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Hey, welcome back. Welcome back to another edition of the Pest Geek Podcast. I am your host, Frank Hernandez, and we’re discussing all things pest and we’re going to be discussing on this issue of the Pest Geek podcast customer Wow. Being memorable. And we’re going to be talking mostly to the technician here, not the marketing part, not the sales part, but the technician. As a technician, you are the face of the brand. You’re what people see As far as what the company is in, pest control is all by the technician. Yet when I look at the industry and I look at not only this industry, I’m talking about also every other service industry.
In Pest Control Customer Satisfaction Is Job #1
I’ve been in several service industries in I.T., lawn care and installation of windows and doors and siding and Decks, pool service, you name it. I’ve been in just about every service industry and I’ve dealt with many, many, many, many different types of technicians throughout my life. And one of the things that I know is how technicians think. They think differently than salespeople. They. They tend to think differently than customer service people. They think differently than anybody else because they’re usually technically minded. Technicians have a. They’re notoriously marketed as or known to be crabby. You know, we did the job, we did the service. You know, we’re out of here. They’re not. They don’t tend to be particularly extroverted. They tend to be more introverted or more in the middle part. So they’re not really very extroverted or very introverted. Most people that are technicians and regardless whether you’re an H však, whether you’re in pest control, whether you’re in plumbing, you know, they don’t tend to have, you know, like most doctors, very good bedside manners and social skills and communication skills.
And I want to talk about it because I’ve been having conversations with people, regardless of where the industry is going. Is the industry dying? Are the people who are older in this industry? Basically, what’s left to 50 and 60 year olds who have that? Old school mentality on customer service. You know what is happening, what’s going to happen when we are just focused on now generation? I and most millennials who tend to have a big problem with communication and with with with being able to communicate effectively with an older generation.
Pest Control Training In Customer Service
And it comes that we’re going to have to do a lot more training. We’re gonna have to if we’ve had this problem in the past and now I’ve been in the service industry for way over thirty five years. I’ve seen a lot of different changes and we’re going to have to do a lot more training. Reality is, we’ve got to do a lot more training in customer experience management than we have to do an actual pest management. You know, somebody mentioned in a group that, you know, the reality is that the most technical skills a technician gets, it’s in his first year and then he really doesn’t really grow much as an average technician for the next 30 years. And that is pretty much true for about every profession. Most of what people need, which is that 80/20 rule to learn about what they’re going to be doing, they’re gonna get it within the first few years. And then by year 6, they really are not learning really anything dramatically new.
I mean, we’re always learning something new. People are always growing. You know, we’re learning this little thing here. They’re a new product comes out. We have to train on a new product. We have to read a new label. But for the most part. Insect biology hasn’t changed. Roache Biology hasn’t changed. Insect biology hasn’t changed. Termite biology hasn’t changed. So a lot of what happens doesn’t really change and are in issue with changes is how we go about treating it with a new product, new methods to the point where, you know, the reality is most of the time. The technician doesn’t have to step in that home for general pest control ever. It’s all exterior service. A lot of companies are still doing interior exterior. They’re struggling. I just had a conversation this morning with a business owner that is struggling because he can’t figure out how to schedule everything in a city like Miami who basically it takes 45 minutes to get anywhere. And customers, you know, you’re gonna be in that part of town on Tuesdays. The customer wants in on a Thursday because you’ve sold an interior service forever. And me, I don’t have that stress because I’ve never sold an interior service. Only on an initial only on callbacks when a customer has a problem. I don’t do termite. I don’t determine inspections. I don’t do WDO inspections. I specialize in GDP and learn ornamental and mosquito control. We’re an outdoor pest control company primarily. And I set it up that way by design. So I don’t have the stresses that other people have. And I don’t even have an issue when I’m selling the service.
To deal with that upfront in the sales process and deal with all the pitfalls upfront and decide and let the customer decide if they’re a fit for us and if we’re a fit for them. But I have the luxury of choosing that because I’m in a niche market and I’m in a large market. I mean, I have near perfect competition. I mean, you talk about where people talking about low ballers. We’re we’re full of low balls. We’ve got over 200 companies here in Miami-Dade. Most of them are low balling. And when I look at their prices online. We’re probably still the single most expensive company in Miami Dade. And my competition are all up there with me. The guys that I hang out with, you know, they’re there. They’re right up there in their under-pricing. And we all have niche markets and we’re all doing fine. We’re struggling in different areas because everybody’s going to struggle in a different area. But we’re dealing with that stuff. And so the memorable customer experience is what he asked for a technician. He has to be able to understand. And when I talk to my new tax, you know, for the first couple of months, they realize they came in in this mentality, what pest control was. And now they have a totally different mentality. They realize that 80 percent of the job. Where people complain is stuff they didn’t do that has nothing to do with pest control.
