Photo 149075461 © Oleksandra Polishchuk |
When interviewing for a dispatcher, Terri Hardt said to look for someone with a good work ethic and values similar to yours. You can teach behaviors; you can't teach ethics.

BLAST from Our HVAC Past: Terri Hardt on the Value of Dispatchers

June 6, 2024
Make your dispatcher a vital part of the service team.

From April 1997, "The Dispatcher: Between a Rock and Two Hard Places," by Terri Hardt, when she was facilitator and consultant for the HVAC division of Warm Thoughts Communications. Hardt was also the past-president of Automatic Controls Service, the 1990 Contracting Business Commercial Contractor of the Year. 


"A dispatcher has the hardest position in the company. They're accountable to the company's customers. They must coordinate the service technicians. And they must please the owner or manage. It's often impossible to please all three at the same time..."

"Before you hire someone for the position, you need to design what responsibilities a person in this position will handle. The most effetive set up for residential companies seems to be a combination of the customer service representative and dispatcher positions. A title like, "Service Coordinator"  gives the position the dignity and authority it deserves."

"The job description should start with no more than five realistic goals. Each one should be specific, measurable, attanable and time oriented. If your Service Coordinator of dispatcher doesn't have total authority over all areas necessary to meet a goal, it isn't fair to give them accountability and responsibility. For example, if your dispatcher can't hire, fire and train technicians, it's unfair to give him or her a goal of reducing callbacks by 10 percent."

"Create and prioritize job duties that work to achieve the five goals. Tell the dispatcher what you expect, have them set the goals, train them, and let them do their job. If you or your service manager become control freaks and check on each and every decision your dispatcher makes, you'll soon be doing the job yourself."

"Make your dispatcher a vital part of your service team. Service coordinators should play a part in technician job interviews, service meetings, and technician job reviews. There's no better way to let your technicians know you respect the dispatcher."