Hey, we’re going to be discussing the top five pest control field service technician skills needed to be successful and the generational challenge that we’re facing now. If if you’re a small solo operator and you’ve been a solo operator for a couple of years now and you find yourself that you either need to hire a part-time technician, a full-time technician, you want to grow, you just simply need help on the route. You’re not looking to turn over the business. You are basically the face of the brand and you’re just needing help to get the work done because you’re basically you’re overworked and you can’t take any days off and maybe you’d like to take a week off. And if you’re in the south, you never get to take a week off. But if you’re in the north, you might get snowed in for a couple of months. And, you know, you’ve got a little vacation time, you know, wherever you’re at. The situation is different for everyone based on their goals and their vision and mission for their company. You might decide you want to be a solo operator for life and all you need really are assistance. And that’s a bit easier to accomplish than having full-blown technicians that you’re going to train, that you’re going to send out. You’re going to start building routes and you’re going to basically start teaching and training pest control technicians. Or maybe you’re looking for just add water technicians where you already hire technicians that come with experience from another company that somebody else has trained.
Hey, we’re going to be discussing the top five pest control field service technician skills needed to be successful and the generational challenge that we’re facing now. If if you’re a small solo operator and you’ve been a solo operator for a couple of years now and you find yourself that you either need to hire a part time technician, a full time technician, you want to grow, you just simply need help on the route. You’re not looking to turn over the business.
You are basically the face of the brand
and you’re just needing help to get the work done because you’re basically you’re overworked and you can’t take any days off and maybe you’d like to take a week off. And if you’re in the south, you never get to take a week off. But if you’re in the north, you might get snowed in for a couple of months. And, you know, you’ve got a little vacation time, you know, wherever you’re at. The situation is different for everyone based on their goals and their vision and mission for their company.
You might decide you want to be a solo operator for life and all you need really are assistance. And that’s a bit easier to accomplish than having full blown technicians that you’re going to train, that you’re going to send out. You’re going to start building routes and you’re going to basically start teaching and training pest control technicians. Or maybe you’re looking for just add water technicians where you already hire technicians that come with experience from another company that somebody else has trained.
Either way, you have challenges. We all have challenges. There isn’t one system, one way of doing it. One method that’s going to work for everybody everywhere. Because the problem that you have, especially with independent operators, solo operators and small companies, is that your needs are different than eight, you know, 12, 13 route branch that you might have worked in or operated. And and you’re going to find that the challenges are much harder.
I’ve done a several couple of podcasts on this already as far as hiring. And let me tell you something, guys. This is about the most challenging thing in growing a business is scaling. And being able to scale is not only capital intensive, but it’s also a resource intensive. It’s also attention span intensive. It requires you to be hands on for a very long time.
Even though you hire a technician, you just even after three months, you’re still got to do all the administrative stuff and you got to do the sales and you’ve got to do the managing now and you’ve got to do the training. And it’s very taxing on people.
Why do you think that? I’ve not been able to do as many podcasts as before. I thank God that, you know, Stephen Vantassel has stepped up and decided he wanted to crack at this to do wildlife. And he’s a wildlife expert and he has stepped up to the plate to take a lot of this.
So this podcast can keep going because it would have been very taxing on me with the growth that I’m experiencing, the pain that I’m experiencing, the challenges that I’m experiencing in my market.
And I can only speak about my market and the journey that I’m going through. And this is what I’m going to be focusing on, because I think we have done about I did about a hundred and fifty or more, one hundred and seventy five podcasts.
I’m nothing but pest control training, but we’re going to be focusing on moving forward a lot on basically customer service, training, sales training, hiring, training, pest control training. We’re going to be putting up the academy, which is one thing I’ve been working on for a year now, trying to figure out how I’m going to put this together that has value, that I can create a great product for you, that you can use, that you can use for new technicians. That’s actually going to work. That’s different than everything everybody else is putting out there, because I hear the complaints about the other things that are out there. And I’ve been working on that diligently for a year now. And we’re getting ready right now to invest in the recording part of this. And it’s gonna be video training, not audio training. So it’s not going to be an audio podcast. It’s going to be a video training podcast, actually a video training platform, an entire platform that we’re working on building for this, where there’s going to be the modules, there’s going to be the examination. So it is verifiable training. It’s not that, hey, I watch the video.