Social Skills Training In Pest Control
And developing those social skills and working on those social skills has been my biggest task. Not teaching them pest control because they’re wired mentally already to do some of this. That’s why, you know, they were attracted to this job offering. It is creating that memorable experience that they really have to work on. And 90 percent of the time has nothing to do with the past. As professional people, I try to teach my people here, you’re here to protect people, pets, property plants and planet from pests with responsible pesticide use. We’re an IP company. We focus on APM. We focus on educating the customer on how we reduce pesticide on their property so that we we can to wean him off. I mean, we can add a period after two years. We’re pretty much weaning most customers off of fungicides because we’ve inoculated the soil with with beneficial bacterias. And we’re introducing that into the environment to the point where our fungus side applications are very, very small compared to the rest of the industry are our weed problems are managed because we control it. We help them control the cut and control the water. And we we basically focus on the cultural aspects so that we can reduce our pesticide use by over 66 percent compared to the rest of the industry. This is how we’re most were equally from eco friendly inside the home. We don’t have to spray with anything ever. We never have.
So these are the things that we’re teaching people when they come into our business and they come into they they think they’re going to be spraying stuff because they see a truck with a hose and reel outside. They’ve always seen the guy with the Bee Gees come in. They think that’s the business. And what I’m talking to people and owners and thinking why we can’t attract. Good people? No, what is people have the wrong concept? Of what pest control is in one of my jobs on this pesky podcast. Over the next couple of years that I’m planning out is to change the mentality of a lot of people, not everybody, but a lot of people about what pest control is, what real pest control is. What IP em is. How they achieve IP them. And that’s reaching out also to the end-user. See, we if we don’t talk to the end-user in this new media age and we just keep it all in ourselves. There was just a great conference done here by the University of Florida where Bobby Corrigan came down and I couldn’t go. I was stuck with so much stuff that I need to do that I’m working on that. I didn’t have the time to go. And one of the guys made the comment. He says, I looked in the room and everybody in that room was in their 50s and 60s. There were no young people. There are people.
Are we going to have a problem getting young people? Well, most of the time those are business owners. They’re individual guys. They’re the owners of the company. And they’re coming in to get the conference and then they’re going to teach it to their people. That’s the hope. Hopefully, they’re not one-man shows and then saying, you know, I just came here because I wanted to meet Bobby Corrigan. But, you know, the issue was and what we’re going after is into my point of.
We got to bring in fresh people, we’re bringing in fresh people with who have a social media mindset, and this is a relational business where you have to be able to relate with people on on their terms because you’re on their property. And and most of the people that are buying the products are usually not in your age group. They’re usually right now 20, 30 years older than you. Different different culture, different mentality, different demographics, different things that are not the same as the young people, my my two techs right now. One is thirty five, the other twenty 24.
Ok. So can you get younger people in? Yes. You just have to know how to do it. And and it has to do with your message. And it has to do with your attitude and it has to do with how you’re going to put this memorable experience is going to have to be constantly taught.
Through skills training, on on the social skills aspect, what we’ve got to realize is that pest control is a people business. It’s not a product business. It’s not a pesticide business. It’s not a pest business. It’s a people business.
And we’re dealing with people, and the problem is when you have one third of the population that’s afraid of pass, you’re dealing with people now who have an emotional problem when they’re dealing with their past. And you’re they’re bringing in somebody into their home and they have to be able to create a trust factor. When as a sales person, I say one thing and my people go on the property and they say something else. The one that’s gonna be in doubt is them automatically, not me, because I’m the owner and I’m the salesperson.
I’m the face of the company right now and my customer is going to take my word over theirs. My question is, can we all speak the same language when we’re dealing with people and communicating so that we’re talking the same language and we’re looking at the same things and there is no differences of opinion so that their builds trust that the technician that’s being sent is the expert on site. I tell my customers might and I need you to come over and you personally do it. This is I don’t do tech work anymore.
That’s not my job. I have people that I have trained yet, but I want us. You’re not gonna get me. I’m not coming over. And I don’t do tech work. It’s not going to happen.
