Manage customer expectations with mosquitoes
April 28, 2022
We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members to share tips for managing customer expectations of mosquito control. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our April 2022 print edition.
Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us know how you promote disinfecting and sanitizing services: Reader poll: Managing customer expectations with mosquitoes.
PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors
Dennis Jenkins: “Remind customers that mosquitoes come from a distance away when there is a gathering of ‘food’ — read, you and your friends! Nothing is perfect, but the control our industry offers is far better than anything customers can do on their own.”
Dr. Hamilton Allen: “Don’t oversell service outcomes. Residential mosquito management programs consist of localized treatments around a home, not area-wide suppression programs.”
Doug Foster: “Honest, upfront education and communication are the keys to managing customer expectations with mosquito control. All your conversations and literature should emphasize suppression as opposed to elimination. Anything less is setting your customer up for disappointment.”
Dr. Faith Oi: “Never promise reduction in disease incidence.”
Greg Baumann: “Educate customers that service will reduce mosquito populations and thus provide good relief where treated. The service doesn’t eliminate mosquitoes in areas where there is no control, such as neighboring properties, so no program will ‘eliminate’ all mosquitoes on their property.”
Pete Schopen: “We have an open dialogue with our clients. We explain to the customer about flooding issues, stagnant water receptacles, how larvicides work, the chemicals we’ll be using in our backpack blower-misters, etc. We want them to know everything so they are well-informed, which hopefully will manage their expectations.”
Paul Hardy: “Start at the sale. The office will receive feedback from customers concerning mosquito services when the salesperson doesn’t cover the customer’s expectations. Service is a partnership with the customer and the pest management professional to ensure satisfaction. For example, the time of application should be scheduled for the early morning or close to nighttime for the best results. Keep in mind the weather forecast, too. Application in wind, water, snow and — here’s one that isn’t addressed often until it’s too late: lawn sprinklers that turn on during the visit — will not likely meet with success.”
Kurt Scherzinger, ACE: “The key to mosquito service is calling it what it is. It is mosquito control, not mosquito elimination. Your customer will still see some mosquitoes; however, they will be able to enjoy their living space more than they ever have before.”
Foster Brusca: “Setting proper expectations at the start of any pest control service will go a long way with customers. You should inform your customer of the material you are using, and how long it might take to see results. Inform your customer of any conducive conditions on their property, and inform them that the mosquito issue may not be resolved without correcting these conditions. Mosquito control is never a one-and-done, so tell your customer that it may require seasonal, or even ongoing applications regularly, such as quarterly or monthly.”
Michael Broder: “For mosquitoes, we have to give the customer realistic expectations. Our goal is to protect their property, but that can’t stop other mosquitoes from flying onto their property from neighboring sites.”