ACHRNEWS

Dispatching With a Difference

April 20, 2009

Dispatchers are the first to impress the customer, and in the first seven seconds, the caller is making many assumptions about them and your company. Besides the normal greeting, what is recognizably different about your dispatching approach when scheduling appointments for quotes on new comfort systems or handling customer concerns regarding equipment pricing? Do your dispatchers address the necessary replacement age of a comfort system and questions regarding promotional deadlines effectively?

These are just a few of the opportunities qualified dispatchers have to create a consistent message for consumers and differentiate your business from your competitors’. The difference lies not in trying to one-up the competition by bad mouthing them, but in the sincerity of dispatchers who are happy to field calls and provide solutions for the customer’s problems.

Potential and current customers hear this sincerity in a chipper good morning or afternoon while dispatchers take the time to learn their customer’s name and continue to use it throughout the call.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Let’s look at three ways of creating a dispatching difference and becoming the company of choice in the ears of potential customers.

First, is overcoming the pricing concern consumers have when initially calling. Often times we feel we are helping by giving a price. Many times, however, this results in the customer saying, “Thank you,” and hanging up the phone.

Dispatchers can be instrumental in saving a potential customer from creating a question mark in their minds by sharing the company’s multi-faceted approach to the problem. With so many efficiency choices of air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and accessories along with each home being different in square feet, insulation, air return sizes, and equipment location, it is virtually impossible to give an accurate quote over the phone.

Within the conversation, however, dispatchers have the opportunity to reassure the customer of the company’s professional associates and inform them of the time needed for a problem-solving appointment.

Second, is the format of the call. When dispatchers are scheduling an appointment, they should ask the customer which is better, days or evenings. Once identified, they should then give a couple of choices of times and dates available that fit within those previously requested time slots. This creates a feeling of success for the caller.

Once the scheduling is complete, dispatchers can give the customer a 45 second overview of what can be expected during the appointment. This is a huge opportunity for the company and the technician/sales team to differentiate themselves during the onsite sales call - refreshingly different.

Third, dispatchers can be most successful when handling customer concerns by knowing the phrases that stop all sales and the ones that open most doors. Two statements that kill business are “no” and “I don’t know.”

For example, when a potential customer asks, “Could I still take advantage of the promotion that ended yesterday?”, a reply of “no” will promptly end the conversation. A better response would be, “Hmmm, let me see. May I put you on hold while I check?” The best answer a potential buyer wants to hear is yes. If the person quoting the job isn’t available though, how do dispatchers make it work?

They come back and reply, “After looking at our schedule we have Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. available to start your installation. If you can do that, the owner will go ahead and extend the promotion.” Keep in mind, in order to give something we must receive something. Selling is about making a win-win situation for everyone.

STANDING OUT

Dispatching is the heart of any company. In order to differentiate and be memorable, dispatchers must have an optimistic personality and outlook, as well as be armed with the proper answers to the many questions they will receive. By tweaking just a few of your dispatching practices, your company can schedule more sales appointments that may have otherwise been lost to pricing and other objections. Good dispatchers turn these opportunities into cash.

Publication date: 04/20/2009