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Empathy For Dispatchers

Empathy is the psychological software that allows people to care about those who need help. It is the capacity to feel the emotions of others. The presence of another caring person makes people feel more connected. It is empathy that transcends teamwork and cooperation to a level of service excellence.

A dispatcher may possess operational and technical expertise in abundance, but these skills alone comprise only half of what is required. The other half is empathy. World-class service professionals must possess the ability to balance their empathy and expertise.

DispatcherA dispatcher may possess operational and technical expertise in abundance, but these skills alone comprise only half of what is required.

The other half is empathy.

Office workers rely on their ability to zero in on a problem’s root cause. The self-confidence gained in diagnosing and fixing operational problems grows with experience; and after many years, this trait can affect a dispatcher’s communication style and tone of voice. An experienced dispatcher speaks with a greater level of certainty and authority because he knows his stuff. This is evident in his tone of voice – but this should never sound condescending to coworkers.

Expertise should be tempered with a dose of humility and empathy. Humility enables an expert to believe that listening to the ideas of others is a worthwhile practice. If expertise and empathy require balance when serving customers, then the same thing applies to self-confidence and ego. Ego in this context can be defined as “an inflated feeling of pride and self importance.” The most successful service professionals maintain a balance of empathy, expertise, self-confidence, and ego.

Going the extra mile for customers and coworkers, while often an individual effort, is important due to a pervasive attitude within a company—this is the company’s culture. The underlying emotion that drives a culture of teamwork and cooperation , and in putting other’s needs above our own, is empathy.


Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. As an HVAC Instructor for the State of Louisiana, I have the distinct privilage of speaking to students about the perils of a Service Call from the “office” ( usually a secretary) to being dispatched to a customers home. As a service technician, I was amazed that the secretary was in charge by default because the owners were busy running the roads instead of running their business. Instead of making business decisions that impacted the bottom line on the limited service calls that could be physically handled in a working day, these were often defered to first call, first served ticket board. So a $ 45.00 condensing coil check up ( which could have been scheduled) trumped a bad compressor/ possible condenser changeout because the secretary was running the show. I finnaly put my foot down and explained this concept to her.. I went on to share that these service calls were peices of paper that she was only interested in getting them off her cork board, but to us it meant several hours in a sun baked attic. ‘While she was going home in the evening, she had condemned her tired and exausted service people to late , unwanted , and often forced overtime… People quit jobs because they are tired of being mistreated by their employers or staff, not the customers. Technicians only want to be treated with the same level of consideration and courtesy as the owners expect their employees to show their customers. As a whole, it has been my experience that Air Conditioning companies are selfish, money driven enterprises. Whos mistakes are corrected by laying off employees when the first cool front comes through. The mistakes of running a business poorly always transfers to the lowest common denominator, their expendable employees..

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