5 dispatching best practices

| By:
Craig Fulton

Are your help desk operations a bit chaotic? Are you flying by the seat of your pants? It might be time to revisit your dispatching situation.

Oftentimes, it’s easy to undervalue dispatching. It seems fairly simple, but without it, your competitive SLAs can easily fall by the wayside.

For a moment, let’s imagine a world without dispatching, where tickets aren’t neatly assigned to the best available technician that’s closest to that customer’s site, no one knows what to work on next, and techs address tickets at random. Sounds chaotic, right?

Dispatching puts our daily work lives in order, and it’s the glue that holds everything together, ensuring techs know what’s expected of them, and clients receive service in a reasonable timeframe.

And if you’ve ever had any of these thoughts, you might have a dispatching problem:

  • I have 10 tickets, but only three engineers. Now what?
  • What happened to that ticket last week? I thought it was done.
  • All my engineers are working, but there’s a critical issue. What should I do?

Here are five steps you can take that will ensure that the RIGHT person is scheduled for the RIGHT ticket at the RIGHT time:

1. Create a dispatching policy

Your policy should address timeliness (e.g. high priority tickets must be dispatched within three business hours). This policy should also define different levels of severity, so that business-critical outages are addressed before simple software upgrades or downgrades.

2. Assign a dedicated dispatcher

Having a dedicated dispatcher frees your techs to focus exclusively on delivering great service. In addition, it prevents techs from cherry-picking the most desirable tasks for themselves. Work will be spread evenly across all available and qualified resources.

Your dedicated dispatcher should:

  • Monitor and assign new tickets
  • Review actual time vs. budgeted time and request updates
  • Follow up on appointments after they’ve have been completed
  • Ensure work is always evenly distributed among resources
3. Be aware of skills and certs

Not every tech is qualified to provide service to every client who requests it. To help your dispatcher ensure (s)he assigns the right technician, give him/her each technician’s credentials. By knowing what each tech is capable of accomplishing, your dispatcher can avoid assigning an unqualified resource to a task.

4. Technician availability

It’s important for the dispatcher to have access to technician availability. And while the majority of customers might request to work with one of your more tenured techs, make sure work is evenly distributed, to ensure your best techs don’t burn out.

By viewing techs’ calendars, your dispatcher can give each a balanced workload, and queue up other activities in the event that they finish a job early.

5. Keep clients in the loop

By using a smart ticket system, like ConnectWise Manage, you can keep clients in the loop as much as you wish. Some ticket updates can be internal only and others can include the client; the choice is yours.

These are just a handful of best practices you can apply in your business to improve your efficiency and customer experience, while also balancing out technician workloads. To discover how ConnectWise can help you gain even more efficiency around dispatching, sign up for an interactive demo.