Service business

8 Best Practices for Improving Dispatch Efficiency in a Field Service Company

Optimizing your dispatch and route planning process can drive the efficiency, profitability, and overall growth of your field service business. An efficient and organized dispatch process reduces long wait times and delays and also enables you to respond to emergency service requests, propelling your business ahead of other competing field service providers.


The role of a dispatcher

The role of a dispatcher is to effectively schedule field service appointments. They bridge the gap between customer needs and the availability of field workers. A successful dispatcher can effectively assign the right tasks to the right workers in the field. They rely on their detailed understanding of their workers’ availability and capabilities, as well as an in-depth knowledge of travel routes and tools that can help field workers deliver accurate service on time.

Distribution is the key to success field service management and therefore plays a vital role in improving the customer experience. While every industry has its own unique considerations for successful dispatching, it must ultimately rely on these 8 best practices to drive excellence.

1. Prioritize Tasks Effectively

The factors that influence prioritization vary from company to company. In order for the dispatcher to effectively prioritize tasks, they must understand the scope of responsibilities of field workers at a granular level. They need to know what FLWs do and also how they do it. Also, better prioritization starts from the top down. It is important for management to understand the unique factors that impact their field service management processes so that the dispatch methodology is optimally shaped.

2.Comcommunicate professionally

Dispatchers have a unique power to influence the experience of the worker as well as that of a customer. Therefore, it is important for the dispatcher to be clear and professional when interacting with the worker and the customer.

3. Encourage teamwork

Dispatchers and field service workers inherently depend on each other to succeed. Therefore, investing time in understanding everyone’s responsibilities helps improve communication and refine workflows.

4. Improve response time

Customers don’t like to wait for service. If the service isn’t fast and reliable, they’ll complain. If you want to improve the customer experience, you need to work on improving your response time. Improving response times can include logically scheduling your field workers’ tasks, optimizing routes, and tracking local traffic and weather.

5. Collect data and analyze it

Data gives you valuable insights into your business. Collecting data such as the number of loyal customers, miles driven on each vehicle, and the average time it takes to reach each location goes a long way to improving your field service business. This data also gives you insight into industry standards, your performance, and where you stand against other field service companies.

6. Route optimization

Routing is not as simple as bringing a technician from site A to site B. It is complex because driving from A to B represents an expense. Routing should be done in a way that minimizes travel time, reduces driving times and does not negatively impact the bottom line. Route optimization also allows technicians to support additional service calls.

7. Performing a Dispatch Debriefing

Once the appointment is fixed, it is important to carry out an expedition briefing. This is an important step to ensure the appointment is a success and if the next one needs to be scheduled. To ensure a high first-time fix rate, dispatchers need to dig through dispatch history to see where they can improve.

8. Inventory management

Making sure your field technicians have the right tools and equipment to do their job is one of the biggest challenges for field service companies. If you want to manage inventory effectively, you need an integrated system where everything – from scheduling, route planning, and inventory – is updated automatically and in real time.

Improving your dispatch efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with the 8 best practices above, improve customer experience and increase your profits. If the manual process of improving dispatch efficiency overwhelms you, remember that there are easier ways to do it. Trust the technology and field service management software that can help.

Akhil Rajan is a Customer Success Specialist at Zuper, an intelligent workforce management platform for service-oriented businesses. Working with clients on a daily basis, he has a deep understanding of their needs and pain points and is therefore able to contribute to Zuper’s marketing strategies with the content he writes. He writes on topics such as how to increase labor utilization, how to reduce service turnaround time and increase labor efficiency, customer adoption, cost reduction strategies, etc. – to name a few. He is often found buried in books or playing chess in his spare time.