Plan to communicate the value of being pest-free

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December 10, 2021

Photo: Voren1/istock/getty images plus /getty images

Photo: Voren1/istock/getty images plus /getty images

When given the opportunity for face-to-face conversations with their clients, technicians can enhance the value of their interactions by planning what to communicate.

The typical recipe for a client interaction is a greeting and explanation of the service to be performed. Following the service, technicians often will review any pests that were found, provide integrated pest management (IPM) recommendations, and explain any product applications that were performed. This script has served pest management professionals (PMPs) well for years, but more can be done.

Take, for example, accounts in which few pests are found. Reporting back to the client that “everything looks good” or “no signs of pests” can be reassuring to clients that their pest control service is working well, but over time, these repeated remarks can devalue the service; clients may begin to question whether future services are necessary. I was once told by a PMP that “the problem with pest control is when we do our job well, the customer doesn’t need us anymore,” but nothing can be further from the truth.

Jim Fredericks

Jim Fredericks

Instead of reporting the “all-clear” to your client during your next recurring service, plan ahead to describe why pest control is valuable.

In the spring, explain that the perimeter applications will help protect against invading ants — then remind them that if they see flying insects inside that they think are ants, it could be termites, which cause more than $5 billion in damage to U.S. structures each year.

In the autumn, encourage clients to be on the lookout for mice as the weather cools, because rodents can spread pathogens that cause food-borne illness and exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in children.

Each season brings a new pest focus for technicians; make sure to tell your clients how you are protecting them and why pest control matters. This kind of communication will build value in your service, and help your clients feel good about maintaining the service you offer in the future.

About the Author

Dr. Jim Fredericks

You can reach Dr. Fredericks, VP of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), at jfredericks@pestworld.org.

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