And so what I’m trying to create a product that is 21st century millennial and I gen. Ready, because that’s where we’re.
That’s where we’re facing the most of the programs are that are out there right now are actually a Gen X ready and that generation is running companies like you and me. I mean I’m hitting I’m forty nine heading the fifty and we need to get with the times as far as training.
So I want to talk to you about the top pest control field service technician skills needed. To be successful and why this is becoming so difficult to accomplish. And we’re gonna be discussing that. You got to understand that as if you’re a field service technician, you’re thinking about becoming a field service technician. You work in a business where field service work.
The reason I have of perspective on this is because I was doing field service work back in in a different field than in computers where I used to be the I.T. guy and I was doing field service for a large company. We’re talking going back to nineteen ninety one ninety two.
I mean I was working at Epson Computer Systems building computers back in. What is it. Eighty eight. Eighty nine. So we’re talking about a long of doing field service work and repairing systems and being out in the field dealing with clients, doing customer service. I spent, you know, thirty five years in professional sales as a sales manager, as a territory manager, as a national sales rep.
I mean, I get what we need and what I see that independents that become. There were tech good technicians that buy, for one reason or another decided to open up. Usually it’s a reluctant entrepreneur.
They lack the training skills to train and develop other people. They’re excellent at themselves, knowing the staff and self studying there. They’re self driven. They have great social skills. A lot of you. You have great communication skills.
But you can’t find the people that have your skills set. And why is that a challenge? So as as a field service tech, you are understand the face of the brand and what you got to understand that pest control in itself itself is a commodity. The only differentiator is your unique selling proposition. Is the brand and what that brand represents and for independence that branded you. And what you’re worried about is some guy is going to go on to ruin your name. And that’s a possibility. If you’re not careful. It happens all the time. Because they’re representing you personally. When you’re starting out, when you have a larger brand, the brand itself, it’s what’s valuable, not the commodity. The chemical is a commodity.
The service itself of spraying is a commodity. I mean, when we look at what we do as a pest control business, what we do is not really all that difficult.
The technical part, I was having a conversation this week, I mean, with my senior tech. And he’s been with me now a year and he says, you know, I just feel that I need to go out and get more training and I need to do more training. And you talk about and he listens to the podcast and listens to what I have to say.
And I and I think that training but understand this, what he feels he needs in training and what he really needs in training are two different things. And I sat with them. You know, I sit down about, you know, every three months, evaluate where we’re at, where we need to focus on where we need to grow as a person. And I’m more in a more. Focused on them growing as an individual. Then as a technician in the question that I ask, what can you need more training?
What particular training do you need?
I don’t know, I just feel I need more training. OK, let me ask you just a straightforward question in the last 90 days. How many past problems have you encountered? That you were not able to solve. Non!
Ok. How many new pests have you encountered in the last 90 days? That. You didn’t I.D. and you put it in a baggie. You send it to me. I was able to I.D. it and get back with you within a day on how to solve that problem and teach you how to solve it. So what exactly do you need in training?
Because we talk about, you know, this is a training podcast. I am the world’s number one pest control training podcast right now. You know, tomorrow that can change. But right now, that’s where we’re at.
We’re focused on training. We’re focused on getting you the best knowledge. And I said, what do you feel you need? And he feels he needs more. Technical training in what in what chemical? How has the protocol changed? The S.O.P. The standard operating procedures changed in the last 90 days. How many callbacks are you getting? The callbacks that we were getting, we modified the protocol.
Because we noticed a deficiency. I said, you know, you realize I went out in the field is said I’m getting callbacks on all this and we’re getting callbacks on the same account. I go back in the field and I said and I walk with them through the properties. What do you see in all of these accounts that are getting the callbacks with the same end species, a stand?
