10 Must-Have Skills For Professional Taxi Dispatchers
The taxi industry prides itself on delivering great customer service to stay competitive. Even with the evolution of technology, leading taxi companies continue to hire professional taxi dispatchers to use state of the art dispatch technology for that extra level of customer support to connect customers to taxi drivers. To stay competitive you need to make sure you have the right dispatcher and reliable technology.
It takes a special person to do a dispatcher’s job and to do it well. The traditional job of a dispatcher has changed since the introduction of competitors such as Uber. Dispatchers responsibilities have grown tremendously and they require to have a higher skill level in both soft (personal) and hard skills (industry and technology knowledge). Strong attributes in areas of communication, technology and customer service are needed.
Professional Taxi Dispatchers are responsible for more that connecting drivers to customers. It’s important that they have access to proven technology to support them in their job. Dispatchers keep records, monitor driver performance, log driver work hours, respond to radio transmissions and phone calls, assign taxi fare to the first cab in line, they are the first point of contact on complaints and accident reports to operation and more. They also need to know the weather in all the locations that the drivers are working in order to flag any issues.
Traits of Professional Taxi Dispatchers
Before your next taxi dispatch hire find out if your new candidate has these traits to up your game against the competition:
Working with people who really like what they do and enjoy the feeling they get from helping others will help improve the level of customer service. Being committed also means learning the technology to help make your job easier and improve levels of communication with your driver and customer. If you are dedicated to your job and love to work with people and help them, it shows. For a dispatcher it takes dedication to their drivers and customers and solid leadership skills to be able to manage the intricacies of their job and interactions with different personality types.
To be able to make a plan that is efficient and reliable takes great thought and skill. It involves coordination, scheduling and being detailed oriented. There are some great tools on the market to support dispatchers with planning and communication with the drivers. Most great planners also arrange for backup plans in case something goes wrong. It takes practice, experience and failure to be a great planner. For your taxi dispatcher to be able to schedule a transaction for your customer to the nearest cab for pick up and drop off as well as being aware of any accidents, construction and weather dependent changes involves quite a bit of detailed planning.
The day in a professional taxi dispatcher’s life can be a rollercoaster. A customer could call wanting a cab and then 10 minutes later get a ride from a friend and cancel the service. A taxi driver can get into an accident and may need to be pulled out of service and as a result another driver may need to be re-routed. To be able to manage these changes calmly and efficiently a taxi dispatcher needs to be flexible and be able to adjust quickly to circumstances.
- Proficient with technology
With the complexities of a dispatcher’s job and the transaction based industry of the taxi business it is more that crucial that taxi services provide easy to use and efficient technology that supports the dispatcher, driver and makes the job of hailing a taxi easy for the customer. With technological advancements and the learning curve involved in efficiently using technology is best to look for dispatch staff who are comfortable with using technology. Having a strong aptitude in learning new technology and a favourable attitude towards technology will help the dispatcher with their job.
Speech clarity, concise and timely communication is something that should be second nature to a taxi dispatcher. Having the right oral expression and comprehension is part of being a great communicator. Dealing with various types of situations, emergency circumstances, having to talk through technology requires some with good communications skills. Great communicators are also more likely to deliver better levels of customer service and be heard by their peers.
- Second language
Taxi usage amongst travellers is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s likely that when people travel to a new country if not renting a car or a free shuttle service then a taxi cab because an obvious choice. With the volume of world travellers it would be helpful to have a dispatcher on board who has a second language. Being fluent in a second language is not required; knowing enough phrases and words to get by could be enough to put the customer at ease when calling on your services.
- Health and safety conscious
Being the point of contact to drivers in order to balance their health and safety is an important part of the job. A driver’s job is sedentary and monotonous and can also be dangerous; picking up strangers in your car is always a risk. For a dispatcher to be aware of some of health and safety concerns associated with the job is helpful in getting your driver through their work day with ease and confidence. Knowing what questions to ask customers and checking locations in advance are key things that dispatchers can do to ensure preliminary checks before sending a driver to a call.
- Self directed
Being a natural leader and having the confidence and comfort to make decisions is a strong foundation for a successful taxi dispatcher. During the day a dispatcher will have to change focus many times and will be required to make many decisions that impact the flow of a driver’s work day and a customer’s schedule. A customer could be heading to catch a flight at one end of town and another customer may be running late for an important meeting; another one has a baby being born in the hospital and needs to get there right away, how do you prioritize and make sure they get where they need to be on time withholding traffic issues and any possible accidents or weather conditions; all while ensuring they receive a fair rate and your taxi drivers don’t get stressed out. Understanding the impact of the decisions that are made and confidently striving through makes for a solid dispatcher. Setting priorities and using the technology most effectively to help you do your job will save a dispatcher a lot of headache in the long run.
Having an alertness to detect problems is a useful skill in this job and being a natural problem solver comes in handy. Professional taxi dispatchers who have solid deductive and inductive reasoning skill sets are able to make their jobs a lot simpler and reduce their own stress levels as well as their drivers. In the long run this will enable a great customer experience for the customer in your taxi cab.
- Industry proficient
Everything is easier when you understand the industry in which you work in. This doesn’t mean you only need to know how to do your job effectively. It means you need to know what your peers in the industry are doing. What works and things that don’t work for them so that you can do it better. A large part of being proficient in your industry has to do with knowing your customers and how you can make their lives better. Technology is playing a big part in making things faster and easier. Using the right tools to make your job efficient and to also make the customer’s job easier in finding you and having a great experience with you is key. The technology and level of service you provide to your customer that is better that your competition is what being proficient in your industry is about.
Contact Taxi Commander to learn about we can help with your dispatch technology.