Elevate Your Response Times: Why Outsourcing Elevator Dispatching Is the Key to Success

by | May 5, 2023 | Blog, Elevators, Resource

As the world continues to evolve, so do our expectations for speed and efficiency. In the world of elevators, dispatching response times can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and efficient experience.

Inefficient dispatching can be a major headache for elevator contractors and their customers. Without the proper systems in place, dispatching calls to the right technician can take longer than it should. When clients don’t receive timely updates or clear explanations of issues, it can compromise their safety and leave them feeling left in the dark. Plus, elevator downtime isn’t just inconvenient and frustrating, it can be downright costly.

That’s why many elevator contractors outsource their dispatching to ensure a seamless journey and a higher level of service to their customers.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Elevator Dispatching

Outsourcing elevator call dispatching is beneficial for all types of elevators, including passenger elevators, freight elevators, and service elevators. 

Partnering with an answering service that specializes in elevator dispatching can be beneficial for the following key reasons:

Improved Response Times

One of the main benefits of outsourcing elevator dispatching is improved response times. When calls are handled by a dedicated answering service, they can be answered quickly and efficiently, ensuring that technicians are dispatched to the field as soon as possible. This is especially important in emergency situations, where every second counts.

24/7 Support

Another crucial benefit of outsourcing elevator dispatching is the ability to provide 24/7 support. With a 24/7 answering service, elevator contractors can ensure that someone is always available to answer calls and dispatch technicians, no matter the time of day or night. This can give customers peace of mind, knowing that help is always just a phone call away.

Specialized Expertise

Answering services that specialize in elevator dispatching have the expertise and experience needed to handle any situation that arises, from routine maintenance calls to urgent elevator entrapments. By partnering with an answering service, elevator contractors can ensure that their customers always receive prompt and professional service.

Scalability

Outsourcing elevator dispatching can provide scalability for elevator contractors. As their client’s business grows, a well-equipped answering service can easily scale their services to meet demand, ensuring that customers always receive the level of service they expect.

How Does Outsourcing Elevator Dispatching Work?

Dispatching is typically outsourced to a third-party service provider, such as an answering service or call centre. The service provided takes responsibility for managing call flow on behalf of the contractor. This process will vary from service provider to service provider, but it normally involves the following steps:

Step 1: Needs Assessment

The first step is assessing and understanding the contractor’s needs and their clients’ needs. The service provider conducts a thorough evaluation of the contractor’s dispatch requirements to determine the scope of the work required. This assessment should consider factors such as historical call volumes, call types, support hours, peak usage times, call flow patterns, and any unique scripting or protocols the contractor has developed.

Step 2: Account Set-up

Once the needs assessment is complete, the service provider will set up an account that reflects the contractor’s dispatch requirements. This includes inputting your instructions, processes, and protocols into the service provider’s system.

Step 3: Testing + Training

To ensure the account is programmed correctly the service provider will ‘test’ the account, often by performing mock calls with the client. At this point in the process, dispatchers will also be trained on the account and practice taking ‘test’ calls. If a contractor requires dispatchers to use systems they provide, this will be a key training component as well.

Step 4: Call Monitoring and Quality Assurance

After the account is set up and training is completed, the service provider assumes responsibility for monitoring and dispatching calls. The service provider’s telephony system assigns elevator calls to available dispatchers with the right skill level for a prompt and efficient response. The team responsible for handling the calls will monitor service levels in real-time and make adjustments as necessary to ensure optimal performance

Step 5: Reporting + Analytics

The contractor should receive regular reporting and analytics from the service provider. These reports typically detail call traffic patterns, performance metrics, and other key data points. Additionally, the contractor should receive access to call logs and recordings taken on their behalf. This information allows the contractor to make informed decisions about their account  and identify areas for improvement.

Outsourcing Elevator Entrapments

+ Emergency Video Monitoring

Being trapped in an elevator can be a terrifying experience. Prompt, efficient, communication with a live, trained, dispatcher is critical during entrapments.

The emergency communication requirements in the Elevator Safety Code were updated in 2019 to ensure communication with any trapped passengers, including those who are hearing impaired. This requires elevator cabs to have a two-way message display for hearing and/or speech-impaired passengers and a means for authorized emergency personnel to view video footage of passengers anywhere in the cab.

How It Works

In the event of an emergency such as entrapment, the passenger can call for help using the phone/call button.

Using the Caller ID associated with the elevator phone the system instantly identifies the building, location, and elevator identity.

If there is no response from the passenger, the dispatcher will use the caller ID to initiate two-way communication and activate a video feed to view the inside of the cab.

If the elevator car is occupied the dispatcher can then send a text-type message to the display in the car and receive a yes or no response.

When outsourcing elevator dispatching, it’s important to choose a service provider that is familiar with the latest safety codes and industry regulations. Although contractors typically provide their own two-way communication systems, it’s also important that the service provider can integrate with, and use, the two-way communication system effectively. 

Choosing The Right Answering Service

The benefits that you can reap from outsourcing and the way it operates are heavily influenced by the partner you choose to work with. You want to ensure that you’re partnering with a team that has experience and expertise in elevator dispatching, as well as a proven track record in the following areas:

The Right Training

Ideally, elevator dispatchers should receive comprehensive elevator-specific training to ensure they are fully prepared to handle any situation that may arise. Dispatchers must remain calm and focused while maintaining urgency to hand emergency situations effectively. In particular, entrapment-specific training is essential for dispatches because it equips them to manage the emotions and safety of entrapped passengers.

The Right Services 

Choose an answering service that offers a wide range of services and features to meet your needs. These may include 24/7 availability, urgent call response capabilities, and custom reporting requirements. If contractors plan on expanding their business, it’s worthwhile examining what sort of multi-branches services are available. The right partner will be able to provide clients with services that grow as their business does.

The Right Security 

With cyber-attacks on the rise, data security and privacy are crucial at every level of business in every industry. Plus, the rollout of video monitoring in elevators has added another layer of data to protect. Choose an answering service that employs robust security measures to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data. At a minimum, this should include PIPEDA compliance training and clear policies outlining how calls and associated data are recorded and stored on behalf of the contractor.

The Right Technology

The right technology can significantly impact the effectiveness and reliability of elevator dispatching services. The right partner should have advanced systems and infrastructure that can streamline call management and routing, and support remote access for increased business continuity. Given the nature of elevator dispatching, the answering service you choose should also have the technology to manage and update on-call lists with ease.

The Right Culture 

When an answering service represents your company, they are essentially an extension of your brand. This means that the way they interact with customers AND the way they treat employees should align with your company’s values and culture. If there is a mismatch in culture between your company and the outsourcing partner, it can lead to a disjointed customer experience and potentially harm your brand reputation.

A strong company culture can result in a more stable and experienced team dispatching your calls. Plus it can lead to improved communication, better service quality, happier customers, and ultimately, a more successful outsourcing partnership.

The Bottom Line 

Outsourcing elevator dispatching has become an essential strategy for contractors seeking to improve dispatcher response times, expand access to expertise and resources, and scale their business while saving on costs. With advanced technology and specialized training, an answering service can support critical communication during entrapments and even initiate emergency video monitoring. While the approaches to outsourcing may vary, the ultimate goal remains the same – to enable elevator contractors to focus on their core business and deliver exceptional service.

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