Unless you have an effective dispatch management solution in place for your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical company, delivery management problems can quickly hurt customer satisfaction and your bottom line. Even when you’ve spent hours organizing schedules and delivery routes and carefully matching technicians to jobs to meet your customers’ expectations, your entire delivery process can unravel from a last-minute hitch somewhere in the supply chain.
This is where having a dispatch management system in place is essential.
In this post, we’ll explain what dispatch management is, its challenges, and seven ways our dispatch management software, ServiceTitan, helps improve the efficiency of your field service business.
7 Ways Dispatch Management Software Improves Efficiency
To find out how ServiceTitan helps you manage your dispatch process more efficiently, schedule a free personalized demo here.
What is Dispatch Management?
Dispatch management is a centralized, logistical process that allows businesses to coordinate field service management tasks such as delivery times, driver tracking, and job scheduling. New, innovative optimization software (like ServiceTitan) has the ability not only to create schedules designed for efficiency but also to reassign, adjust, or shift priorities as conditions change.
In short, efficient dispatch management automation software can repeatedly:
Crunch an entire white board’s-worth of scheduling details
Efficiently reconfigure and re-create detailed schedules
Integrate delivery operations with other systems in the workflow
Alert everyone to the new plans in real-time
Employ assets efficiently to increase business productivity
Learn more about dispatching software in this post.
The Challenges of Traditional Dispatch Management
Every dispatcher feels the pressures of information overload and responsibility. They’re caught between customer expectations, their field technicians’ human limitations, and their company’s interests. Few service calls go the way you hope they will, yet the scenarios repeat:
Customer or job details are incorrect or missing because there’s no cohesive system for collecting information
Technicians are mismatched to jobs
Traffic problems or sickness mean last-minute delays or no shows
Parts prove difficult to locate
The wrong equipment is sent to the job
Customers are delayed or miss pre-visit alerts entirely
Service workers are unaware of the job history or of upselling opportunities
There’s no way of tracking technician performance to improve productivity
As stress levels increase, so does the margin of error. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s currently more than $200 billion worth of error, injury, turnover, lost productivity, and other issues per year in the U.S.
In the meantime, dispatchers are responsible for coordinating a myriad of details for numerous field technicians and their customer rosters. Plus, all of those details typically dovetail into other systems such as work orders and billing, inventory and ordering, future scheduling, and location tracking.
As each element of the home service business becomes more complex and tech-oriented, you need a responsive dispatch management software solution that holds it all together, ensuring that everything and everyone works together seamlessly and on-time.
Here are seven ways ServiceTitan’s dispatch management software helps you do just that.
1. Streamline Customer Information
Small businesses that use different tools to store customer information waste time and make mistakes. For example, using software to log customer calls and then spreadsheets to record job details means it's difficult to coordinate information to organize jobs efficiently. Plus, the dispatcher needs to calculate which suitable technician is available, how long the job will take, and find a time slot that works for both the customer and the technician.
An all-in-one dispatch management tool such as ServiceTitan stores your customer information in one place so you can pull together all the relevant details and assign the right tech to the right job, every time.
With ServiceTitan, the dispatch management workflow starts as soon as you pick up the phone. Our call booking feature automatically shows the CSR if the caller is a new or existing customer and guides them through the booking process so all the necessary information is gathered for booking the job.
If the caller is an existing customer, all their information (such as personal details, job and technician history) can be accessed without keeping the customer waiting while the CSR trawls through paper files. Having all of these details in one place means CSRs can also spot opportunities to upsell additional services such as equipment upgrades or service contracts, and avoid promoting services that customers have already bought.
With ServiceTitan, you can also store notes with customer records (such as the gate code for their property). Having a cohesive system means everyone at the company can view important customer information at any time, so nothing is missed.
2. Optimize Scheduling and Route Planning
At a minimum, effective dispatch management includes:
Planning a full schedule each workday to maximize revenue.
Sending the right technician to each job.
Optimizing trucking dispatch to reduce travel times.
Prior to signing up for ServiceTitan, Georgios Gounaris, Senior Operations Executive of Cyprus Air in Alexandria, Virginia, and a former dispatcher for the HVAC company, says he used a convoluted process to determine each day’s schedule.
“We used to do the schedule by printing out the jobs, laying all the papers on the floor and kind of making it into a puzzle to see if the areas that we can easily send everything matched correctly,” Gounaris says. “And of course, we didn't have any GPS trackers in the trucks. We had to call technicians to find out where they were.”
In contrast, ServiceTitan’s dispatch board uses drag-and-drop technology that’s straightforward to navigate and displays the status of each job (e.g. scheduled, unassigned, canceled, on hold, etc.). With intelligent schedule optimization, dispatchers and CSRs can seamlessly respond to schedule changes and unexpected issues, shorten or extend the duration of a job, and reassign a different tech to a job, if needed.
Color-coded tags make it easy to see which technicians are scheduled for what job, while live GPS tracking shows the precise location of every truck, so dispatchers can group jobs by proximity and utilize the most efficient route. If your company dispatches techs from home, ServiceTitan’s route optimization lets you assign work orders based on their location so journeys take less time and fuel costs are minimized.
Using ServiceTitan’s real-time data means you can organize all of your dispatching in one place (whether that’s service providers, delivery drivers, or fleet management).