I train the people, I make the experts. I devote time to them. I invest a lot in my people. They’re able to handle it. They’re just not gonna handle it the way I am talking to you about it. And the way I express it to you. But they’re going to solve that problem for you. And when they find out all the problems that happened during the year that they got to learn to undo in their personality and their person and change things about themselves, and I’m struggling with them constantly on this. Listen, it’s it’s not what you say is what you do. It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it. It’s about the things that you didn’t do that had nothing to do with pest control that the customer’s always going to complain about. Why? Because I died twelve, thirteen years ahead of you. You’re already seen all these come in and they’re always the same comments. Six, seven things. So if you want to be the pest control technician that everybody wants in their home and that they’re going to recommend to their friends and that you’re going to grow in this new career, you have to really get good at working with people.
Not knowing everything about how we’re being g.’s put together, everything about the chemistry, everything about biology. That stuff is a given. That’s the stuff you have to know as a professional. It is these social skills that you develop that’s going to propel you to making you the best in the industry, because there are people in this industry that couldn’t kill a roach if they stepped on it. Yet people love them. And customers love them. And they’re probably the worst technician ever. But people love them. And it makes up for that because they try really hard. So that you realize that your major work is working with people, not pests, not products. You know, not pesticides. It’s people. You gotta get good at developing your social skills.
And we’re going to be talking about these social skills that are being lost that old-timers just called garden variety courtesy.
Social skills like garden variety courtesy.
Simple things. Like being courteous.
Yes, sir. No, sir. No, ma’am. People have this thing where they will want to call anybody, sir or ma’am, because it’s so archaic and like, you know, what is this calling people, sir? People, ma’am. If you learn to do that. And you learn to be courteous where you say thank you. And please. And may I? You will find that your acceptance rate just went up by 800 percent. That your trustworthiness factor just rose, that people will.
We’re going to respect you because you want respect. A lot of people want respect, but they’re not given it out in massive doses.
Acknowlege people. I tell people when you walk into that door, when you’re gonna go service that house. I want the first thing I want you to do is I want you to go and I want you to ring the doorbell. I want you to knock on the door.
Why? Because you, you can’t.
The biggest complaint I’ve gotten. Is the you know, the technician showed up. And I want to make sure your guy is gonna call me and he’s gonna tell me he’s here or whatever, because the poor guy comes and he just walks in and does the job. The landscaper comes in and he does the job.
And I don’t know if my children are back there who that who’s being sent, you know, I could be in my bathing suit or I can be naked in my pool. That’s my perogative. I just wanted you to know, and then when you start walking around the property and you don’t even knock on the door, which people don’t even do anymore. Most people have a ring system that goes to their phone and they can see who’s at the door that you showed up. Ring the doorbell, acknowledge people. Hey, I’m here to do your pest control service. You’re anixter exterior, an exterior only company. You know, 90 percent of the time we don’t see anybody home when we’re there. Nobody’s ever there.
So you acknowledge people. Hey, I’m here, did your service. I’m frank with nature pest. I’m here to do your service. You know, be polite. Learning to be polite. A lot of people have a huge problem in being polite. They’re rude and they want to be successful in life, being rude and not being courteous. Nobody opens the door for you anymore.
You know, I go to places here. Everywhere I go, I see somebody coming behind me. I just simply an older person. And, you know, and I just a lady. I just open the door and I say, hey, you know. And I just open most just walk right through and never even say thank you. Ninety nine percent will never say. It’s almost like I deserve you opening the door for me. Does it stop me from opening during getting upset? No. Just things like that. Letting people in, in traffic, being courteous, don’t not cutting people off how you drive. You got to realize you’re driving a billboard. With your company name on it and the brand.
There’s a verse in scripture that I love. Which is say a good name is better than golden server. Then, Richard, another translation’s. That’s branding one or 1. You are responsible for the good name of your company. If you’re cutting people off in traffic and you’re on curtius, there is a phone number on that van. How many times have I seen a technician stick his hand out the window and flipping the bird for whatever reason, because he I didn’t let him in or I didn’t realize he was there. You know, a lot of people here, Miami, don’t use your blinkers. They just want to get into you your lane. Hey, you got to acknowledge that everybody’s watching you. You have a uniform on. You’re carrying a brand. You have an enormous amount of responsibility on you to protect that brand. Because that’s your livelihood. And if you don’t care about the brand, then it says you don’t care about the company and you don’t care about your job.
You see, you got it. I got to reduce it to that because that’s the reality.
Being courteous, acknowledging people, being polite. Here’s another one that it’s a really tough one for a lot of this generation is making eye contact. You’re talking to them, they’re looking around, looking down. They can’t make eye contact, they’re not used to it. You’ve got to literally teach people how to make eye contact. The people in the eye. Tell them what you’re gonna tell them head on.
Put A Smile On.
You’re not smiling when you’re talking to people. You’re going through the motions of telling them what the diagnosis is. And that’s a. If you learn to smile, it’s like medicine going down, the things that you have to say go down smoother because you’re smiling.
