Job Title Clarification: It’s “Office Manager” and “Dispatcher,” Not “Babysitter”
Depending how old you are, you probably either remember reading “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” series of books when you were younger, or you remember buying them for your daughter or niece.
The series of books was published between 1986 and 2000 and sold 176 million copies (which is why we’re fairly confident that you’re at least somewhat familiar with them), and follows a group of girls between ages 11 and 13 who form a club to provide babysitting services to their families and neighbors.
If you were a reader, chances are you desperately wished the club and its members were real people you could hang out with. They had plenty of adventures while earning cash to watch other people’s kids, and overall made babysitting seem pretty glamorous – every job was different, there was a creative solution to every problem, and every book wrapped up with a happy ending and/or moral lesson learned.
Of course, anyone who has ever babysat in real life knows that it’s not as fun or exciting as the BSC made it seem, and truthfully, the idea of young teenagers being “with it” enough to run a viable business seems like a bit of a stretch. (Not to mention that these days, babysitting mostly involves both babysitter and babysittees staring at their respective screens until the parents come home.)
Fortunately, we’re past that stage in our lives.
Or are we?
Office managers and dispatchers for fleet business sometimes might feel like their job description is really “babysitter.” Whether you’re calling around to drivers trying to get them to pick up an emergency order, chasing down field techs to find out who’s where and what they’re doing because the customer is asking, or meeting the needs of various customers while also not making the drivers hate you for assigning them a job on their lunch break – it really can start to feel like your whole purpose is to keep an eye on everyone and everything while making sure the (figurative) house doesn’t burn down.
Fortunately, you are not alone.
One of the key aspects of field service management software is to remove the feeling that you need to be the babysitter. The system lets you see on a digital dashboard exactly where in the field your drivers are, what they’re working on and who is closest to the customer who is freaking out because her toilet overflowed or she saw a rat (or maybe she even saw a rat in the toilet).
In just a few clicks, you can send the emergency job scheduling alert to the driver, including all the job order details, and when the driver accepts, you can let the customer know the driver will be there in approximately X minutes – the estimate takes into account traffic and drive time, so you can give a more accurate time frame.
Dispatches become more efficient, with drag-and-drop functionality for normal scheduling. For emergencies, you’re not stuck playing phone tag with various drivers – all those phone calls are simply eliminated, because you can see it all on a screen, from the (relative) comfort of your desk chair.
Also, if that customer with the rat in her toilet calls back and says it’s actually an alligator, you can update the job order info right from the software, and the field tech gets it on their app – so no phone call needed there, either.
Other aspects of the software integrate with accounting software, so data only needs to be entered in one place before it automatically populates in the program you use – no double data entry. It also allows payment to be taken from the field – meaning less paperwork for you to deal with.
(And P.S., it’s not only good for you: Your boss might want to know there are a lot of other benefits to fleet management software for the business itself.)
You’re not allowed to watch cable TV and eat whatever’s in the fridge at work like you would as a babysitter – so why should you feel like one at work?
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And should you ever get stuck babysitting, download our eBook on the top 7 benefits of field service management and educate those kiddos early!