be time to re-evaluate their position. Another great way to tell if this employee is good for dispatch is to ask yourself, - "Would I let this person handle my grandmother's call for maintenance?" If the answer is no, definitely consider training or a career move.
  2. Can they delegate and prioritize? Dispatchers have a responsibility to prioritize emergencies and delegate workflow to maximize efficiency. To test an individual's tendencies for prioritizing, ask them to do a handful of simple tasks around the office outside of their daily responsibilities and see how they choose to tackle the list.
  3. Are they proactive natural leaders? Natural leaders make the best dispatchers because they have the ability to make a higher-level decision in a split second without having to transfer the customer through the system of managers. Natural leaders also have a certain level of confidence that make them ideal for this role. 
  4. Are they detail oriented? It's critical that your dispatchers pay attention to the details because they are the first contact with a customer and can identify issues right off the bat. For example, a dispatcher will notice if a tech is repetitively slow to respond to a job assignment or if customers are having consistent issues with a particular unit or comfort advisor. They should be able to identify the issue and trigger the right plan of action. 

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