What do you see and what do you evaluate? That is identical in all of them that are getting the callback, that none of the other accounts are getting the callback. He looks at me and looks at the house and says, I don’t know. And I said we all have. One third of the property blocked off by concrete. They have a pool and you can’t spray those surfaces. You’re doing crack and crevice entry. And where do we finding the ants? Let’s go out and see where those are coming through. And we went out and guess where the ants were. All of them on those houses were up in the gutters. They were coming in from the top of the window. That is it not in any manual. It’s not he I gave him the field service manual. He has Mallis Guide and Pest Control Business Guide. And you look at that and say, OK. That’s how they’re getting in. So we went ahead and we modified the protocol for houses with pools that have access to a lot of water, concrete all around. We modified it. And we’ve gotten rid of those callbacks. All of that had to be done in the field.
He’s asking me to send him to training. I said everything you’re gonna learn from now on, you’re gonna learn from experience in the next two to five years. But in order for you to become an expert, you got to put in the 10000 hours. You got to spend the next two to five years experiencing things that you’re never gonna experience in a classroom.
Because I’ve been in all the classrooms and I’m telling you, there’s nothing new under the sun and they’re a new product with a new way to treat something. But you got to learn the problems with structures by observing and get out of production mode for a minute. And when you’re challenged with a problem, take a step back.
And look and see. What is causing? The problem. Get out of the. What to do and why is it happening? And that is a skill of troubleshooting. That is an observational skill. And what he comes from Intel because he has a degree. In teaching.
And we come in this information age where we’re constantly being bombarded on Facebook. We need to take the new course in this in the new course and that and this whole mentality and learning and accumulating knowledge. That for most of the part, is not going to be useful.
And what is it that you actually need? To be better and get your job done and be better at it. And I started to value says here’s where you’re deficient, you’re deficient in your people skills. You’re deficient in your follow up skills. You’re non-responsive. You need to be more responsive, faster with people. You need to learn how to manage. Think about this for a minute. That van is a storefront. It needs to make sure that that van is cleaned.
You need to check the air and those tires. You need to do a whole bunch of things to manage that route efficiently. You need to learn to manage your chemical efficiently. You need to start working on your management skills. And you need to start working on your sales skills and you need to start improving your communication skills and you need to improve on your social skills.
Not your technical skills. And he’s looking at me like I didn’t know I had those deficiencies. Nobody’s ever told me that. Mind you, this is a millennial, a late millennial.
And I’m like, how is nobody ever told you that? And I said, I know your deficiencies are in all your problems are. I want you to focus on developing you. This year, I want to invest, so I gave them all my management books and I said, here’s my library. Of management books. Here’s what I want you to listen to. Here’s what I want you to grow on. Here is how I want you to handle and learn to handle this customer problem.
I need you to grow as it isn’t being a boss and being a teacher isn’t about dictating material. It’s about learning how to train people.
And he is the face of the brand.
So if people are not liking him, they’re not liking our brand. Their success in the field is measured by the experience they provide to each customer. We are no longer in the customer service field. We are now in the customer experience field. That is the new terminology. And the problem that you have is a lot of people who are. Baby boomers that are still running companies. Are still dealing with service techniques and customer service and things like a lot of this is common sense to you.
It is not common sense to a millennial or. To a new generation, Z or I gener.
This stuff is not common sense to them. Common sense is behind a keyboard. Behind a text, behind it, iPhone, texting, short messages.
Not being face to face with someone.
And that’s the challenge that we have in hiring people that you do an interview.
And they might do OK, you do a. A personality assessment.
And you get a picture in the personality assessment.
But then how are they really with their social skills? How good are they really with their communication skills? How responsive are they? How’s your presentation? How do they look in front of other people? How are they at following up and following through and that right there, that last one I just gave you? I’m giving it to you last. And I’m giving to you up front right now.
Follow up and follow through.
That perseverance, that responsiveness to follow up on things is what’s going to make an excellent technician. I don’t care if you’re doing computer systems. I don’t care if your h vac technician, I don’t care if you’re a plumber. Follow up and follow through is one of the soft skills that you need that have nothing to do with technical skills. None of the things that really make you successful have to do with technical skills. They have to do with social personal skills. And what’s lacking in. This generation and in Generation Z and millennials, generation Y.
Is the lack of these personal stellar skills to provide excellent customer service, to provide an excellent customer experience because what they’re confusing and what a lot of people are confusing. Is the fact that I did my technical job to perfection. They have no aunts. They have no roaches. But because you did not communicate effectively with the client, the client is now having a negative customer experience.
