Call Center employee taking dispatch calls

Dealing with after hours calls is a difficult part of working in a technical field, such as HVAC repair, roofing, and other such service-based industries.

You want customers to be able to contact your company at all times – but you don’t want to have to filter through dozens of voicemails each morning, and see which calls are actually important.

You also don’t want to give customers access to a personal phone number, or have your “emergency” phone line ringing at all hours of the night. It’s a difficult problem to solve.

How can you keep your customers happy, give them great service, and ensure you know about emergencies – without dealing with every call yourself, or hiring full-time staff for 24/7 dispatching services?

By hiring an outsourced dispatch service, of course! In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics about outsourced dispatch services, and discuss how they can benefit your company if you work in an industry where you must take after-hours calls, and dispatch technicians.

What Is An Outsourced Dispatch Service?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. During normal business hours, you or one of your employees is probably responsible for answering the phone, listening to a customer’s question or issue, and dispatching a technician to resolve the problem.

With an outsourced dispatch service, you can turn this duty over to an outsourced customer service representative – and they can handle the entire process of listening to a customer, logging their request, and dispatching a technician. You and your staff do not have to lift a finger.

Most outsourced dispatch companies can handle dispatch protocols for just about any company or business – from ER dispatching to roofers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and more, making them extremely flexible and versatile.

The Benefits Of Outsourcing Dispatch Services

Wondering why you should bother with outsourcing dispatch services? Here are a few of the biggest benefits of doing so.

  • Customers always talk to a real person – If your previous method of taking after-hours dispatches involved using a “robo” system or simply sending messages to voicemail, you’ll find that customers may be frustrated by having to navigate complicated menus, or they may be left wondering if anyone will listen to their voice message.With outsourced dispatch services, though, your customers will always be able to talk to a real person – which helps improve their satisfaction, and also ensures that you’ll never miss out on a true emergency call.For example, if you work in plumbing, and you let most after-hours calls go to voicemail, you may miss a customer who has an urgent leak – and by the time you listen to your voicemail the next day, they may have already found someone else to help them.With an outsourced dispatch system, though, your dispatch partner can take each call – and then quickly send out a service technician to resolve emergency situations, without you having to lift a finger.
  • Avoid hiring, training, and paying full-time staff – Finding, recruiting, hiring, and training full-time staff for 24/7 dispatching is very expensive, and it can be quite time-consuming. If you run a smaller business, you may simply not be able to afford this – and outsourced dispatch services provide a great, low-budget alternative.
  • Provide a better, more consistent customer experience – Your customers will always be answered by a friendly, professional, and dedicated customer service representative – 24/7, 365. This helps you provide a better, more consistent customer experience, and dispatch technicians more efficiently and more quickly – which helps boost satisfaction, and builds a more positive image for your brand.
  • Pay only for the services you use – 24/7 dispatching is a must-have for some companies, like ambulance companies and taxi companies. But if you have your own, full-time staff, you’ll be overpaying for your dispatching service, in most cases. Even during slow nights, or times when you are not receiving calls, you’ll still be paying for salaries, benefits, and other such expenses for full-time staff.

That’s not the case with an outsourced dispatch service. You’re billed based on the calls that your dispatch partner takes – and if you don’t have any calls, you won’t pay a dime, in most cases. You’ll be billed based on your usage, ensuring that your expenses are always proportional to the services that you receive. This helps you stretch your dollar, especially if you run a small-to-medium-sized business.

For these reasons – and quite a few more – an outsourced dispatch service may be perfect for your company. No matter what industry you’re in, you’re sure to enjoy the flexibility offered by an outsourced service, and benefit from improved customer satisfaction and the simplified, cost-effective pricing model of outsourced dispatch services.

Our Best Tips For Choosing Outsourced Dispatch Services

Interested in hiring an outsourced dispatch service, but not sure how to pick the right one? We’re here to help. Here are a few of the best tips you can use when searching for an outsourced dispatch services partner.

  • Choose a service that offers per-second billing – Per-second billing ensures that your calls are billed in one-second increments. In other words, you pay for each second that a customer is on the line. This ensures that you don’t overpay for each service call.Some companies do “per-minute” billing, or they will round your calls up to the nearest minute when they bill you. This results in you overpaying for service calls – a call that only takes 1 minute and 15 seconds may be billed as a 2-minute call, for example. Because of this, you should always find a dispatch service that offers truly per-second billing.
  • Never Settle For Less Than 24/7/365 – The whole point of working with an outsourced dispatching company is to have an operator and dispatcher available at all times of the day or night – even on weekends and holidays. For that reason, you should avoid any partner who cannot offer 24/7/365 service.
  • Look for volume discounts – Some dispatch companies will offer volume discounts, charging you less per call as your volume of calls increases. If your business is growing rapidly, it’s a good idea to find a company who is willing to work with you, and provide you with discounts as your needs for dispatching services continue to grow.
  • Choose a 100% US-based dispatch service – US-based dispatch services offer better service and are easier for your customer to use. Dispatch services that are located in other countries tend to lack highly-trained customer service representatives and dispatchers, and provide a more inconsistent customer experience.If you want to protect your brand and ensure that your dispatch services are as reliable as possible, we recommend always choosing a company with 100% US-based dispatching personnel.

If you can find a company that offers per-second billing, truly 24/7/365 service, volume discounts and a 100% US-based staff, chances are that you’re working with a high-quality dispatch partner.

Do your due diligence, though – look at reviews, consult with the company and their representatives, and learn as much as you can about their services and pricing model before you commit to a contract.

Should I Outsource All Of My Dispatch Services, Or Just After-Hours Dispatching?

That’s up to you! Many companies find that it’s easier to handle dispatching technicians and making appointments with in-house employees during normal business hours, but there are plenty of companies that can benefit from outsourcing all of their dispatch services.

If you already have a staff of reception and call answering professionals who provide great service to your customers, you may want to keep using them for your daily scheduling and dispatching tasks – and simply use an outsourced dispatch service for after-hours calls.

However, as your company grows, you may find that it’s easier to simply start outsourcing all of your dispatch services, and this is typically a more cost-effective option. In the end, though, it’s up to you – we’re sure you’ll make the right choice for your company, and your particular situation.

Improve Your Responsiveness And Build A Better Business With Outsourced Dispatching

If you work in any service-based industry where you have to take after-hours calls, working with an outsourced dispatching company is a great way to improve your responsiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and deliver high-quality service – while saving money on full-time staff.

So don’t wait. Think about your current situation, and whether or not you could benefit from an outsourced dispatching company. Then, follow our tips to find a few potential dispatch partners, learn more about their services, and choose the one that’s right for you. You’re sure to see a big improvement in your business right away!

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AnswerFirst Communications, Inc. has provided quality answering services since 1985. We currently provide answering services, virtual receptionist solutions and customer service solutions to thousand of clients around the globe.