PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 13

your pest control company, but also recommend your business to
everyone they know. So, how do you transform satisfied customers
into delighted ones?
Tip 1: Encourage technicians and office staff to engage in friendly,
helpful conversations with customers.
Tip 2: Make it a goal to reduce customer anxiety by demonstrating
your company's knowledge and experience at effectively solving pest
Tip 3: Delight customers with products that are highly effective, high
quality and low odor.
Your customers also want something that seems fairly simple. They
want you to talk to them!
"Poor communication from the technician and a scheduling process
that is laborious or complicated are the leading contributors to dissatisfied customers," Mitchell points out. When it comes to scheduling, he
says it's critical to communicate clearly with your customers. "Follow
through on any promises made to the customer-especially promises
made with regards to scheduling or customer requests," he adds.
DeDonato seconds this advice. "I think the biggest communicating
mistake any of us can make is not communicating!" he says. "We can
spend a ton of money on branding and image-building, but customers judge us by how they are treated when they need to talk to us. A
friendly attitude and good communication skills are important when
hiring customer service reps and technicians."
Not only should techs explain what treatment they are providing and
why, but DeDonato says they should also ask the customer if they've
had any pest issues or other concerns since the last visit.
In today's digital age, pest control professionals aren't just talking
to customers on the phone or at their front door. There are countless
ways to stay in touch and educate consumers. "We talk on the phone,
email, online chat, text, use instant messaging and social media to
answer questions," DeDonato says. "Every medium requires a prompt,
intelligent response, and they all take different skills. Customer management needs to be constantly evaluated because of the different ways
we communicate with our customers."
He adds that pest control companies should have a system in place
that includes the customer in the process. "At Royal Pest Solutions,
we call or email them to let them know when the tech will be there
so they are prepared." After service, they email the customer their
service report and add it to their password-protected online account.
This report details exactly what service was provided, along with any
notes from the technician.
Today's consumers are wary of products that may include hazardous
chemicals-and they worry about how these substances could negatively impact their health and the planet. This is why it's important to
educate your customers about the treatments you use in and around
their homes.
"People are more conscious of chemicals that could affect them and
also do damage to the environment," DeDonato explains. "Residential
customers want an understanding of the materials we're using to treat
their homes."
Your customers also want to stay in the know about pest trends
and dangers. "We educate our customers at every visit by leaving a


In ultra-competitive industries
like pest control, knowing how
to keep customers happy-so
they not only return, but also
refer their friends, family, and
colleagues-is key to loyalty, organic
growth and long-term success."

newsletter about trends or general info about pests," DeDonato says.
"We give them info about any pest threats they should be concerned
about, such as ticks and Lyme disease or Zika."
Above all else, DeDonato believes pest control customers want results
and respect. "I'd say first they want results, but respect is a very close
second," he says. "People do their homework on the internet before
they call us so they have some knowledge of what they are dealing
with and what others are doing about it."
Customers also want honesty. "Our policy is to inform our customers on everything we are doing and make sure they have reasonable
expectations of what can be accomplished."
Of course, there's one simple way to find out exactly what your customers want: Ask them! "If you want to know what your customers really
want, you have to provide a simple and effective means for collecting
feedback from them," Mitchell says. This gives them the opportunity to
tell you how they really feel about your service-good or bad.
It's also important to deal head-on with customer complaints. "I
don't think anyone wakes up in the morning and says, 'I can't wait
to talk to unhappy customers today!'" Mitchell adds. "But you have
to think of a complaint as a gift and opportunity to win a customer
for life."
His advice? "Listen carefully to what the customer has to say, and
let them finish. Ask questions in a caring and concerned manner.
Put yourself in their shoes. Apologize without blaming. Ask the
customer, 'What would be an acceptable solution to you?'
And finally, solve the problem, or find someone who can
solve it-quickly!"
In most cases, he says customers who have complaints
that are resolved in a reasonable manner will be more
loyal than customers who never complain in the
first place.
DeDonato reflects this sentiment. "Constant customer management is critical because a complaint is now
heard 'round the world," he stresses. "An unhappy customer can easily
go on Google or YouTube or Angie's List and review you."
"We've found if someone has an issue, they look for a place to complain," DeDonato says. This is why the Royal Pest Solutions homepage
features a big, blue button that reads, Send a message to our Quality
Assurance Team. "We prefer they first complain to us and give us the
opportunity to fix it before they go complain on the internet!"  ●

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - November/December 2017

President’s Message
What Customers Want
Reaching Out to Millennials
New Strategies Yield New Customers
Heard From the Hill: Legislative Day 2018
Marketing Corner: How to Make the Most Out of Your Facebook Presence
Membership Programs: Announcing NPMA’s New Resource Center
Standards: Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Relations
Ask the Expert
Pestworld 2017
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Intro
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - cover1
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - cover2
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 3
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 4
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 5
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 6
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 7
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 8
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - President’s Message
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - What Customers Want
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 11
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 12
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 13
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Reaching Out to Millennials
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 15
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 16
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 17
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - New Strategies Yield New Customers
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 19
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 20
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 21
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 22
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Heard From the Hill: Legislative Day 2018
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Marketing Corner: How to Make the Most Out of Your Facebook Presence
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 25
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Membership Programs: Announcing NPMA’s New Resource Center
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 27
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Standards: Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Relations
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Ask the Expert
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Pestworld 2017
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 31
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 32
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - 33
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - Index of Advertisers
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - cover3
PestWorld - November/December 2017 - cover4