Heard the term dispatcher but not sure what it means, or how to coordinate this essential task within your IT business? A dispatcher is the person or team that receives and transmits information, so in an MSP business, they will be tasked with deciding which technicians or team members should be assigned certain jobs for customers, depending on their level of expertise and skills. In this article we’ll look at what a dispatcher does, and how Atera can make dispatcher’s roles faster, easier and more accurate using automation and AI.
Why do companies need a role for dispatching?
Depending on your business, the dispatcher will have different tasks on their plate. For example, in logistics or fleet management, the dispatcher may be in charge of drivers and vehicles, deciding which staff to place on which routes or shifts. Inside a tech company, or in an IT business – the dispatcher will probably be responsible for the help desk, making quick decisions on how to distribute a vast array of customer support tickets to the right technician. When they are great at their job, this allows for quicker time to resolution and faster response times – which lead to increased customer satisfaction. Everyone’s a winner.
If your dispatcher does their job poorly however, for example sending a task to a technician who has already clocked off for the day rather than looking for one in the right time zone, or channeling a hands-on technical task to someone more strategic who doesn’t have the core skills to solve the issue, this can cause bottlenecks and delays. The task might need to be dispatched again to a different member of staff, or might be resolved poorly, leading to frustration or churn. As you can see, there is a lot of responsibility as a dispatcher, so it’s important that they receive great training and all the right tools to complete their role.
What makes a great dispatcher?
What separates awesome dispatchers from those who make life more difficult for the rest of their colleagues? A strong dispatcher will be great at problem solving, and also have a certain level of technical ability. They need to be able to look at the support tickets and see at a glance who is the right technician for the job at hand, which means they can’t be left confused by technical jargon that customers might be using to explain their problem.
Some technical background will also help them to effectively triage a set of issues, making smart calls on which issues are critical and which can be made second priority. This is especially important for keeping to customer Service Level Agreements, where you have likely made guarantees about how quickly you will resolve business-critical issues and events.
Practically speaking, your dispatcher should also be very organized, able to juggle multiple projects and tasks at the same time, and also great with people. This last one is because they are likely to be speaking directly to the customers to escalate their issues to the right person, which means they could be the first voice the customers hear when they have an issue, or the one responding to a written email or ticket. If the dispatcher responds brusquely or can’t calm down a tense situation, the technicians are being handed over a much harder situation to solve.
You also want to make sure that your dispatcher gets on well with people internally, especially if they are going to be making decisions about how technians spend their time. If your dispatcher sends an engineer out to a client site, and it ends up being a waste of their time (which happens to everyone from time to time) – you’re going to need some goodwill in the bank!
How can Atera assist with dispatching duties?
Today, there are many tools and technologies that can streamline the process of dispatching, and help IT teams to manage dispatching duties seamlessly and without error or frustration.
At Atera, we have two such smart capabilities that make a dispatcher’s role easier, and free up their time to be acting proactively in supporting the business. Let’s look at each one in detail, and explore how they can work together perfectly, and could add more hours to the day.
Atera’s IT automation capabilities allow you to set automated actions that will be triggered by activities within tickets. For example, when a ticket is closed – an email can be automatically sent to the customer to alert them that the matter has been resolved. Within Atera, you can set up limitless automation rules, and many of them are extremely helpful for a dispatcher.
One example is the ability to auto-assign tickets to your technicians, in a style we call “round robin” rotation. This is a great option if you have multiple technicians who all have a similar skill set, and you want to ensure that no one technician is overloaded with work. As tickets come in, they will be auto-assigned to the next technician on the list, freeing up the dispatcher to deal with more customized support or other skilled work. You can exclude technicians from the round robin group by toggling the Ticketing Automated Assignment button off under their role. In this way, if you have a more senior or more specialized technician, you are free to assign them tasks manually according to their expertise.
As a dispatcher, being able to set up automated actions can save you a lot of time and add value to the way that you work. For example, you can set up an automated customer feedback survey to arrive after a ticket has been resolved. This will allow you to collect metrics on how successfully the customer feels their issue was dealt with, so that you can make smart changes and show improvement over time.
AI-powered IT takes IT automation to the next level with the help of smart tagging. By using Artificial Intelligence, support tickets can be tagged automatically, and then using an IT automation profile – sent to the right technician to complete that task.
If you have a technician who has particular expertise in server or network management, or another who has a cloud certification – they can be automatically routed the tasks which best suit their skill set. This ability reduces the time that the dispatcher needs to spend coordinating tickets and working out who is the best person for the job, and it also makes response time lightning fast.
With accuracy levels at an all-time high, communication is also improved, both internally, as technicians are being given the exact right tasks that suit their background and abilities, but also externally. After all, when customers see that tickets are being handled quickly, being dealt with by highly specialized support, and closed quicker than ever before – customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores can’t help but go through the roof.
Want to learn more about how Atera’s ticket automation rules add hours back to the day for the average MSP? Read about how Jacques Sauve from Trilogiam uses IT automation profiles for automating patch management in his MSP business and calls it “time back on his hands”.
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