The problem with standardized pest management

By |  July 3, 2018
Celebrate employees

Johnson Pest Control celebrates the merits of each of its employees with open arms — and doors, in some cases, as technicians Michael Barrett, left, and Tony Poster demonstrate. PHOTO: Ray Johnson

Are we as an industry trying to fit all of our customers into a box, with a one-size-fits-all standardized service model? Interesting question, isn’t it? Could a uniform-type service be the most powerful way to enhance and customize your company’s service? Well, let’s talk about that.

At Johnson Pest Control, we equip our vehicles with all the same tools of the trade, such as sprayers, flashlights, cobweb dusters, insecticide dusters, personal protective equipment (PPE) and various other industry gear. But can our service for each account be the same?

In a perfect world, each customer would have the very same pest problem in a home the exact same size and condition. But that’s not the case.

Instead, we must be able to hire and train employees who can inspect and analyze each pest problem, and deliver the correct treatment for that customer. They must be adept at solving the pest problem at hand — on the spot — every time. They can follow a somewhat standardized protocol of inspection and prescribing the appropriate treatment, but they should not rely on a universal remedy that addresses all environments.

The other problem with a cookie-cutter approach? We don’t have clones walking around with the same personality, the same IQ, the same set of great customer service skills.

Focus on everyone’s strengths

So, what do we do? We continue to recruit, interview, and make an effort to hire and retain the right people. It’s an ongoing process — and will continue to be in today’s economy because every company out there is competing for great employees, too. Hopefully, the people you hire can be trained to excel in customer service and provide professional pest management that satisfies your customers.

The problem with standardized pest management is people, pests and people. What? Yes, our people, our employees, all being different; our pests, with each customer having a different set of circumstances; and the most important people, our customers, all being different. To solve our problems, we must continue to work hard and sharpen our skills every day.

Strive for near perfection

We should also always look for the next great person we can hire to service our accounts and keep those good reviews coming in on a regular basis. To that end, your company needs to be a great place to work. To attract that next employee, we have to keep striving for near perfection. I am up for the challenge. Are you?

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