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Service Dispatcher Duties and Responsibilities

Service dispatchers perform varied daily job duties based on the service industry they're in, the volume of calls they receive, and the number of service crews working for the business. In all service companies, however, there are specific core duties associated with this job:

Answer Phones Service dispatchers answer incoming phone calls to schedule service appointments for customers.

Write Work Orders Service dispatchers gather detailed address information from customers and get a basic overview of the service issue. They then relate these details to the service crew that will answer the call. Service dispatchers prioritize service requests and schedule jobs accordingly to address the most urgent customer needs as quickly as possible.

Dispatch Service Crews Service dispatchers dispatch service crews to scheduled appointments and to emergency situations.

Plan Routes Service dispatchers use maps and GPS programs to plan routes for service crews so they get to their destinations by the most efficient means possible. This involves staying up to date on construction, accidents, traffic, and other situations that may hinder service crews, and alerting crews to these issues.

Communicate with Service Crews Service dispatchers answer incoming radio calls from service crews, who report when they arrive at and leave jobs, and log this information into the dispatch system. This includes addressing any emergency situations service crews may encounter and relaying information to management or other departments as needed.

Answer Customer Questions Service dispatchers answer customer questions and address customer problems.

Maintain Customer Files Service dispatchers add customer information to digital filing systems and log information into customer files when scheduling service calls.


Service Dispatcher Skills and Qualifications

Service dispatchers have excellent communication and customer service skills and relay succinct information about service issues to crews working out in the field. Businesses hire service dispatchers who have the following essential skills:
  • Communication skills - service dispatchers use strong verbal communication skills to relay information to service crews and answer customer questions and concerns, and use strong written communication skills to record the essential details of every service job
  • Time management - good time management skills are critical for service dispatchers, who prioritize jobs and schedule appointments so service can be completed within regular business hours
  • Customer service - service dispatchers use excellent customer service skills to speak with customers, answer incoming phone calls, manage customer problems, and address customer complaints
  • Computer skills - service dispatchers need basic computer skills to log information into digital dispatch systems and customer files
  • Multitasking - service dispatchers use good multitasking abilities to handle several phone calls at once and juggle multiple service appointments in a single work day
  • Leadership - leadership skills are essential for service dispatchers, who must direct service crews and advise them on customer service issues
  • Data entry - some data entry skills are required for service dispatchers, who log information into digital systems

Service Dispatcher Education and Training

Most employers require service dispatchers to have, at minimum, a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may require service dispatchers to have an associate's degree in business or past work experience in a dispatch or service business environment. Many employers hire service dispatchers on an entry-level basis and provide job training. Service dispatchers in training are closely monitored by the service manager while they learn the basic functions of the job. The training period varies by employer but generally lasts no longer than two to four weeks.

Service Dispatcher Salary and Outlook

PayScale job data shows that service dispatchers earn $17.05 in median hourly pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers earn $39,640 in median annual income, or $19.06 hourly. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers perform the same duties as service dispatchers, but they route emergency crews rather than service crews to specific addresses. The BLS estimates employment of these dispatchers will grow 8 percent through 2026. This rate is as fast as the national average. Most employers provide service dispatchers with benefits packages that include health insurance coverage. Dental and vision coverage are sometimes included in these packages. Often, retirement planning and life insurance options are additionally provided. Once employed for three months to one year, service dispatchers are eligible to receive paid vacation and sick leave. Some companies may also provide profit-sharing bonuses in addition to regular salary.

Helpful Resources

Learn the skills essential to providing excellent customer service and find ways to manage the duties and stress associated with service dispatching using these books and websites:

National Customer Service Association - find education and training programs at this website designed for all customer service professionals

Under the Headset: Surviving Dispatcher Stress - learn how to manage the stress of being a dispatcher with this book, which offers coping techniques and tips for identifying stressors that come with

dispatching jobs International Customer Service Association - take advantage of free webinars, professional development resources, and industry events for customer service professionals of all types at the ICSA website

Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service: Over 700 Ready-to-Use Phrases and Scripts That Really Get Results - turn to the hundreds of effective, go-to customer service phrases in this book to address customer complaints and problems

Customer Service Institute of America - discover tools and resources that lead to better customer service at the CSIA website, which has upcoming event dates, certification information, and education tools

Customer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results - learn all the basics of providing excellent customer service in a variety of situations with the tips in this book

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