So you look at people in the eye and you say, listen, this is a big problem here, you know, and you’re smiling what you’re telling me, listen, I need you to do a better job at cleaning this kitchen. We need to get this cleaned like this and like that, because, you know, if not, it’s gonna cost you three times more to solve your roach problem. See, I got to go to the pain points.
You know, I can solve this problem for you if this was clean in two shots, but because of the condition it’s in, listen, this is gonna take me three to four visits here. It’s gonna cost you a lot of money. If you could please do this for me, remember, please. Thank you. May I? Shake people’s hand when you greet them. I know that you walk in with your hands in your pocket. And or you have your hands by your side and people are reaching out their hands. I got people that won’t shake my hand when I come to the door. That’s fine. I still put my hand out, shake their hand. Ninety nine percent will, one percent won’t, and that’s OK, I get it. You know, that’s the way you are. How respected.
Most people have their hand already out extended to me and I got gloves on in their clean gloves and I’ll shake my hand because I say go clean gloves. I just pressed brand gloves on. Because I walk in the door with gloves on already. You know, the first thing I do is pop them out of my truck whenever if I’m doing the inspection doesn’t matter. It’s just up a force, a habit to put gloves on. You got to go upstairs. You’ve got to go in the rooms. May I go in the rooms? Can I please go in? I need to go and check in your bathrooms. Can I please look here? Can you please direct me why you have no idea how many times I walked into a bedroom when I shouldn’t have. And the customer told me, don’t worry. There’s nobody at home. You can just go right in. And I’ve got it. I used to do for a hotel.
And and they said here the rooms that are empty just go right in and service the rooms. And they give me a pass key and I would go in. And I walk in and they had rented that room out and didn’t tell me. And boy, were they shocked. And boy, was I shocked. Walked into a room. Nobody’s home. People are sleeping in there. I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me. So always ask. May I please? Thank you for everything. You know, can I go upstairs? Don’t just walk into people’s home and walk around without asking.
They know you’re no help, but they know I’m there to do the service. I get it all the time. But what am I? Therefore, I know you told them I had to service the bathroom, that you have to service the rooms.
Still. It’s a common courtesy. It’s about being courteous, acknowledging and being polite. And this is the stuff.
You know that all the time that people have never experienced. They never comment on, oh, my gosh, you know, the tech did a great job on this. It’s always what they didn’t do. That had nothing to do with the service.
That always bite you in the butt. I guess it always knock on the door before you’re gonna desert. All the time. Hey, your technician used my hose. I don’t care that he used my hose, but he didn’t put it back. Those are big pet peeves for people who bring their stuff in, not putting it back. Hey, can I please use your hose? I got to get about a gallon, you know, to solve this problem, and I’m going to be using your hose. And then put it back. Make sure it’s off. Make sure the water doesn’t stay running and waste people’s water. In some parts of the country, hey, man, water is very expensive and people get really offended. Can I use your hose? May I please use your water if you have to use it?
You know, a lot of times the tank is at the end of the day and your tank is dry. You’ve done and you’ve got one service and you went to do them the favor because they called and you’re out of water and you got to use their water in order to service this because you’re done. You’re doing a big termite job. You only carry 100 gallons.
Close The Gates Behind You
And you need more. It’s got to be done. Gates. And pets.
Make sure you know that you always like that gate and close that gate behind you. We do a lot of properties that people are just upset if you left that gate open. I always tell people, hey, man, lock the gate. Hey, listen, when I’m on the truck. When you walked out, you didn’t shut the gate. I got the call from the client. You left the gate open. You know, make sure the gates are closed. Make sure that you close doors behind you if you’re stepping outside. Don’t leave people’s doors open. Bugs getting flies, getting their air conditioning. Closed doors behind you when you leave. You got to come back in, Doc, again. But I’m going to come knocking in time. Hey, I’m going to step out to the truck. I’m going to close the door. I’m going to just come back in. Is that OK? Communicate constantly with the customer. This is the biggest problem you have is miscommunication. The customers tell you. Yeah. Because I’ve got customers that have auto locks on their door. So now you’re going to have to knock again, cause the door locks right behind you when you leave.
Every time. They got little kitty gates were the kids, you don’t want the kids falling down the stairs because you left the gate open on the stairs. These are all the things that you’re not thinking about as a new technician. That you need to be thinking about. So protect the person’s property. From damage. Clean protect. And put it away. If you got. Don’t ever put anything on people’s counters. You carry side pouches. You can put it on the floor. You put. How many times have I. You know, when I was new, I would put the can and people like, can you not put your cat on top of my counter? I mean, I don’t know where that can’s been. You’re right, they get offended by that. See, what’s normal to you and what’s acceptable to you is not acceptable to everyone. Your idea of clean and your idea of protection is not theirs. So you got to have protocols and places. Listen, I got to put this equipment up on the counter.
