When your callers are hot, they are hot! We’re coming into the season in which your answering service agents will be handling more and more (and more) air conditioning-related calls.
As a property manager, it behooves you to make certain your residents understand what is and what is not considered an AC emergency in your community.
During the summer months, Focus fields more irate calls regarding broken or non-functioning AC units than practically any other subject. And residents – hot, sweaty, sweltering residents – are far more likely to argue with us about where the cool air has gone than any other type of call we answer.
Keep in mind: residents who are hot under the collar (and everywhere else) may argue viciously, and your answering service agent’s hands are tied. When apartment residents are unaware of what your call center is permitted to dispatch maintenance for, arguments ensue, lines are tied up, and your bill starts to rise just like the mercury in a thermometer.
Be sure to outline specific rules governing dispatch procedures.
- Medical cards must be on file in the office for residents with extenuating circumstances that make them susceptible to heat.
- Specific temperatures, i.e., at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, constitute an emergency.
When guidelines are clearly established, those situations are handled as cut and dry. For all other complaints, make sure to let your residents know your answering service assistant simply cannot call. Period.
At Focus, in extremely rare circumstances, our agents may need to make a shared decision with their team leaders.
For example, in an apartment with huge picture windows in a living room facing west, the temperature outdoors might be 85 degrees, but the temperature inside could potentially be 95, posing danger on top of discomfort. If a caller mentions this, the best, most responsible answering service agents must consider that.
Also, keep in mind, that some air conditioning problems, like a leaking condensate pipe, can cause significant property damage, and your answering service agents are obliged to call on such situations, as well.
Here’s the good news. For every AC call you handle with grace and professionalism – whether via maintenance or through your professional answering service – your residents become cooler, calmer, and much happier. And that gives your community a better reputation overall.