Compassion good for enterprise, mattress bug survey reveals

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PHOTO: MAINLY PHOTOS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: FOTODUETS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: FOTODUETS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

This has undoubtedly happened to you already: Customers with particularly persistent pest problems are so grateful to the Pest Controllers (PMPs) who solve them that they become loyal lifelong customers.

This is especially true for PMPs who provide bed bug control services, as the stigma associated with an infestation is very real to many customers.

“We have found that treating our customers professionally, respectfully, and compassionately creates calm and a personal, lasting relationship,” says Michael Listopad, President and CEO of AAA Pest Pros, West Middlesex, Pennsylvania Listening and recognizing their challenges and fears – and at the same time educating them about bed bug prevention, treatment methods and expectations – helps our customers to trust us and the pest control process. “

SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Michael November

Michael November

Customers with bed bugs may turn to the internet to learn more about the pests and how to control them, but it cannot be compared to the exact knowledge that experienced PMPs provide.

“Education is part of being a great industry steward,” said Cory Goeltzenleuchter, PHE, technical trainer and entomologist at McCall Service, Jacksonville, Florida. “With all the sources of information, some of which are imprecise, I feel an increased need to give our customers honest answers.”

Rosenbloom Pest Control Service Manager Sholom Rosenbloom says training customers at his Baltimore, Maryland-based company is good business practice. “They will see how much you know and care about them and their problems, so they will stick with you for the long term,” he explains.

Sholom rose blossom

Sholom rose blossom

Rosenbloom says he believes it helps PMPs understand and solve their customers’ problems. “The extra bit of compassion is the human connection that you build with your customers to be there for them in every possible way. We call it ‘total customer engagement’. “

COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS

Explaining the treatment process to the customer contributes to success.

“If clients are not properly educated, they may not prepare appropriately for their treatments – and proper preparation is key to successful treatment,” said Kyle Stiemsma, owner of Terminator Pest Control in Randolph, Wisconsin, how bed bugs spread and introduce so that they do not transfer their infestation to others and take precautions to avoid a future infestation. “

Cory Göltzenleuchter

Cory Göltzenleuchter

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Communication also helps meet customer expectations, says Rosenbloom. “Every service in our industry needs time to be successful. If you haven’t told your customer that, your job isn’t done. “

At Truckee Meadows Pest Control in Reno, Nevada, owner Jodi Ashby arranges a free customer consultation before discussing prices. “The first step we take to ensure treatment is effective is not to give prices over the phone,” she says. “Bed bug treatments can get expensive, and we don’t want to scare people off before we can educate them.”

Kyle Stiemsma

Kyle Stiemsma

During the consultation, the Truckee team then focuses on education. Advising clients that it is not their fault that they have bed bugs, reassuring them not to be ashamed, explaining why do-it-yourself treatments won’t work, and how to avoid re-infestation after treatment .

“The bed bug infestation is socially stigmatized; Families with infestation feel like they are carrying the plague. Fear of spreading bed bugs puts families under significant stress, not just financially but socially, ”said Rusty Markland, COO of PestNow in Sterling, