Tips for handling customer cancelations


March 9, 2023

Photo: Tero Vesalainen/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Tero Vesalainen/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members share myths they think persist in the pest control industry. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our March 2023 print edition.

Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us what you’re bring to the new year: Reader poll: What’s a good tip for handling customer cancelations?

PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors

Jerry Schappert, ACE: “It’s tempting to just let it go and move on. But it costs so much more to get a new client than simply making a visit or call to save one ever could. Be proactive, and reach out early.”

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman, ACE: “I always had empathy for those canceling. Make sure they weren’t disappointed in the service and thank them for their business. I even sent them a thank-you card.”

Pete Schopen: “Make sure the client is really canceling and not just rescheduling. If they are indeed canceling, work with urgency to find out why. Sometimes it can be something as simple as they need a new day, and a customer service representative couldn’t help them out. Or maybe your company had a price increase, and the client is upset about the new fee. Don’t let them simmer about the issue. Call them back quickly.”

Michael Broder: “A certain number of cancelations are inevitable. People die. Homes get sold. Businesses go out of business. These situations are out of our control. But if a trend begins of losing multiple customers for similar reasons, you must identify the reason and fix it.”

Desiree Straubinger, BCE

Desiree Straubinger, BCE

Dr. Faith Oi: “Educating technicians, practicing how to communicate and setting expectations may help avert most cancelations. Technicians should take the time to explain to customers what they are doing and set a reasonable expectation of the amount of time it would take to get control.”

Desiree Straubinger, BCE: “Make sure you know the ‘why’ behind the cancelation. Even if you can’t save the customer, knowing this must be part of a ‘lessons learned’ conversation. The lessons learned can be used to drive training for the team involved in the cancelation.”

Kurt Scherzinger: “When a customer calls to cancel, ask them whether there is anything you can do to keep them. Many times, they might want to only skip a service, or they are going through a tough financial period, and they might just have to pause service, not actually cancel.”

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