Industry News

How to bond with your customers

Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

Customer bonding begins with first impressions and resolidifies every time you portray positive communication.

Imagine hiring a new technician who can identify insects, passed a university correspondence course on pest management and works hard. However, four customers asked you to not send them again. What happened? It turned out they had poor communication skills and weren’t instructed on how to behave around customers.

Let’s take a closer look at tips for training technicians on how to have great customer relation skills:

  • Be on time, and if you’ll be late, call to apologize and explain
  • Drive safely in marked vehicles – customers remember reckless driving
  • Don’t park in the driveway if it might block someone from entering or leaving
  • Place safety cones around your parked vehicle to demonstrate good safety practices
  • Have a positive opening statement prepared
  • Learn the names of your customers and their pets
  • Compliment the customer (i.e., “nice flowers you planted in the front”)
  • Portray respect and care
  • Listen to concerns
  • Let customers know what you intend to accomplish, and ask if there’s anything special they want taken care of
  • Respect personal space
  • Practice good hygiene, including shaving, clean clothes, showering and fresh breath
  • Wear booties — you might have to remove them in an attic, but keep them on in the living quarters
  • Avoid speaking about politics, religion, competition and other customers
  • Always ask for permission to go upstairs – someone may be visiting, showering, sick or sleeping
  • If you accidentally break something, admit it and tell the office
  • Try to do something special (i.e., treat a floor drain or pest proof a small opening)
  • Never take a piece of candy, read personal mail or use a bathroom without permission
  • Place rodent bait stations, glue boards or sticky traps in discreet spots out of reach of pets and children
  • If you spill anything, clean it up immediately, and always carry paper towels
  • Something as simple as bringing the empty garbage can to the garage or putting the newspaper on the front porch can make a difference
  • Close and lock doors, fences and crawl spaces —it can cost a lot to clean a white poodle that wandered into an open crawl space you left open
  • Before leaving, tell them what you did and point out anything that needs their attention

This list contains items witnessed while on route or told to me by owners of pest management companies.

Use it during training sessions and see how many additional situations you can come up with — I’m sure you can add to it.

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