Summer is not a good time to say "no" to customers.

Northern states are finally getting some warm weather.  Contractors in the South have been celebrating all the way to the bank for the past month because it has been so hot.

  The phone is ringing constantly. Technicians are working many overtime hours.  Customers are hot and want to be cool again.  They don't like "no" as an answer.

   When it gets busy dispatchers have a tendency to use excuses, even though they may be true. How many times have you heard your dispatchers telling customers that the company is busy, dispatchers telling customers that the technicians are working overtime, dispatchers telling customers that they don't have enough technicians to handle the load or you "can't get there until three days from now”?

   Those are the company's problems. Customers don't care about these excuses. They don't care about the customers ahead of them. They don't care that technicians are working overtime or that the company doesn't have enough technicians to handle the work. They care about getting their problem fixed.

   When your dispatchers speak with customers on the telephone they must tell them what they can do, not what they can't do or make excuses about company problems.  When it's hot, everyone knows it's hot.

  You might get a few customers who say, "I know that I shouldn't have waited." However, those are rare. Your dispatcher's job is to take care of each customer and make him or her feel that she will do everything possible to get that customer's problem taken care of quickly --- not tell that person that you are busy.

   There are a few phrases that dispatchers should never use.  Obviously, "We're busy" is one.  “It's our policy” is another. These only make an upset customer even more upset. 

  I've heard many times, "I don't care what policy is, break it!"  Or, "do you know who I am? I can make trouble for you!" or "Break the policy!”

   The word "no" is like pouring gasoline on a fire.  Use only positive words and phrases: "Mrs. Jones, if you can do X we can do Y.”  Or, "Mrs. Jones, would you prefer that our technician arrive on Thursday or Friday?"

   On a sheet of paper, put "Xs" through the list of the words and phrases that dispatchers should never use. Put the right phrase next to the wrong phrase. Put this sheet where dispatchers and everyone else who talks with customers can see it. Everyone will get the right idea and start using the right words and phrases.