As a northern company, rodent season is huge for us:
- Carpenter ant season slows down once we hit 12 hours of sunlight per day, around Sept. 25.
- Yellowjacket season ends around Oct. 15 — or sooner if we get an early cold spell.
- Boxelder bug and Asian lady beetle season ends around Halloween.
In other words, if it weren’t for our furry friends, we would need to lay off workers and learn how to play cribbage.
Mouse season occurs all year, but during the fall and winter, especially November and December, we sell out mouse jobs faster than Spock ears at a “Wrath of Khan” convention. The key for us is to not only garner new rodent business, but to keep those new rodent clients and flip them into quarterly accounts. It’s a tricky thing, providing quality rodent service for your clients and then keeping them once the mice are gone.
When a new rodent customer calls our offices, my sales staff explains our service: Initial visit, two-week follow-up and a three-month follow-up. Pretty standard stuff. But our techs are trained to “softly” explain to our clients that we offer quarterly services. It is also written in our service agreement. By subtly reminding our customers about our programs, we eventually train them into taking the service.
We explain to our clients that we will be “sealing” their home with foam sealant and steel wool. We then spell out for them what we are going to do:
- Exterior inspection, looking for mouse feces or insulation on the ground as well as any holes, cracks, openings, etc.
- Interior inspection, looking for holes and/or paths in insulation, footprints in dust, feces, carcasses, odor, and nuts or other stored foods.
- Based on the results of these inspections, we’ll bait with anticoagulants inside tamper-proof stations in strategic areas.
After the clients and our tech inspect the home, we sit the clients down and make them sign a one-page service agreement, explaining our entire procedure. They also have to sign off on three important items:
- Foam sealant can be messy. There can be overflow.
- Mice will die inside their home, and possibly create an odor. There is no magic chemical that makes mice “thirsty” and go outside to die.
- We do offer residual sprays for their home in conjunction to their rodent treatment for spiders, silverfish, ants, etc.
When of all the above is finished, we schedule a two-week follow-up. Our office staff selects two potential follow-up dates and gives that information to our techs.
A day after the initial service, our programmers will call the new clients, thank them again for using our company, and confirm the follow-up date.
This is normally a 20- to 30-minute visit, checking our bait stations and rebaiting if necessary. We then set up a three-month follow-up date. This date will usually coordinate with a quarterly date that would fit onto a town-specific route.
We use this visit to see whether we were successful in sealing rodents out of the home. If not, we will use the bait stations to backtrack to the areas of the home that are still susceptible and try to find any missed openings. At this visit, we will once again remind the clients of the importance of quarterly maintenance — not just for rodents, but for all pests.
After the three visits, we offer the clients a quarterly service. They must sign a receipt accepting the regular quarterly maintenance.
We then mail them a thank-you letter with a magnet listing their quarterly date.
Obviously, there are many different ways to eradicate rodents from a home — and many ideas about how to retain clients. This is how we do it at Schopen Pest Solutions. I hope it helps, and I hope you have a great 2018!
Schopen is owner and founder of Schopen Pest Solutions, McHenry, Ill. You can email him at email@example.com or reach him via Twitter: @schopenpest; Instagram: @peteschopen; or Facebook: Schopen Pest Solutions, Inc.