Because of something that is not even related to the pest control, you left the gate open. You forgot to knock on the door before you perform the service. And the wife was outside in her bathing suit and the husband is upset.
Understanding all these paradigms and all these things that have to do with customer service. There are things that you have to integrate into a training program. You have to integrate into a training program that if the van vibrates when you hit the brakes, that disks are warped. This is for a Gen-Xer and for a person whose owned 17 vehicles, this is normal.
This is not something that a Gen Xers I mean, I’m sorry. Generation Z or a millennial necessarily has any experience. And you have to teach them what a clean van looks like. Most of these guys have never driven in their 25 year old. You have to bring in all these factors into your training now.
I did. I did it. I did a survey on every. This was a couple of months ago. I did a survey on every platform that has to do with pest control, every face group. And I posed the question, how old were you when you started in the industry? Were you between the ages of 19 and twenty five? Twenty six to thirty five or thirty five? And over. Here’s the reality of what is in the end, most of you. Started in this interest about half. It was actually half or more.
Between 18 and 25. Guess what? That’s Generation Z right now. And the end part of generation Of Millennials.
And most of these kids today I started working when I was 16, 17. They’re not getting their first job until they are 21. They have no experience working. They have no experience in what it is with to have a face to face conversation with an adult. Who is 30 years older than them? And being able to communicate on that level, that requires training because they don’t have it is common sense. No, it’s not common sense to them. To them, common sense is posting on Facebook is being on Tick-Tock. It’s being on Instagram. It’s you know, whatever chat is now in.
This is a generation that can figure out how to operate any system yet can’t have a face to face conversation. That’s the challenge that we have. So now there’s people available to work. They’re not really attracted to being out in the field sweating. They’re out there, but it’s much harder to find them, and then when you do find somebody, they don’t have the soft skills and you need to do a lot of training. And that’s what the problem is.
What companies agree on all service tech companies? It doesn’t matter what field you’re in, whether it’s plumbing h back network systems, they all agree that the number one. Challenge we have is soft skills. Over 50 percent. Yet over 18. On around 18 percent are actually investing in soft skills training for their people. There is a big gap between what we say we need, what we need to invest in to develop people.
Because. Generation Z. I Genners are very, very interested. In programs and working for companies that will do the training because they don’t want to be one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in debt like Gen Xers have been. To then go get a job as a barista at Starbucks. With a bet, with a master’s degree. There they are a lot more conscious of that. And if you got an apprenticeship and you’ve got upward mobility and you’ve got a fast track to something that’s going to be very attractive to that generation, but you’ve got to have it in place. And why do I focus so much on infrastructure? Because I see this coming. I have enough experience.
I already got 50 years on me to know, hey, I can see I’ve done enough work with youth for 20 years to understand them. To reach them. And I see this coming and I said we need to figure out how we do this, so our goal is to hire those kids because those are the kids that can crawl into the crawlspaces.
Those are the I mean, can you. How many of you listening to me right now that have been in this business for 35 years are not overweight? With some type of problem on your knees or in your back and you can’t make it through a crawlspace anymore. How many of you can, can, can, can crawl on your belly for 30 feet in across space anymore? You can’t.
You’re hiring millennials. And here’s another problem that I want to address and we’re going to be discussing this. This is a touchy one. But the level of obesity in this country. Is affecting the amount of people that we can hire to do this job. Because they’re obese, they can’t know what they can’t do. What you need them to do physically. So now you have another problem. To deal with.
They all agree. Technical skills are number to. Cross training between sales, service and management. Is a big one that you need to do. And then management development in a lot of small companies say I’m not going to have a management development course because. I’m gonna I’m only gonna grow to two or three people, I’m not planning to go, so you’re gonna be training a lot of people for them to move on from.
You understand that That that is the reality, that if you’re a good, solid, small company, you’re going to train a lot of people for them to move on. And what I’m focused on right now is cross trading my tech. In management training after a year. Because he’s got ninety five percent of this covered, the stuff that he comes across he can’t solve is very rare. And if he’s tried three times, our protocol is if you tried three times and failed, then I need to get involved. And I only need to get involved maybe once a week. If I’m lucky.
