Jennifer Olson wanted nothing to do with dispatching at Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air, a residential service and commercial shop in Naples, Fla.
For Olson, Pro-Tec’s customer service manager, making schedules for technicians and ensuring their appointments were geographically close was stressful.
“(Naples is) a very condensed area, but it’s not a small area,” Olson said. “You can have all the maps you want in the world (and still not) know the (way) into certain developments.”
To make matters worse, Naples’ population triples in the winter months as vacationers flock to the area. The influx of customers is overwhelming.
Pro-Tec’s leaders knew their dispatching system was unsustainable, too. When they learned ServiceTitan, the software built for the trades, had released a new dispatching tool called Dispatch Pro, they decided to give it a try.
Dispatch Pro promised to take the stress out of dispatching by automatically scheduling techs to jobs in close proximity. But Olson had her doubts. The whole concept of Dispatch Pro seemed so complicated, she was sure there would be a steep learning curve.
But on the day Pro-Tec went live with Dispatch Pro, Olson was happily proved wrong.
“I said, ‘Oh boy, we're going to have a rough day.’ And it truly was not a rough day, it was smooth,” Olson recalled. “It really only took a couple of days (before) we were off and running and loving every minute of it.”
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A closer look at Dispatch Pro
To Olson, the success of Dispatch Pro depends on setting up the technician profiles on the software correctly—which isn’t difficult.
All Pro-Tec needed to do was enter its service area, maximum drive times and skills for every technician into ServiceTitan.
From there, Dispatch Pro uses machine learning and a cutting-edge algorithm to automatically assign techs to appointments that match their skills, sales history, and the proximity to other jobs.
For Pro-Tec, Dispatch Pro has taken “the tedious part of the day away,” Olson said. Instead of sweating over a map and logistics, the dispatcher only needs to monitor the software as it churns out schedules designed to maximize profits and efficiency.
Dispatch Pro also leaves room for Pro-Tec to manually schedule certain customers if needed. For example, Pro-Tec has several high-value customers who only use certain techs, and Dispatch Pro “knows to leave those (jobs) on the float,” Olson said.
“I really do feel like Dispatch Pro is almost like another employee,” Olson said. “It's taken the place of hiring someone else by constantly watching the schedule and assigning the right technician to the right job with the right drive time.”
Powerful features at your fingertips
Dispatch Pro isn’t the only ServiceTitan feature Pro-Tec loves. Here are a few of Olson’s go-to tools:
TitanAdvisor: When Olson has a software question, she turns to ServiceTitan’s automated best-practice guide, TitanAdvisor, for answers. “There's just so much self-learning that can happen in ServiceTitan,” she said. “The more you keep on top of it, the more you excel.”
Simplify the most complicated accounts: With ServiceTitan, it's easy for techs to upload photos of equipment from the field and label them for future reference. That comes in handy when Pro-Tec’s team serves property management companies with dozens of HVAC units.
Marketing Pro: With Marketing Pro’s reputation feature, Pro-Tec can easily prompt customers to provide feedback, and manage those comments across multiple platforms. Customers can choose if they’d also like to post the review on Pro-Tec’s Google, Facebook or CitySearch profiles.
A new era of dispatching
Recently, Pro-Tec’s dispatcher was out of the office for a few days, and Olson was tapped to cover.
Olson remembered how difficult it was to manually juggle all of the maps, directions, skills and schedules. Plus, she’d never used Dispatch Pro by herself. She admitted to her boss that she was nervous to fill in as dispatcher.
“Just let it do its thing,” her boss said.
Putting aside her reservations, she did as her boss suggested. Quickly, she found that Dispatch Pro was actually very effective in handling the scheduling, and gave her more time to talk to customers and focus on other dispatching work.
Olson’s boss was right. Dispatch Pro was “doing its thing and it’s doing it accurately and to our standards,” she said.
Next time Pro-Tec’s dispatcher is taking time off, Olson has no worries about filling in.
“It’s been a godsend,” she said.