You know, do you have some paper, a box or cardboard or something? I just don’t want to dirty your counter or carry something in your truck that a mat or something that you put down. And you’re going to put something on people’s kind. You don’t want to scratch, you know, an expensive counter.
Protect their surfaces. You know, we require that everyone wear booties. No exceptions in every home. Shoe covers no exception. Every home. You’re not allowed to take your shoes off because if you have to apply a product that has to be applied to record shoes, you violate the label. You take your shoes off and somebody is home and you can get into an accident, then you have a workman’s comp claim. So we explained the customers, we were buddies to protect your floors nonissue. It’s funny how I got to review the other day from one of our techs, a customer, and this is wow, they came into the home uniformed and they put on booties. This would they were blown away by that. People tell me all the time. All thank you for being considerate and wearing shoe covers. Thank you.
You know, we deal with very expensive home with white. I mean, I’ve got customers have white carpeting in their bedrooms. White. White carpeting, marble floors. You know, they care about how their home looks. If you have to remove anything. May I please move this? May I please remove this? I need to move. You know, we’re gonna have to move your stove. We’re gonna have to move the microwave. We’re gonna have to take this out of the way. Is that OK?
Just that consider that level of consideration is going to make you very memorable. Why? Because ninety nine percent of your competition isn’t doing that, whether it’s the where there is the cable guy in their home, whether it’s the landscaper, whether it’s the pool guy, whether it’s whoever is coming to do the work in your home.
I guarantee you they’re not doing it and you’re going to be memorable. You’re the guy that did it. In communication, simple communication skills. The biggest problem that people have a tax have is they don’t listen very well. They’re not very good listeners. You need to learn to listen. Not to respond, not to have a. This is where emotional intelligence. Takes place. You know, lead to to listen. I mean, we get accused of this all the time. We don’t listen to our spouses. You know, we don’t listen. We’re not very good at listening as men, period. If we’re listening, we’re listening to give a response. Listen to the client. When I walk in, I ask. OK. So what have you been experiencing it? Where have you been experiencing it? How long have you been experiencing it? And I let them tell me the whole story, why they want to get that out, they want to know that they were heard that you understood. And then I repeated back to them. So what you’re saying is that you’ve the roach problem start about five months ago and you see mainly in the kitchen, you’re not seeing it anywhere in the house. Is that correct? OK. All right. We’re gonna start there. And then what we’re gonna do is I’m going to just look at other areas where we know they tend to go and we’re gonna try to make sure that you don’t have a problem there either. You see now they now they feel understood, and if you listen to you got to engage the client in that conversation. You can’t just say, well, you called us for roaches. You know, we already know what we’re doing. You need to engage in that conversation is listen, I’m here to do your service. Here’s what you called about. Here’s what’s happening. Why? Because here’s the biggest complaint people have. I already told. The customer service person on the phone. What I needed. Why are you asking me? If there’s good communication and we’ve got a good CRM platform. The notes on what you discuss with that client should be in there.
And the technician should be able to walk, as I understand you called about roaches in the kitchen. Wow, that person is shocked that somebody actually heard them. I’m telling you, this stuff is so easy. It is stupid, simple, and yet it is not practice and it’s not done.
You need to be able to relate. To the client. You need to tone down the amount of testiness that you talk and relate to the client on their level and explain listen, I understand you got roaches here, you know, and this problem is because of this, this and this and this and relate on a human level. It is very difficult for a lot of I Jenners and a lot of millennials to do this stuff. I’m telling you, the most time you’re gonna have to it’s in it is on training is on these issues.
Billing Problems Ruin The Customer Experience
Man, you build me for the wrong amount. You build me again or you build me, man, keeping an eye on the billing. In making sure things. I mean, we just went this year through an entire process of switching. You know, from one operating system over to pass roads. That was a huge challenge for us. I was on top of that making sure that all the data was accurate even after we put it. And I still find errors. And I know what it takes to do data migration because I did it for so long. I know where the pitfalls are. And the sooner you get into one piece of software. That is, you’re going to stick with. Because the last thing you want is when you’re growing to have to do a data migration. I mean, I held off as long as I could because I wanted to make sure what I was going to buy because everything that was out there at that time. I mean, we’re talking since I did my last podcast on software. Things have changed drastically and we finally able to get a lot of the things we wanted, but these companies that originally were going to do what they say, they still haven’t even gotten there. And we were glad that we did not go with them.