Here is the other problem that we have with generation with I Genres and Gen Xers I’m sorry. And millennials. Is that eighty four percent of I generally believe they have the skills necessary to be successful in a professional environment. Twenty one. 18, 19, 20, 21, 25 year olds.
84 percent believe they have the skills. Yet the research shows and our experience shows. That this is not the case. There is a delusion between what I think I’m qualified to do. Because they’re applying. For the Facebook jobs, they are applying for the social media manager position. For the social media guy. They’re not applying for. The I need to go out into the field, talk to human beings face to face, smile, have a positive self-image, we are neatly groomed. Because my customers that buy pest control are boomers and Gen Xers. That is the majority of pest control buyers right now.
The problem is we have. I geners are going to be 36 percent of the workforce. Within the next year.
They’re ill equipped to handle pressure. They’re ill-equipped in life to handle real situations, human situations. They’re ill equipped with the tools they need. Because high school didn’t provided from it needed that college.
They’re walking out into the world and we need those kids. And I call them kids because if when you’re 50 years old, pretty much everybody else as a kid. We have a big problem with I genres and self-image and positive self-image with.
How they feel about themselves. With a positive attitude. They need to be able to smile. Have a positive attitude. They can’t be crabby around people. They can’t be timid around people.
They need good manners. They need to make eye contact because your boomer clients and your generation eg clients are demanding that because they’re the client. And they’re saying, what is that important if I look somebody in the eye or not, the fact that you are in the customer experience business, you’re not in the technical pest control business.
Our business is a human service business where the emotions you spend more time managing the emotions and the doubts of people who spend 80 percent of my time talking to people about how they’re feeling about the situation they’re in because they got roaches and this and that.
And when I’m selling, I’m consulting and I’m calming them down and I’m assuring them of our qualifications to get this done for them. Has nothing to do with the technical capability. They need to do the best they can at putting that customer at ease when they’re in that home because the customer is going to bombard them with questions.
And when they’re in that home. The customer needs to feel that they enjoyed their service experience with attack.
Those are social skills that are lacking. In millennials, especially late millennials. And I genres.
Let’s get into that. They’re not engaging. In other words, they feel more comfortable
Sitting in their bedroom, texting with their friends, then they are meeting up with their friends and looking them in the eye and talking to them and engaging with them.
There is a serious disconnect.
In this generation where this is needed, they need to be engaging. They need to go in and talk to the client and say, where are you experiencing that problem?
When did you last see the pest? Where did you see it? Was it at night? Was it in the morning and have a conversation? Because that customer is in the home, that customer is going to tell you exactly where that problem is. Every single time if you listen to the customer, if you’re a good listener.
Doing active listening Showing empathy.
Which is a big problem that we have, we’re not very empathetic.
Being able to talk to customer in relatable words, not pestianese and being technical so that you can feel superior because you have a self-esteem problem. Because this is a big problem with this generation self-esteem. I test people after people, after people that we’re testing, we’re seeing very low self-esteem.
In all of these studies that were performing. And when I talk to them and I’m having a conversation. You know, if you feel the problem that they’re having and why they’re having it. Depression is a reality in this group. Which means, hey, you got it, you got to be able to deal with him being depressed that morning and not being at his best.
These are challenges that we’re facing as recruiters. And here’s what I’m talking about. It’s in our protocols.
Every time you have an appointment,
that is the other we we do mostly exterior only we only have about one tops, two appointments per day where we actually do need to do an indoor service because we’re doing an initial we’re doing a follow up or we’re doing a callback. Callbacks are. In the less than single digits right now for us. It’s mostly follow ups. Because there’s a difference between a call back.
We have a different category for a callback than a follow up.
Simple communication. Hey, I’m confirming if you got a 4:00 appointment. You text that customer in the morning before you leave and you say, hey, remember, we have a five o’clock appointment today. They’ve already gotten a communication from us. They’ve already gotten an email and a text the day before confirming that. And the tech is confirming that because stuff happens during the day, one hour before. To 30 minutes before you go out to that stop, you need to call that client to make sure they’re going to be home.
I’m running late.
I forgot I texted you this morning. How can you forget? They forget. You don’t show up at a customer’s house without texting them or calling them and having a communication first in advance.
