Bringing a service dispatcher on board your MSP can have life changing results. Some companies assume that the dispatcher position is a simple role in which anyone with decent communication skills can do the job. In reality, a service dispatcher needs to be well-rounded in a number of key areas to pull off their main objective successfully. What exactly is that?
The main responsibility of the service dispatcher is to coordinate the technicians within the entire help desk. This includes the assignment and escalation of support tickets, updating the ticket’s status, following up with clients, other staff members and vendors as necessary.
As an MSP staffing company, we at Support Adventure love supplying our clients with reliable dispatchers from our vault of candidates. We’ve seen how often it has transformed a middling company into a premium provider. This article will describe the role and importance of the service dispatcher within the MSP help desk.
Main Responsibility of the Service Dispatcher: Coordinating the Technicians
Service dispatchers are mostly responsible for the coordination and organization of the technicians in the MSP. They work hand in hand with the techs who are not always known for being the most organized due to being knee deep in technical responsibilities. For help desk engineers, it’s typical to have unstructured documentation, lack of information in tickets or even leaving tasks incomplete.
Ultimately, service dispatchers function as supervisors who oversee the processes of technical positions. But unlike a service delivery manager, this role is not a management position. The dispatcher does however enforce procedures established by the service delivery manager by maintaining the intake, assignment and reviewing of tickets.
They hold technicians accountable, perpetually checking in on tickets that appear to be forgotten. They also assess tickets to make sure engineers have left adequate notes on them or not.
Hiring a dispatcher helps you delegate the responsibility of supervision and create more ownership in the organization.
IT Specialists Are Disorganized
IT professionals tend to be lone wolves. They are used to working on things alone, storing information in their head, and not documenting everything they’ve worked on.
For that reason, an MSP needs a service dispatcher to make sure technicians are updating their tickets with useful information about an incident and it’s status.
The Role and Responsibilities of a Service Dispatcher
Service dispatchers fulfill a supervisor role in an MSP. Their multifunctionality creates more regularity and order in the system.
Service dispatchers possess the authority to assign and unassign tickets, escalate them and shift around the schedules of engineers in order to stay on top of ticket statuses. They also follow up with clients, other staff members and vendors as necessary.
As you can tell by now, dispatchers are in the business of ensuring that documented procedures are followed. They make such a great addition because they help see to it that the whole system is running. They also make sure engineers write coherent and detailed ticket notes so that other staff members who will be handling a ticket later can clearly register what’s going on.
Dispatchers also operate with the knowledge of what the best practices for ticket notes are… Hopefully because their manager downloaded our ticket note writing guide and has trained the dispatcher to check that tickets are following our suggestions!
You could say that technicians are empowered by the dispatcher due to the latter’s focus on maintaining procedural standards, allowing technicians not to be overwhelmed with maintaining that themselves.
Some more main responsibilities of a service dispatcher include:
- Assigning and updating service ticket priority levels based on company standards and client feedback.
- Working collaboratively with clients, support staff and management to avoid scheduling issues.
- Tracking and monitoring staff location and availability.
- Scheduling service tickets.
- Maximizing schedule efficiency and effectiveness of technical support staff.
- Checking on the status of tickets within the framework of the help desk system.
- Escalating client complaints to the Service Desk Manager (SDM).
- Ensuring the assignment of the right resources.
- Monitoring resource schedules to ensure a prompt response for service requests.
- Enforcing the right procedures and making sure the system is running efficiently.
- Reviewing and prioritizing outstanding support requests.
- Utilizing technical support resources.
The Complexity of the Service Dispatcher Role in the MSP
A service dispatcher position isn’t the simplest in the MSP, and not every person can do this job,. A great dispatcher will make sure the MSP’s service desk operates in a responsible and methodical way.
In order to do this job successfully, anyone hired in as a dispatcher needs to be trained to use all necessary applications, PSAs and the ticketing system. They must also understand the types of technical issues an MSP typically receives and how to assign them to the right technician with the right level of experience.
This is why we keep emphasizing that adding a dispatcher has such a big impact for a successful MSP. If an organization only has technicians and no dispatcher in place, it is probably lacking in efficiency and consistent routine, especially if it has more than five techs. The MSP owner will simply struggle to scale the business if it lacks order.
MSPs need to have at least one managerial and one coordinator employee to balance out and regulate the processes for technical roles. And the dispatcher plays the coordinator part perfectly.
In order to accelerate the work of the service dispatcher, an MSP should have a well-defined system in place. Moreover, the management will need to train technicians and the dispatcher to work together.
To make the job of service dispatcher a bit easier, you should also create role sheets and checklists for them–just a few of the seven laws of helpdesk scaling for MSPs.
Duties of the Service Dispatcher on the Help Desk
What is included in the duties of the service dispatcher in the MSP? Here’s a list of their main activities:
- Ensuring there are correct notes, categories and statuses for tickets.
- Escalating to senior technicians or management any tickets that cannot be solved.
- Supervising all tickets on the service desk.
- Controlling the process of receiving, assigning and completing tickets.
- Staying in contact with clients regarding a ticket’s progress and notifying them of impending changes.
- Staying updated on the progress of resolving the tickets and keeping the number of open tickets as low as possible.
- Ensuring ticket resolution checklists are being followed.
- Holding technicians accountable to the company standards.
- Pre-processing service requests as they arrive through email, text, phone or chat.
- Ensuring prompt time entry on service requests.
- Ensuring fast turnaround of client requests.
- Working in a team and communicating effectively.
- Maintaining inventory of clients’ systems.
- Assisting with administrative tasks as needed.
How to Identify the Right Person for a Service Dispatcher Position
MSP owners shouldn’t assume that just any ol’ person could take on a service dispatcher position. An entry level employee for example typically wouldn’t fit in that role.
An MSP needs a person with prior work experience in supervising and coordinating. Essentially, you want to find a detail-oriented person with a methodical way of dealing with every task as instructed.
In some cases, dispatchers climb the ladder within an organization and even become technicians themselves. So you’ll want to hire people with a curiosity about the technical side of the industry, but not necessarily people with technical experience.
It also makes sense to hire people with no experience working in an MSP and train them with your procedures and rules.
So just who would be suitable for the role of service dispatcher? Someone with the following qualities:
- Someone who isn’t easily distractible
- Effective leader
- Team worker
- Good communicator
- Active listener