More Revenue by Splitting CSR and Dispatch!
A very important separation to make early in the business are the roles of the CSR and the Dispatcher. Right now you are at the end of summer, and every call counts. We want the CSRs to book every call possible and we need to execute on all the leads we have. But let’s be honest, this shouldn’t just the standard operating procedure in the slow times. To really grow a business, you need to have this ideology at all times of the year. This will provide rocket fuel to your growth. Let’s start by explaining what the two roles: CSR and Dispatcher.
A CSR’s job is to outbound and inbound to book same-day with inbound until a manager or owner tells them not to book and outbound call to fill a the three/five/thirty day call board.
Easiest Day- Calls are totally filled up for same day, the manager tells you we cannot take anymore as a company and booked up for 3 months with service agreement customers. They can have very quick phone calls, telling people that we do not need anymore business (never let your business get here)
Hardest Day- No calls on the board for the day and they have crush it with their inbound conversion rate to get all the calls booked. There are techs in the breakroom hoping for a job and they are outbound calling like crazy just to get something setup for tomorrow.
A Dispatcher’s job is to take all the calls in any given day and turn it into the most money possible.
Easiest Day- No calls or just 1 call per tech on the board, nothing or little to dispatch. Sit back and eat a bon-bon because there is literally nothing to do. (never let your business get here either)
Hardest Day (most profitable)- The CSRs have filled the board, there are service agreement customers to reschedule to make room for broken equipment, there tons of great calls on the board with broken equipment and they have to call and check in with all these customers so no call gets left behind.
So, you may be able to see that these positions contradict each other. The hardest day for a CSR is the easiest day for a dispatcher, and the converse for the dispatcher. What you may see in your shop if you have these roles combined, they found a sweet spot… they limit the number of calls to X because they ultimately control the booking process and have kind of an easy job as a CSR and a dispatcher. However, this is not maximizing your day. You may not even see it happening.
Especially in small business, we have to be jack of all trades. However, if you combine these roles, you will have a hard time ever knowing if part of the system is broken. Because these roles have opposing KPIs, they hold each other accountable. If a CSR is being held accountable for number of calls booked and the Dispatcher is held accountable for revenue per day or average revenue per call. You will naturally see both the number booked and the amount of money made as a company increase if two people do those two different roles. Because it’s very clear in the CSR doesn’t book enough calls because the dispatcher will say, “Hey, I can’t hit my revenue numbers because I don’t have enough calls to dispatch” – and the CSR may say “I put the calls on the board, we had 4 calls per technician per day.”
Now, for some of the smaller shops, what does it cost to have 2 people do these roles? Great question, let’s dive in. One CSR at $12/hour is about $2,600 a month after burden- you already have that. One more means another $2,600 a month. To cover both positions you need to generate an additional $2,600. That means the company needs what? Let’s figure the average ticket per BOOKED CALL (not sold) is $350. Either a CSR needs to book 8 more calls a month, and I would argue if they aren’t having to dispatch they will have plenty of time to outbound, and I would argue, you would probably see more like 30 calls a month with a solid outbounding process. Or, let’s figure an average sold call of $800, your dispatcher needs to get the right technician to the right call and be incentivized to get 4 more calls run per month. If you incentivize them with $100 per day if their revenue goal is hit, then I bet you they’ll find a way to hit it. They will get techs to take more calls, and make sure the best tech is suited for each call they dispatch.
Hopefully you are onboard with actually separating the positions into two different roles. Next, I want to talk about actually physically moving the positions to different parts of your building. You may be thinking- this guy is a kook- I am, but this is really important too. If you already split your two roles into two positions, but you have them in the same room, you have may have The Mean Girls Effect happening in your office. And that’s where the CSRs sole job is to book the call, and they get REALLY good at it. But because they are good at it, they get really good at making the Dispatcher’s day SUPER DIFFICULT. And to that end, if they are in the same room with all the people whose day they are making challenging, it’s just a matter of time before the “STOP BOOKING” screams start to roar. And ultimately, they are friends so the CSRs don’t want to get yelled at when they do their job. The best way to combat The Mean Girl Effect is to put them in different rooms altogether. Out of sight, out of mind. It may seem silly, but we even prevented them from calling back and forth. Technicians just called the dispatch phones instead of the main line.
To summarize: Split the positions into two roles, pay the positions for performance, and physical have them move into totally different places in the building. I would love to answer questions you have on any of this, as always feel free to give us a call (816) 282-0406, ask for Trevor. I have a lot of systems for CSR and dispatcher pay, over-night structures at different revenue sizes, and call center efficiencies.