You don’t make that trip. We we eliminate that problem thing, you know? How long do we stay at a house waiting for a client that we had an appointment if we didn’t communicate that appointment and found out that person was home before you drove 30 miles? You’re an idiot. I’m sorry. And I told them that before. How many times you think you have. But we already have an appointment confirmed. You didn’t you confirm the appointment? Yes. Yes. What’s our protocol? You make the call, you don’t know how I had to train on that and drill it through their head, that they still needed to call the client and confirm that.
Customers appreciate being told you’re on your way. And how long you will be. As a matter of fact, clients are now demanding and most other pieces of software out there are showing the client where you’re at on a map. In reference to their home. If you’re the Uber driver that’s on that app, they’re expecting that from you in the communication.
This is part of 21st century communication.
I want to know. I’ve had customers tell me, I want a snapshot of your screen showing me where you’re at and how soon you’ll be here.
If you’re running behind and you know you’re running behind. Don’t wait to your your last stop and you’re 30 minutes late to call that client and say you’re running behind.
Explaining what you found. How you’re gonna solve it.
And then afterwards, how you did it, what you did, and then the realistic expectations that they’re gonna have in this, the tech needs to communicate that. And sometimes this is where you have callbacks and complaints because the salesperson never explained the realistic expectations. Neither did the CSR who set the appointment. And the technician is in the field and saying, here’s the realistic expectation.
After I did your service, what you can expect. And they don’t want to communicate that because they get very introverted and they don’t want to be the person that puts that count at risk. And you know what? I give my guys total autonomy to say, guys, here are the protocols. Here’s the standard operating procedure. This is what I told the client. And a client tells you any different. I’m telling you the client is lying. Because I am I’m a robot when it comes to that.
Following up after the service is priceless.
Communication after the service. While all my competitors are saying, you know what our secret is, we sell one more follow up service than all my competitors.
Everybody selling a one time service or a one time service with two services included. I’m selling three. I’ve sold three for the last nine years. I produce more revenue per client, but I manage the expectation and my clients will not raise their prices. To do this and why?
Because we know that we will solve 80 to 90 percent, even 95 percent on two visits, but that third visit puts the nail in the coffin. For that 5 percent. They know that we follow up every single time, even when they call us, it’s not usually to come, hey, we already know my tech has to be out there because he’s gonna find a problem.
Following up, why don’t we have callbacks on our lawyer to mentor, because my tech knows that if he shows up and there’s fungus on that lawn, he’s got 14 day follow up automatically, no questions asked. He puts it in the notes and we create the follow up service order for him to go out there. No questions asked. I want you to confirm that that was controlled because these are premium clients paying a premium service.
See, that’s our difference. So why we can’t grow at a rate that everybody else is growing because we need people that can do all this.
We need people that say you can you my tech can never come back and say all the reason I’m having all these callbacks is because you put too much on my route. No, because you only have eight appointments on your route, maximum per day. And you may have one appointment per day this time because I know what it takes to get across the city. And we have a two hour window on every appointment, meaning the customer cannot expect us to be there at 10 o’clock in the morning when we told them it was going to be between ten and twelve.
And when we communicate that form, it’s going to be between ten and twelve. Because you get out of your house, there’s three accidents on the way, you spend an hour and 30 minutes in traffic sometimes here in Miami. Setting that communication up front. Is vital said in that communication with the technician in the field with the client. Makes him a pro..
I want the client to respect my technician more than me because he is the expert onsite. When when the tech calls me, know the client is isn’t listening to me, whatever. Who is the expert onsite? I am. It’s your job, not mine. Solve it. Deal with it. What do I need to do? Tell them this, tell them this stuff, but you got to tell them, not me. If I tell them. You lose credibility. I take that from you. If I do that.
You’re the one that needs and they don’t want to have those difficult conversations with. And I force them to have the difficult conversation because it’s too easy to call 1 800, you know, who gives a crap and complain.
It’s your job.
I’m not going to take that from because you’re going to come back to me as my client doesn’t respect me. I said, no, you’re the one that created that environment because I gave you the autonomy, I gave you the authority, I gave you the tools. That’s for you to do. And that’s the reality of having to work in this customer service where most people would apply for a job and say, I have customer service experience when the customer service experience is basic. Taking a product that the customers returning.
