What is Call Center Dispatching

Call center dispatchers are the bridge between your customer experience and your staff. Dispatching is one of the most important elements of successful call center outsourcing

Call center dispatching combines a caller’s urgent needs with the appropriate on-call staff member to meet the customer’s expectations – meaning if your customers have issues, the call center is responsible for connecting them with the best staff member on your end to handle it. Since just about every business dispatches for different reasons, everything from connecting hot sales leads to your closer or time-sensitive customer service requests, the range of dispatching requests are vast. These can include emergency repairs, high value contract customers, medical emergencies, sales, and more.

For dispatching to be part of your call center protocol, it needs to be programmed into your script. Specifically, you need to communicate with your call center which situations warrant a dispatch, and which ones don’t. And, you’ll need to specify which staff member to reach out to for which issues. As an example, if you’re using a call center for your apartment complex, the center will probably reach out to your plumber for plumbing emergencies, your locksmith for lock-outs, and your security service for any reports of suspicious activity.

In the call center environment, the dispatchers rely on the call center software to map out who to contact and for what. It’s the responsibility of businesses to make sure their dispatching schedules are up-to-date and the dispatching contact numbers are working. If this data isn’t updated each time there’s a change, it creates room for error and dispatching delays. Having all data programmed into the call center system itself automates the dispatching and optimizes the call. This means shorter call times, happier customers, lower call center bills, and happier staff.

Here is how activating dispatching in your call center account can improve the customer experience and drive efficiency in outsourcing.

Increase efficiency and improve customer service with call center dispatching

When you add dispatching to your call center protocol, you’re ready to take on emergencies, urgent requests, and other after hours issues your customers may have. Call center dispatching allows you to truly be a 24/7 company.

Schedule In Advance

1. Schedule in advance

Most call centers can schedule up to a year in advance. When programming your on-call staff, always keep your schedule updated as far in advance as possible so it’s not forgotten at the 11th hour. To stay as efficient as possible, we recommend updating your on-call schedule with your call center as soon as you have it finalized within your own office. If you update your schedule every month, update the call center at the same time. When you treat your call center as a department within your own business, it’s much easier to keep everyone on the same page.

Keep Staff Happy

2. Keep staff happy with rules based dispatching

No employee likes to be contacted after hours if there’s not a good reason for doing so. To avoid unhappy staff and stay efficient, set up rules based dispatching within your script so operators only reach out for actual emergencies.

A good way to do this is through adding screening questions to help route calls appropriately. For example, a property management company may only want to be reached if a unit is flooded or the heat goes out in the middle of winter. Operators at your call center can ask the caller what the issue is, and based on a list of options, can choose the appropriate one and follow the protocol accordingly. If the caller is locked out, the operators may direct them to call a locksmith. If the caller’s microwave isn’t working, the operators may instruct them to call back during business hours. However, if the caller’s kitchen sink is overflowing, the operators can reach out to the on-call tech if you’ve defined that as an emergency.

Call center scripts and dispatching protocols can be customized based off of your company’s needs, and adding screening questions allows operators to have more control over what gets dispatched and what can wait until the morning.

Reduce Wait Time

3. Reduce customer wait time for urgent issues

If a customer is dealing with an emergency, they’re not going to be happy about sitting on hold or leaving a voicemail and waiting for a return call. Using dispatching to reduce the time between the initial request and the resolution is essential in creating the best customer experience possible. We recommend you:

  • Add automation: Adding an upfront greeting which directs callers to press 1 for emergencies or 2 for all other calls is a simple way to cut down on operator talk time and allows customers in an emergency situation to get help right away. Businesses may also want to include what constitutes an emergency in their recorded greeting so that not everyone is pressing 1 just to talk to someone.
  • Add a driving question: A driving question is a question call center operators can ask in your initial greeting which helps drive the call. For example, an operator may say: “Hello and thank you for calling ABC Plumbing. Are you having an emergency?” If the caller says yes, the operator can then ask what the issue is and if an actual emergency, can dispatch the call accordingly. If the caller’s issue is not an urgent issue, they can take a message to have their call returned when the office re-opens.
  • Add an emergency phone number: Some businesses may even want to keep urgent requests and normal queries totally separate by using two different numbers. For example, one number may be advertised on a business’s website for new customers to call, and existing customers may be given an alternate number to call for urgent matters. Having two different numbers helps streamline urgent calls, and makes it easier to differentiate between new and existing customer messages.

24/7 Response

4. Advertise 24/7 responsiveness

Nothing keeps customers happy like 24/7 support. If you’re using a call center and have enabled a dispatching protocol, you can advertise 24 hour service and support to your end users. Even if they’re not having an emergency, it’s always nice to talk to a live voice instead of a voicemail to help answer questions or just to leave a message. And, for customers who may be located in a different time zone or who are too busy during the day to call, it can be frustrating when they can never get a hold of a real person.

If your business doesn’t have the budget to hire over night staff, call centers offer an affordable alternative to give your business the 24/7 advantage without all of the added expenses so you and your customers can rest easy.

What is call center dispatching? It’s great when it’s done right.

The ability to dispatch calls is something just about any call center does. Whether the call center agent is dispatching a call to another group inside the call center (think sales call turned into a service call so the agent transfers to another queue) or to your staff member, it means a better customer experience and improved productivity.

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