Seeking Best Practices for Scheduling Service Calls

ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Hope y'all are doing great! So, here’s the deal. We're trying to up our game with how we handle our HVAC/plumbing service calls, and we could use some pointers from you wise folks.

Here’s How We Roll Now:

  1. The superstars at the front desk (our CSRs) slot every incoming call under the "Who’s gonna take this?" (aka “Unassigned”) technician.
  2. We’ve got these three time slots we give to clients: the early bird 8-9AM, the mid-day 10AM-2PM, and the afternoon stretch 2-6PM.
  3. Then, as the day goes on, our dispatch gurus play a game of "match the tech to the job." It's kind of like Tetris, but with service calls.

Little Hiccups We’re Running Into:

  1. The whole manual matching thing? Yeah, it’s a tad chaotic, especially when the calls come flooding in.
  2. Sometimes we double-book or, heaven forbid, miss a slot. Yikes!
  3. Emergencies? Reschedules? They throw our whole groove off.
  4. Those time windows? Super helpful, but also a bit of a ticking clock when things don’t go to plan.

Here’s where you come in:

  1. Time Slots: Thinking of ditching the whole time window thing and just telling folks they're on our VIP list for the day. Thoughts?
  2. Tech Scheduling: How does ACP work for you? Do you find it better for a whole day to be scheduled for a tech? 
  3. Emergencies: How do you juggle the surprise "Help, I need someone NOW!" calls?
  4. Staying in the Loop: Got tips to keep everyone (CSRs, dispatch, techs) in sync without a bazillion check-ins?
  5. Training: Anything fun or effective you've done to get the team scheduling like pros?

Your wisdom, rants, raves, and GIFs are all welcome. Help us get better at what we do, and who knows, maybe there’ll be some virtual cookies in it for you! 🍪

Thanks a bunch and catch you on the flip side!


Valued Contributor II

Hi Alex! I love this post! Thanks for coming to the Community to ask such great questions! And I love that you call your CSRs superstars! 🌟 I'm reposting your question in the CSR/Dispatcher group for more visibility. 

Something that has worked for our company when scheduling service calls is allowing the CSRs to assign a call to a technician. We do this by using time slots and we also use a call prioritization system. We label the calls a level 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 and then we have technicians that are qualified for each of those calls. The levels align with our technician skill level. So a level 1 call is a Maintenance call for equipment that is 1-4 years old. I know that an entry level technician (level 1) has the training and skills to do this type of call. Level 2 is a maintenance call for equipment that is 5-9 years old. Level 3 is a maintenance call 10+ years. Level 4 is a demand service/repair call that is 0-9 years, level 5 is a demand service/repair call that is 10+ years old. The higher the level, the greater the technical skills and the communication skills that are required for the job.  A level 0 is a warranty or recall and we manage those call by call. 

By giving the CSRs the power to book the calls on the schedule according to skill level, we keep our schedule full and prioritize our level 3 and level 5 calls, because those have the highest lead opportunity for replacement. Our dispatchers manage the calls and move them around if needed. We do use 2 hour time slots and have an urgency list for emergencies. When an emergency comes in, we will assess the level of calls on the board (and technician availability) and reschedule as needed.

Our goal is a great customer experience, so we try to not to move an appointment more than once. Our other goal is to prioritize high level calls so we can optimize our potential for leads and future replacements. Let me know if this makes sense or if you have additional questions! 

ACP is a great tool, and so is Dispatch Pro. I'd definitely look into those. 

For training, check out all of our ten minute trainings in the CSR/Dispatcher Group Knowledge Base.

These are great trainings to watch individually or share at a team meeting. Best wishes! 

ServiceTitan Certified Provider
ServiceTitan Certified Provider

Firstly, I love your playful delivery @AlexPhylactou! Everything you posed are things we all have asked ourselves how we can improve upon. Based on my personal experience, 1. Time Slots should be coordinated with job types (i.e. maintenance vs. emergency) (bonus- tie in tech skills to job types), and when it comes to 2. Tech Scheduling -- depending on the structure at your organization, there should ideally be the service tech who runs the service, anything additional that comes about (hvac unit is shot) then you'd get the sales/install team out there to assess and have the service tech move onto the next "service" job. This also covers the 3. Emergencies that arise when the tech is onsite. As it pertains to 4. Staying in the Loop -- train techs to use the little clock icon at the bottom right on their mobile tablet, this will send a "wrap-up" message to the office letting them know their ETA and will streamline this communication between field and office. This message will appear on the right of the dispatch board. Lastly, 5. Training - is your team using Dispatch Pro?

- Sheena @ NIFT

Sheena @ NiFT