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The scheduling assistant helps dispatchers to schedule ticket appointments. It assists dispatchers in the process of finding the best possible appointment for the customer and ensures efficient scheduling of engineers at the same time. The main goal of the scheduling assistant is to ease up the process of appointment planning by suggesting optimal appointments with background-optimized routes.

Since making an appointment isn’t always a straightforward process, many scenarios can happen while trying to find an appointment with the customer.

The scheduling assistant is capable to deal with every aspect of a customer call and scheduling an appointment can have many different outcomes. The above listed and described are possible outcomes of an assisted schedule process to help you better understand the manual planning of an appointment. The outcomes of the assistant can vary, so the above table may help you to understand how to handle different situations in the best possible way inside the software. They are sorted from the most efficient (The ticket is efficiently handled by the system) to the least efficient (manual appointments make the optimization less effective).

When a dispatcher is calling the customer for an appointment the goal is to find the right compromise between customer availability and engineers’ flexibility. The scheduling assistant can help with that by giving appropriate suggestions the moment the Dispatcher does the customer call.

By giving the customer a big free window for the appointment while also ensuring the optimal route is planned for the engineer the scheduling assistant ensures the best possible outcome for Dispatchers, Customers, and Engineers (this is done by background processing of the Optimizer).

Field Service Management is one of the most dynamic fields when it comes to planning. There are many hurdles to overcome, such as eg. high-priority tickets and adjustments should be made as consistently as possible. The Optimizer therefore also works constantly in the background to always find the best solution in this dynamic working environment.

The Optimizer is constantly working in the background to find the best routes.
The Optimizer works most efficiently when the fixed from/to (end user-agreed-time) is big and the dispatched from/to (engineer-agreed-time) is small.

  • The fixed from/to time describes the agreed time window with a customer.
  • In the event of an end-user booking an appointment only the fixed from/to time is set in the system.
  • The dispatched from/to time window describes the agreed repair time by the engineer and is identical to the adjustable ticket duration.

Option 1: By double-clicking on a particular ticket in the Ticket Pool.

Option 2: From the Context menu of a ticket in the Ticket Pool in the Dispatch view.

Option 3: From the Timeline by right-clicking (opening the context menu) on Schedule Ticket.

Option 4: From the Ticket Details by clicking on the corresponding workflow button.

The popover of the scheduling assistant opens and you have a variety of options for scheduling the ticket (eg. while you are on the call with a customer).

With the Update LSDT button, you can change the LSDT for this particular ticket anytime in case the circumstances of the ticket change.

Let’s look at the scenarios that can happen to a dispatcher while trying to schedule tickets with the customer!

While on the call with a customer you decide to offer options to the customer that are suggested by the system. If the customer agrees to them you are good to go.

  1. Ask or suggest date preferences and if there are none select the highlighted date.
  2. Ask or suggest time preferences and if there are none select the highlighted time. By clicking the  button right next to the Time you can add a custom availability, if, for example, the Ticket Duration is exceeding.
  3. Select Any Engineer or another highlighted engineer.
  4. (Optional) Add the person you spoke with in the Talked to field.
  5. (Optional) Lock the engineer.
  6. Click Save to move the Ticket to PENDING WAIT ONSITE status.

While on the call with a customer you decide to pick an appointment manually. Either because the customer has only time at a certain period or has other preferences and wishes for the appointment. In this case, you select everything around the appointment by yourself.

  1. Ask or suggest date preferences and pick a date.
  2. Ask or suggest time preferences and pick a fitting time.
    By clicking the  button right next to the time you can add a custom availability, if, for example, the ticket duration is exceeding.
  3. Select Any Engineer or pick the desired engineer.
  4. (Optional) Add the person you spoke with in the Talked to field.
  5. (Optional) Lock the engineer.
  6. Click Save.

If you fail to reach the customer for whatever reason, you are able to mark it in the ticket by clicking the Customer Not Reached button in the assistant. Do not forget to click Save after doing so. If the Not Reached button is set to on, a log entry in the Call log will also be saved to inform.

  1. Flip the switch for End-user not reached to the right.
  2. (Optional) Add a comment describing the situation.
  3. Click Save.

If the customer requests a callback for a reason, you are able to mark it in the ticket by clicking the Callback required button in the Scheduling assistant and clicking Save afterward. Based on business rules (eg. the Three-Strike-Rule or other procedures) or by request of called person by specific instruction of dispatcher to call at a specific time/after a specific duration.

  1. Flip the switch for Callback required to the right.
  2. Add to whom you talked into the Talked to field.
  3. (Option 1) Insert a time duration for when the callback is due.
  4. (Option 2) Insert a custom end date & time for the ticket in order to close it.
  5. (Optional) Add a comment.
  6. Click Save.

If you want to set a proposed appointment for the ticket, select the proposed appointment in the scheduling assistant.

  1. Flip the switch for Proposed Appointment to the right.
  2. Ask or suggest date preferences and pick a date.
  3. Ask or suggest time preferences and pick a fitting time.
    By clicking the  button right next to the time you can add a custom availability, if, for example, the ticket duration is exceeding.
  4. Select Any Engineer or pick the desired engineer.
  5. (Optional) Add the person you spoke with in the Talked to field.
  6. (Optional) Lock the engineer.
  7. Click Save.

If you want to assign only an engineer via the scheduling assistant, you have the possibility to do so.

  1. Flip the switch for assigning an engineer to the right.
  2. Select the engineer that should be assigned to the ticket.
  3. (Optional) Lock the engineer.
  4. Click Save.

That’s where the Lock Engineer functionality comes in handy.

You can lock engineers to tickets generally when processing a ticket inside the Scheduling assistant.

You can lock engineers to tickets when using the Assign engineer-only functionality inside the scheduling assistant.

  1. Select the engineer in the engineer preference window.
  2. Tick the Lock engineer checkbox.
  3. Click Save.
It will be visible that an engineer is locked to a ticket inside the Ticket Details.

Sometimes an appointment or a ticket has to be canceled due to various reasons. You are able to cancel a ticket, but this is not done by the Scheduling assistant. It is done inside the Ticket Details where you press the workflow button CANCEL TICKET or DELETE APPOINTMENT depending on your use case.

A call log entry in the history will be created and saved automatically based on the cancellation reason to inform others.

If the Customer portal is configured to the point that customers can book appointments (done via Preconfigured Automated Actions) ticket requestors can book ticket appointments and it will reflect in the Ticket Details and the scheduling assistant.

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