So in communication. Is listen, engage and relate. Have empathy for people. Help them understand that you understand their pain. You understand that they’re worried about their child. You understand that they’re worried about their pet.
And as the technician, you can stop.
90 plus percent of the calls that come in to the call center. And create problems for your company by handling the stop in the field.
First shot. The third thing that.
People in the industry constantly complain about no matter what tech field you’re in. This is not exclusive to pest control, guys. A lot of people think that what they’re dealing with is only in their industry. It’s not. This is a widespread problem in the tech field in any tech service industry.
Technicians Are Notoriously Terrible at being responsive.
Is responsiveness technicians. Are notoriously Terrible at being responsive. Why? Because you’re busy. You’re doing the tech work. The customer’s always going to call the wrong time. Somebody is gonna text you at the wrong time. The email is gonna come in at the wrong time when you have that flashlight in your hand and you’re underneath a cabinet. Here’s what happens.
You get the text. You don’t respond to it. You finished the job. You got in your truck and you moved on to the next stop and three hours later, that person is still hasn’t heard from you. Because you forgot. Having autoresponder and have something that going to trigger on your phone. Hey, I’m currently with a client. As soon as I’m off dealing with this, I’ll give you a call right back. Nobody needs to wait 24 hours to get a response today for anything. Nobody has patience. So responding effectively and quickly. If if if you are going to say I’m going to come back next week and follow up on this or I’m going to call you next week and follow up on this, you better do it. If you actually do it. People are horrified and shocked that you actually did it.
Customer service is so bad in America right now.
Across the board and getting worse that those guys that do this stuff will outshine everybody else in their company, even if they’re not the best technician.
And then lastly. Show up, show up when you say you’re going to show up. Call when you say you’re gonna call.
Do what you say you’re gonna do. Just do it. Nike has it right. Just do it.
Don’t. Not not do it.
Do the things that you have to do and just do it. Eat those frogs. Whatever it is. Why?
Because customer satisfaction is your number one job. And what you think customer satisfaction is as a new technician?
It’s I killed the roaches. They have no answer. They have no roaches. What are they complaining about?
Everything else you didn’t do?
That they expected you to do customers today have high levels of expectations. And customer satisfaction is about customer experience. Now, was the experience memorable from beginning to end? From the time the salesman that they made the call to the company and the CEOs are took their information down and the sales rep went out and did the sale and the service technician did the job.
And customer service then followed up. Was this flawless? Was this an orchestrated event? This is what people are expecting.
This is the expectation nowadays. And if we end in and can I tell you, bro, when things get hairy around here. We don’t always live up to that.
But I get on that phone, I apologize and say, I’m sorry, look, this happened. And, you know, we’re going to solve this. And here is how I’m solving it. Because it does everything doesn’t go right all the time. That’s just the biggest baloney I’ve ever heard.
Well, we don’t have any customer services. Yeah, you do. We got plenty of. As a growing company, when you’re in growing pains, you’re going to have problems, but if you keep your eye on these simple things, keep drilling this end to your people, understand that it is not about how good of a technician you are, the technical abilities. Because you might not learn anything new for six months to a year. It’s it’s how you’re dealing with these customer service issues in communication. There’s no reason why there can’t be an automated process to confirm appointments today. People want their appointment confirmed. So most software like ours. You know, the day before, two days before they get a notification, text and e-mail.
People appreciate the consideration
People appreciate the consideration that you’re calling them when you’re on your way. Not not just showing up.
I told the tech call if you got an appointment and we confirmed the appointment yesterday and your appointment is for three o’clock this afternoon. You’re responsible before you head on the route in the morning. To pick up that phone and call that customer and confirm your appointment. Physically, if they don’t respond, you need to send the text. And if they don’t respond, you need to shoot them an email. This idea that I hear this all the time in groups and it drives me insane. We had an appointment. We notify them the day before we show up to the appointment and they’re not there. How long should I wait for them? That is your darn fault for not communicating with that customer early on during the day and letting them know, hey, I’m just confirming why. Cause Sally went this morning to drop her kid off at school. And all of a sudden they called. Two hours later that he’s throwing up and she had to rush him to the doctor. She forgot that she had soccer practice in the afternoon and she booked it on the wrong date.
People are extremely busy. People are doing more than ever. We all are.
You call that customer. I tell him you I want you calling that before you get into your vehicle and drive off. I want you to confirm that appointment when you’re on your way. How many times in my tech showed up and I said, bro, you need to call when you’re on your way to confirm that they are actually home.
