Customer Service Standards for a Dispatching Center

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Dispatching centers can lower complaints by implementing higher customer service standards.
Dispatching centers can lower complaints by implementing higher customer service standards. (Image: close up of police dispatcher's mouth image by David Smith from Fotolia.com)

Customer service standards for a dispatching center determine the public’s perception of the service rendered by the facility. Dispatching centers provide response and assistance to individuals requesting a wide variety of services, including fire, law enforcement, medical services, cab and truck dispatching.

Dispatching Center Objectives

Many dispatching centers and other businesses have mission and goal statements that exemplify the main objectives of centers. These documents outline the philosophy expected to permeate all levels of an organization from top executives to the front-line dispatchers. Mission statements set the customer service tone for the guidelines and expectations for dispatchers to handle their duties.

Courtesy

High-quality customer service standards incorporate specific words and phrases to use when dealing with callers. Many dispatching centers have their dispatchers use specific expressions when speaking to callers. Words and phrases, such as “please,” “thank you" and “you’re welcome,” may seem routine, but callers appreciate them when used with sincerity. In addition, dispatchers should have procedures for taking messages, transferring calls or putting callers on hold. Dispatchers should identify themselves on customer callbacks and use the customer's name when speaking.

Problem Solving

High-performing dispatchers view themselves as more than “call takers.” They typically look at problems as an opportunity to accomplish the center’s customer service objectives. This requires management to empower dispatchers to take certain actions to help callers and provide solutions. If the dispatcher cannot reach a satisfactory resolution, send the caller to another division or to a supervisor who can take the necessary action to work out a solution.

Empathy

Many callers to emergency dispatching centers exhibit emotional behavior. According to call center expert Tom Vander Well of the QAQNA website, training dispatchers to empathize with these people and handle callers rationally can defuse many interactions and lead to better customer service experiences for callers. Dispatchers can use statements, such as "I apologize driver is not there. I can check and let you know what time he will arrive.” The statement should acknowledge the caller’s feelings and come naturally. It should also resolve the customer service issue.

Evaluations

Successfully incorporating customer service standards for a dispatching center requires constant follow-ups and seeking ways to raise the quality of service. Reducing call-wait times, providing better information for callers or providing more training for dispatchers represent just a few methods to fine-tune the dispatching center’s operations. Front-line dispatchers can provide valuable information and insights for improvements. Management must also implement tools for measuring success. This may include randomly monitoring and recording calls, follow-up telephone surveys or mailings to citizens or customers. It presents an opportunity to find out directly from callers their perception of the quality of service they are receiving.

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