You might be a one-man operation or you might have multiple drivers working for your tow truck business. But either way, you need someone to coordinate the towing jobs. Someone has to get the trucks where they need to go, right? And that’s why you need a top-notch dispatcher (or a top-notch team of dispatchers) to help you keep your tow truck business running smoothly. Here are 7 skills that are essential for dispatchers.
7 essential skills for tow truck dispatchers
When your customer calls your business for a tow, they’re probably going to be very stressed out, annoyed, shaken, or otherwise not happy. When they’re on the phone with your dispatcher, the dispatcher has to be able to stay calm and relaxed. They’ll also need to be patient as they communicate with the driver, gather the information they need, and relay that information to your tow truck drivers.
And if a customer gets a little snappy or angry on the phone, they’ll need to be able to de-escalate the situation. Basically, you need someone who’s pretty unflappable and who can provide excellent customer service with a pleasant attitude, no matter if the person on the other end of the phone is upset or not. They’ll also need to be able to put the customer at ease and assure them that the situation is under control.
2. Organization and communication.
Your dispatchers need to be highly organized. They’re fielding a lot of calls and taking down a lot of information, so they need to be efficient and methodical as they’re recording notes and sending your tow truck where it needs to go. The last thing you need during your busy season is mix-ups, so your dispatcher needs to be able to get the right information and then clearly communicate that information to the tow truck driver.
In short, your dispatcher needs to be able to handle a lot of calls, relay a lot of information, and be an expert at clear communication (both when speaking with your clients and your tow truck drivers.)
3. Skills with computers.
The impact of technology is growing in the towing world, and it’s important that your dispatcher speaks “computer” and can handle data entry and the dispatch software they have to use with ease. Having someone who’s comfortable with computers and phone systems will help your business run efficiently. And as technology changes very quickly, it’s also important that your dispatcher can adapt to these changes and that they’re open to learning new things.
This is an important skill to consider because sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. What if your customer doesn’t know exactly where they are, or if they don’t quite know what’s wrong with their car? Towing is not the most predictable of professions, so your dispatcher has to be able to think fast to problem-solve while also being friendly, polite, and helpful. A dispatcher has to be able to think on their feet sometimes so that they can assist the customer with their situation. And with all of that, they have to be able to reassure the client that your business can help and that you’ll have a tow truck at their location as quickly as possible.
5. The ability to handle stress.
Your dispatcher is probably going to face some phone calls or situations that can be boiled down to one word: stressful. Whether they have an angry customer on the other end of the phone or your business is extremely busy without enough tow trucks to go around, your dispatcher has to be able to think clearly even through the stress. (And they have to be able to manage their stress so they don’t become overwhelmed.)
6. Familiarity with the area that your tow trucks service.
It can be really helpful to have dispatchers who know your area and who are familiar with where you work and where you send your tow trucks. Sure, GPS and navigation systems are great, but having a real human who knows the roads and areas that your drivers travel frequently can be an asset. For example, they might know alternate routes to avoid traffic, a safer way to get the driver to the destination, and roadwork or construction to avoid.
7. The ability to prioritize tasks and manage time.
You dispatcher has to be able to evaluate a situation (or phone call) and ask the right questions so that your business can best assist the customer in need. They need to be able to keep track of all your drivers and prioritize tasks so that the most pressing concerns get addressed first. This can help you cut down on your response time and avoid confusion or delays.
Your dispatchers are a major part of your business. It’s important to hire someone who has top-notch customer service skills and who can communicate clearly. They need to be organized and tech-savvy so they can send your tow trucks where they need to go. Patience is crucial, as is the ability to problem-solve and de-escalate tense situations. So, when you’re hiring tow truck dispatchers, keep in mind that you’re looking for someone who can help your business run smoothly and efficiently.
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Roskopf, Geri. “Your Dispatcher: The Voice and Face of Your
Company.” Tow Times, Aug. 2017, p. 17.