You’re not going to drive 30 to 45 minutes. But we had an appointment. You freakin millennial, as I get other cases like, dude, that doesn’t mean anything in this market, in this people. And we we we are, you know, Hispanics, are we? Sixty five percent Hispanic market. We’re notorious for not showing up on time and not free and not remembering anything.
Because you remember because you’re on it, because this is the way you were raised. Doesn’t mean everybody else is. Let them know you’re on your way. Give them an E.T.A., say, listen, I’m on my way. My 88 is forty five minutes. My E.T.A. is 30 minutes. Whatever it is, they appreciate it. They’re expecting it.
As a matter of fact, today people are expecting to be able to track the technician on their phone and say, yeah, I know where my technician is and he’s in route and I’m looking at him and they expect that.
And how many companies don’t want that? But that’s the reality of where you’re going to have to move to. I would love for our software company to be able to provide that for our clients. That the client can go on the app.
When the appointment click it and say, I know where my technician is, he’s oh, he’s around the corner. He actually is around the corner. He isn’t lying to me. Oh, I’m ten minutes out and he’s forty five minutes out because he’s running late. Transparency goes a long way. Notify when you’re there. A lot of the time people have special needs. Hey, listen, I’m at your house to do your service. I know you’re not home or your home, but is there anything that you’re needing? A simple text. Some people are caught. They’re busy, they’re surgeons or doctors there. They don’t have time. But they will appreciate it. If they don’t respond, that’s not on you. You did your part, you did your due diligence. This is stuff that is so simple. Yet so overlooked constantly because we’re busy. I know what it’s like to be I was in I was in a truck for, you know, nine years. I know exactly what this is like. Customer satisfaction is your number one job. Why? Because you have to drill into your people. That lifetime value matters more. Then doing the service one time or having to go out seeks a lot of the time. Technicians don’t do sales work. They don’t know how much it costs to acquire a new customer. It is much cheaper for you to send that guy out. Even if you know the client is wrong. And serve as the problem and appease the customer. Then to try to go out and spend 10 percent on marketing and 25 percent of sales commission for a year to bring in a new customer. Customer retention is the technicians number one job and customer satisfaction and lifetime value to understand that these are things that technicians don’t understand about the business. That if the longer we keep that customer, the less harder we have to work. And the longer that customers with us, the more they be build relationships, the better it is.
These are the things that in communication.
They need to understand it’s very simple to call to text or email today, it costs virtually nothing to do that. Cost nothing to be courteous.
It costs nothing to be considerate. It costs nothing to be polite.
Those are things that don’t cost you anything. And yet the return on investment of zero is a hundred percent.
But it’s easier said than done. I get it. Believe me, I get it.
This is why so few people do it. Those that are able to do it will shine, outshine everybody in their company. You know, I always hear technician’s. Who will complain because they are the best technician man? I don’t have any complaints about the service. You know, I don’t have anything going on. You know, I’m the best technician and yet I keep getting passed over. For promotions, a lot of the time it has to do.
With your ability to lead, to manage, to communicate to.
Who can lead people better, not who can do the work better? Do stop confusing. Being the best technician as being a good manager, good leader, a good salesperson. A lot of times you don’t have the aptitude for it. But you can’t improve on all this and be way better.
Next year. Then you were this year.
Lawn signs, invoices, door signs. I mean, just putting a little note on the invoice. Hey, I was here. Thanks, Frank. You know, I saw this, you know, notes, communication. I tell people you saw something on that property. And yet you didn’t know it. You didn’t take a picture of it. How does the customer know? It’s kind of like I have I have a cousin of mine who is a an assistant police chief. And when he was an officer and he was a sergeant and then he moved up. You know, he says, you know, I said, you know, how is it that you guys got to write so many tickets? And he says, look, here’s the reality if you’re on the road. And you’re telling me you haven’t seen a single infraction.
All day. You’re lying.
You see problems all the time. Take pictures of it. Email it to the customer. Attach it to the invoice. Make a note, listen. There’s a huge hole in your attic that you need to deal with. Our mice are gonna get through there.
If you’re doing your service, you should be able to find problems and you should be able to. Half of these problems turn into upsells.
Upselling is the single most revenue-producing
Upselling is the single most revenue producing activity that any company can do to generate more revenue without having to get a new customer, because you’re the expert on site. You’re the technician as they’re going to trust you more and you can easily sell something to them.
Then having another salesman come in and do it.