That’s not the same.
You might have five years experience working at Wal-Mart. Returning product and customer service and basically whatever they return, you say yes to everybody. We can’t return the chemical. We can’t return the past.
We’re we’re not dealing with technology. Responsiveness, I want to get into responsiveness. Because if there’s one thing that classifies a technician is being non-responsive.
The tech, the customer taxes them, they’re doing a job. It’s forty five minutes, an hour and a half later, two hours later, they forgot, I tell my people, answer the text, the call right there, no matter what you’re doing, stop. Answer that call. And if you missed a call, try to call right back. Text right back, do something, because what happens is you’re going to forget. He might not mind waiting an hour because he understands, but you’re going to forget it’s going to be tomorrow. And you’re like, dang it, I forgot about this. We went from being a microwave society in the 90s to being an instant gratification society. Even people who are.
Boomers and Gen Xers.
Cannot accept the fact that you didn’t get back to me today on a simple question. There’s no reason why they need to wait till tomorrow. In their mind. Real time location on vehicles is necessary for responsiveness, real time communication with drivers and technicians. Is essential. They depend on fast and timely service y. Because here’s the problem that you have a society that’s conditioned to. I ordered an Uber. And they told me he’d be here in four minutes because he was here at this location. And three minutes and 30 seconds, they’re outside looking at the window to see if that ruber guys, they’re. You want your food. Uber Eats will deliver it. And I’ve been at the restaurant and seeing the Uber driver there going. My order is not ready. The client is gonna cancel this order and I’m already here and I’m gonna waste a trip. They’re used to that instant gratification, and the problem with pest control is we cannot provide instant gratification. Ninety percent of the time. Because we’re dealing with a biological product. The only thing that’s alive in that home is the plants, the people, the pets and the pests. And none of which we can deal with instantly. So we need to be responsive. To the answer or the question very quickly. Which is very hard a lot of the times when you’re in an attic. Doing a service in the guys, you know, you got your your phone in your back pocket and you’ve got a glove on and your hands are full of chemical, you can’t answer that phone. I get it.
So I tell him, you know, as soon as you’re done, respond to this, we’re trying to get everything on one system where everybody can see the text so that somebody can respond no matter who it is. Hey. Hi. You know, we’ve got your message. Give me an hour. I’ll get back to you. And then the tech can see it and say, hey, listen, this was for you. We ran. It interferes. The thing is, how do we create a team work environment? Well, you can’t create a teamwork environment when everybody’s being paid on production.
And if it’s not their problem, they’re not going to handle it. We have to compensate people in a right way that creates an environment for people to work and collaborate. Presentation. Are they paying attention to their personal hygiene and cleanliness?
You’re saying, you know, are they paying attention to how they look to a client? Will the majority of your clients who are making one hundred and fifty to two hundred fifty thousand dollars a year? Who are very conservative. Who are baby boomers and Gen Xers? Let that technician into the home. And you’re saying it should not matter. In this day and age, you know, if he has earrings, you know, the size of quarters and it’s, you know, in his ear lobe is hanging to the ground, it shouldn’t matter as long as he’s a good technician. It matters to your client.
And you are in the customer experience service.
Can that technician. Presence.
You know, those who show up with grease things all over his shirt after he eat a sandwich.
Is he shaved? I mean, you’re talking about shaving a guy who’s had a beard all his life. But I will trim this beard. I will work on it before I ever go see a client.
Nobody in uniform. Is the van clean? Is that van? I mean, to tell somebody that they have to clean their van? And how to clean the van and how to make sure that van is clean. And show them that cookie crumbs do not belong between the shift panels and stuff that we have to do in part of our training. Think about that for a minute. I want you to listen to me. And you’re saying this is ridiculous what you’re saying, Frank. But everyone has experienced it. And it’s not. At the end of your shift, you’re to remove all of your gloves and all of your personal belongings from the vehicle and throw out every trash. And not leave a bag of chips in there and vacuum this vehicle once a week, get it clean, get it washed, because that is the brand. That is the image. You are the brand. You are the image. This is the stuff we have to deal with. That nobody ever had to deal with me on.
And lastly, we’re gonna get into follow up and follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do.
