How to Become a Good Truck DispatcherBy My Service Depot on Thursday, April 25, 2019
Want to become a dispatcher or advance your dispatch skills? Find out how you can make it happen!
Although today’s dispatchers in the field service industry often have great software to support their jobs, the skills they possess can still make or break a business. The right combination of skills, knowledge, and experience allows dispatchers to do their own jobs more effectively and support others in their work.
Field service dispatch jobs, according to PayScale, average wages of $14.48 an hour as of April 2019, while Paysa reports an average income of $61,527 per year. Pay can vary considerably depending on experience, education, skills, and industry. Field service dispatchers work in a variety of trades and different industries, so workers can find employment in many different types of field service.
Want to become an outstanding dispatcher? Here are some tips for success.
What Field Service Dispatch Jobs Do
Technicians, customer service workers, and business owners rely on your dispatch prowess and know-how to keep the work day running smoothly.
A typical schedule can throw a lot at you and you have to keep your cool and make sense of sometimes confusing situations. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but a good truck dispatcher can take scheduling information, service calls, and other real time information and ensure that technicians always get to the right place at the right time. If an emergency work order or something else unexpected comes up, the dispatcher can make sure everyone stays on the same page and has the right resources to get the job done.
Scheduling, billing, and customer service are usually key parts of the job. Dispatchers need specific, specialized skills to balance the job’s requirements.
Field Service Dispatcher Skills
Becoming a stellar service dispatcher requires the right skills—at least some of these you can develop through experience, but for a few you’ll have to get training and work hard.
These skills will serve you well in a dispatch career:
- Customer service: Since you often interact with customers, great customer service skills can help you listen to customer needs and make sure your customers remain happy. The ability to defuse customer frustrations, too, will come in handy.
- Communication and people skills: You’ll also need people skills to help you connect with customers and coworkers. This includes the communication skills you’ll use all the time as you dispatch technicians to job sites.
- Office skills: The basics of office management and operations are important for this job. At the very least, you’ll use scheduling software, do some customer billing, and interact in an office setting. How to answer the phone, record information, type, use a computer, and manage paperwork may also become part of your job.
- Time management: You’re managing your own time and helping to keep technicians on-task and on-route at all times. That requires some excellent time management skills and a solid awareness of passing time.
- Technical knowledge: You’ll need to know the basic terminology and job functions of the field services you dispatch for. This requires some technical knowledge on your part. You may, for instance, not know everything about plumbing, but to work in plumbing dispatch, you will need to know a little bit about plumbing issues and how plumbers get the work done.
Degrees and Certifications for Field Service Dispatch Jobs
You don’t necessarily need a degree or certification to get a field service dispatch job or become a great dispatcher, although it may help. Since the industry and work environment dispatchers work in can vary so much, there’s no universally-accepted degree or certification program. Every employer may look for something unique.
Some employers hire technicians and promote them into dispatch later, while others specifically seek applicants for dispatch roles from the beginning. For some employers, you may want to pursue training and certification as a technician first and grow your skills so you can get hired as a dispatcher.
At the very least, a high school diploma is usually required. You could pursue technical secondary education or earn a bachelor’s degree to gain the education you need for the field.
Becoming a Strong Dispatcher
Once you have the job, it’s important to focus on doing your work well. Dispatchers may need assertiveness, organization, and a good eye for detail. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in some roles by the amount of information and multi-tasking, so practicing your self-direction and focus may help you.
From there, don’t be afraid to ask your boss or supervisor for feedback now and then. Become teachable (if you’re not already) and work hard on your time management and customer service skills. Before you know it, you’ll morph into that good dispatcher you always knew you could be.