In your communication, you need to learn to over communicate. You’re not communicating enough because you know why you don’t. You’re coming in every month, every two months, every three months for the most of the industry. You as a technician, your customer doesn’t have top of mind awareness of you or your company compared to the landscape that comes every two weeks compared to the pool guy that comes there monthly or weekly. You don’t have top of mind awareness, so you have to be memorable in order for people to say, wow. You have to really go out of your way and communicate a simple note. A simple email, hey, I. By the way, I found this. You know what, I found this and trail that is really concerning. I put a follow up for this for next week. I will be back out here next week to deal with that just so you know that I’m on top of it.
Guys like I did the job and what happened to that spot on the line? Why didn’t you know that until the customer listened? There was a spot on your lawn. And I spread it and I’m gonna follow up on this in two weeks. Now you prevent that cover. Hey, your tech was here and he didn’t see a spot on the lawn. And why is the spot still there?
You see, you the customer doesn’t know what we know, the customer doesn’t know our business, doesn’t know our procedures, doesn’t know our protocols. By you communicating.
Cue the tech. How many times do I talk to companies, my tech, you know, didn’t write a darn thing on the report.
Except the chemical used. Customers are calling all the time. Be memorable.
One thing that we talk about communication and what we do. There are things that you don’t want.
Ok. You don’t want to discuss certain things with clients. A lot of personal stuff. I got clients bring up topics that are very colorful.
You know about the woman there with stuff like that. I mean, it’s just crude stuff that I don’t get involved in in those conversations.
Politics and religion.
Unless, you know, there’s there you know, that person intimately. I would be not engaging in that conversation. Be professional. Kaep, I had one person call me the other day and I actually didn’t call me. Send me a message. How he almost lost his job. Almost lost. Archerd account. Because he was having a conversation on the campus. People today are very sensitive about everything. You’re having an open conversation about something on a customer’s property and a business. And somebody will complain about it and then complain to the manager. And create a whole scene for you that you did not foresee. Because that’s the age that we’re living in. Where people are offended about everything, you’re talking to a guy who pretty much offends a lot of people already.
By doing this podcast. You see and a lot of the things that I talk about. You know, people are not wanting to talk about. And, you know, I get enough hate mail from a lot of people, you know, because of what I do. But I understand that that’s part of the game. That’s part of what?
We have to do. You know, to do what we do, we’re we’re we’re not we’re in a contentious business where people don’t want. The chemicals, they’re anti-everything and we take a lot of heat for what we do, unfortunate. Fortunately, we’re trying to always do what is right for clients and people in the environment and do right by everyone and be conscientious of that. So guys, those are the things that, you know, if you focus on, if your techs focus on this. That you can bring a wild customer experience. Every single time. If you are not good at this. Get the books, get the training, listen to the stuff. Watch the videos. You can go on YouTube and get a million customer service videos on how to you literally don’t have to pay for any of this training. The information is there for free. And here’s the issue of free information that you had to search for it. You have to know what you’re looking for. Some people are going to need somebody to hold your hand. And teach him this. Other people will go out and just, you know. Here, watch this video. You know, I tell my people, hey, look, I got this great book. Listen to this book. You need to listen to this book as part of your working here with me. I’m grooming you for management. Whether it’s customer management, root management or other people management, I’m grooming my people for management because they’ve got to manage. They’ve got a manager out there, really rude managers. They’re not technicians. And this is an important thing that we have to understand that it means a lot to people that they are in positions today. If you’re going to attract younger people. If you’re going to attract people that you need to do the work. They need to have those positions and the salary and the pay that goes along with the responsibility.
Being customer centric, customer focused.
And teaching people that, hey, you’re managing, understand you’re managing a small business.
Literally, they have to be managers. They have to manage the inventory, they have to manage the truck, they have to manage the maintenance on their vehicle, they have to manage their time, their managers, they’re not technicians.
And that’s why I talked to be both a higher for aptitude train for skills, and a lot of the things that I have got people with the right hard to repeat. But they need a lot of training and the things that they need training and really is in pest control. It’s in customer service. It’s an understanding where the dynamics are and what’s changing and what’s needs to be changed and where they’re coming short, where they need to be better at all the time. 90 percent of the time it isn’t on placement. It isn’t a liquid application. It’s on. The customer skills, the things customer expecting that they don’t see and they don’t understand, why is this customer expecting this? It makes no sense to them. But yet this is what the customer deems as important. Not the major stuff. It’s already granted that if you’re there do pest control, they shouldn’t have aunts, they shouldn’t have roaches, shouldn’t have silverfish. That’s what they’re paying you for. It’s the other stuff that brings the customer while the. A memorable experience to bear. And that’s what you’re going after. So I hope that this has been helpful to you guys. I will see you next time.