You have to be accountable and take ownership. They want to feel they have ownership, but ownership requires responsibility and due diligence on your part to follow up and follow through and make sure that it’s done. And that it’s done right to the customer satisfaction.
You’re operating in an environment where you’re in the field. And all this has to get done. And, you know, the only way that you can ensure as an owner. And I can ensure is to do inspections. Constant training follow up. Constant training follow up, concentrating far more on this. There is no simple way around this.
This is part of what you’re expecting common sense to you is not common sense, you say people have lost all sense of common sense. No pest control. There is no common sense and pest control, because if you look at all the chat and you look at all groups and you look at all the videos that are there, common sense will tell you that you take the E and you spread it across a bedroom and you throw it all over the place and then you vacuum it up and the dust goes everywhere. And now you’re gonna have lung damage.
That’s common sense. Common sense will tell you in pest control by reading the label that you applied as a crack and crevice. You don’t go and do it on the floor everywhere. That’s not what you do. But yet again, what we see as common sense is, oh, how hard can this job be? Walk around all day with a little spray can because that’s what he’s seen. You see, that’s the image of spray something. When it’s not what we do. We are further and foremost. In the customer service business. We should be delivering customer wow.
And if you don’t have people. That have that attention to detail. That are passionate about the customer, wow, that they’re only looking at their technical abilities and saying I’m you know, I’m introverted, but I’m a good technician. Understand that the customer experience is going to trump anything else. Even if you did the greatest job. So these are the five skills that are needed. It’s social skills. Communication skills. Responsiveness, their presentation. And follow up if they can get if you can get these five things. Fixed from your technicians, from the people that you’re hiring on, that they understand it. Be able to. The only way I can evaluate these skills.
This is why I have, you know, a tiered pay and a tiered evaluation when I hire new tutors because I can do the background check. I can do the video interview. I can do the in-person interview. I can do the psychological profile. I can do the skills test analysis for customer service.
I can get all those answers satisfactory. And get a good score and then when I put them in front of a person, they totally fall apart because they’re comfortable in an environment where they’re getting tested all the time. These are students. And they’re into teaching and learning. But when it comes to actually saw what I do is your first 40 hours, we have to evaluate all this. And if by 40 hours, I’m not satisfied that you’re gonna be able to do this job. I’m letting you go. Because I’m looking at the soft skills, not the heart, I’m not I don’t care how he places his bait, that’s important. What I’m looking for is how is interacting with a client. Does that client like him? Is he likable? Because if the client doesn’t like him. And clients don’t like your technician. I don’t care how good he is. They’re not going to want him in the house. He’s gotta be a likable person. And so I look at 40 hours after 40 hours, I decide you’re gonna make it, you’re not going to make it. Even if I’ve invested two, three, four, five hundred dollars in a month. To hire this guy, I’m not taking him. You got to learn to hire slowly and fire quickly.
And you have to be sane. But, you know, you got to get the emotionalism that I’ve invested this much in this guy already. And now I got it.
You’re better off letting him go and doing something else with his life that he’s going to be better at than for you to invest six months into him or a year and then become a disaster, become an H.R. problem, become a customer service problem that you can’t overcome. And it takes practice, it takes experience, it takes the heartache, it takes gut wrenching decisions that you have to make. And this is why I bring a lot of these guys on his part time and I say, look, you got a full time job now.
Keep your full time job. Come work two to three hours a night. You know, afterwork on a Saturday. I’ll hire you part time. See how you do on that basis and I’ll decide if I’m going to keep you. And then you can quit your full time job and then I’ll make you an offer. At X amount per hour because we got everything worked out to work. Hey, if you’re making fourteen, fifteen an hour, you’re doing a similar job somewhere else. And this is more appealing to you than we can offer you a package that’s gonna work. And this is how we do this because it allows us to evaluate.
Is he gonna be able to work alone? Is he gonna be able to relate to this client? You know, we can observe all this without a major commitment on their part of saying I got to quit my job to do this job when I’m unsure if I’m going to make us, I would hate to fire the guy. And let him go after he’s quit his job and come to work for us when he didn’t have all the skills because we weren’t able to evaluate all those skills. Nobody can. So I hope this helps you. Until next time, guys. Have a particular day.