In addition, ServiceTitan offers an add-on product — Dispatch Pro — with more advanced dispatching features. Using machine learning, Dispatch Pro’s algorithm runs thousands of scenarios based on skills, sales performance, and job proximity to find the best technician for every job. This, plus its intuitive dispatch board automations, saves dispatchers time, improves customer service, and maximizes profit.
Read more on how to streamline your scheduling and dispatching.
3. Communicate with Your Customers in Real-Time
Conventional dispatching methods mean that customers have to wait around, often for hours, not knowing exactly when their service provider (or delivery) might arrive. Modern dispatch management software allows businesses to keep customers informed with real-time notifications on the exact arrival time or if there is a schedule change.
ServiceTitan’s dispatching software tracks techs and job progress, so dispatchers are kept up-to-date via the activity feed. GPS tracking logs the technician’s location when they are driving between jobs, when they arrive, and when they’ve completed a job and are ready to move to the next one.
The benefit of this is that dispatchers can text customers the technician’s photo and profile, so they know who’s en route. They can also give customers a tech-tracker map, so they know the technican’s location and ETA.
Home service businesses can also send automated appointment reminders, job confirmations, and changes to appointment times, as well as receive texts from customers who have questions or need to reschedule a job.
Keeping customers informed at every stage increases efficiency and customer satisfaction.
4. Support Technicians to Maximize Profit
Ensuring that technicians have the correct tools and equipment for each job is crucial for completing a job successfully and quickly. It’s also important that the job history is known and if there are any outstanding estimates or service agreement opportunities.
As well as generating up-to-date inventory lists, ServiceTitan’s software logs:
The complete customer history
Memberships and contract statuses
The #1 newsletter for the trades.
Technicians can fully prepare for every job so that each one is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. It also means that techs have the opportunity to upsell services (such as maintenance agreements) and to close any open estimates while they visit.
“The power with ServiceTitan isn’t that we get a truck to the house 10 minutes faster,” says Andy Piercefield, President of Coolray Heating and Cooling LLC, serving the Atlanta Metro market. “The power is that we know what that house bought from us before, we’re able to access them easily, and we can cross-sell them other products.”
Learn more on how to sell maintenance agreements here.
5. Keep Field Service Workers Agile with Mobile Devices
A key role of dispatch management is ensuring your technicians are agile and efficient while they’re on the move — which includes utilizing a mobile app.
ServiceTitan Mobile helps your business stay agile wherever your technicians are. Technicians can access all the customer information collected by the dispatchers, such as contact details, property data, job histories, previous invoices, membership statuses, notes, and more.
You can also use ServiceTitan’s mobile app to upload customized forms and pricebooks. For example, certain forms, such as checklists, can be triggered as a job progresses. This means techs know which steps to take (e.g. diagnosis, repair, invoicing, or asking for a review), at each stage of a job, and nothing is missed.
Technicians using ServiceTitan Mobile can also order parts, prepare or close out estimates, and take credit card payments while on site. Check and credit card payments can be captured via the tablet camera, or a swiper can be used. This makes the payment process easy for customers and faster for your business.
6. Track Performance Metrics to Help Decision Making
With ServiceTitan, you can track technician performance to help make business decisions and improve efficiencies.
The technician scorecard lets you view live metrics on generated revenue, memberships sold, and more, to see which technicians are selling and closing from the field. You can also view technician satisfaction, so you can reward a technician for delivering good customer service, or provide coaching if improvements are needed.
Dispatchers and CSRs can be monitored, too. ServiceTitan’s CSR scorecard lets you review incoming phone calls, see the number of leads that were converted into new jobs, and view other helpful metrics to improve customer satisfaction.
For a big-picture overview, you can use ServiceTitan’s dynamic dashboard to filter dozens of KPIs and track how your business is performing. Monitoring every delivery service, job, and technician gives you insight into response times, number of jobs completed per tech, number of memberships renewed, and more.
7. Integrate Dispatch Management with Other Business Operations
Most dispatching software solutions will help you manage route planning, scheduling, and dispatching processes, but many won’t integrate with your other business operations, such as billing and marketing activities.
ServiceTitan’s all-in-one dispatch management solution provides the necessary tools for your business to integrate its dispatch management tasks with other operational processes too, including: estimates, invoicing, financing, marketing, pricing information, and more.
ServiceTitan integrates with multiple types of accounting software (such as QuickBooks). So, when a technician accepts an invoice payment while on a job, the information instantly gets filtered to the office. This eliminates duplication and reduces accounting mistakes due to human error.
ServiceTitan users also benefit from integrated payroll features. Our software automatically documents technicians’ drive times and vendor runs on their timesheets. These are synced with the dispatch board so you know who’s available and when.
Integrating all of your business operations with your dispatch management means that the entire workflow is streamlined — from the moment a customer calls your business.
ServiceTitan: The Future of Dispatch Management
Cumbersome paper schedules, Post-its, whiteboards, and handwritten lists cannot keep pace with the demands and expectations of today’s tech-savvy homeowners and products. But selecting the right software solution for your business means considering comprehensive options that not only empower your team to do more, but that also integrate seamlessly with the rest of your business functions.
ServiceTitan’s dispatch management service software (including Dispatch Pro) helps you optimize route planning and scheduling, maximize efficiency, and integrate with your other business operations — all of which improve the customer experience.
You can read more of our dispatching tips in this post.
To find out how ServiceTitan streamlines your dispatch process and provides a full range of tools to manage your entire workflow, schedule a free personalized demo here.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.