AnswerFirst is an international contact center solution and answering service provider that handles business communications for a very diverse group of clients.
One of the most basic and useful services we provide is after hours on-call dispatch services. After hours on-call dispatch is especially important in the HVAC, heating, cooling, air conditioning, ventilation and ducting industries. This field has become extremely competitive and if businesses in these industries make it difficult for their customers to reach them, regardless of the time of day or night, their clients will move on to the next HVAC service company. Unfortunately, once a client has used another service provider, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to win back that client’s business.
One of the biggest misconceptions of folks in the HVAC service industry, is that an answering service will not be able to handle their calls as well as one of their employees.
However, when you break down the after hours call types for businesses in the HVAC industries, there are typically only three:
- New client needing ER service
- Existing client needing ER service
- All others
For call types 1 and 2, the answering service will gather the same information from the callers and dispatch these calls to the account’s on-call technician in the same way regardless of call type. If the on-call tech does not confirm receipt of the message, then previously configured escalation protocols are followed.
For call type 3, the answering service will likely gather more brief information and just email this info to the office for follow-up on the next business day.
As you can see, these types of accounts are really quite simple for an answering service to manage and maintain.
HVAC service businesses that route customers’ calls straight to their on-call techs after regular business hours are really gambling on whether their techs will hear the phone ring every time. Also, there’s no guarantee that on-call technicians will answer these inbound calls in a professional manner at all hours of the day and night. So, having an answering service routing calls for after hours service while weeding out non-ER calls for follow up later, allows HVAC businesses to provide more reliable and professional customer service experiences.
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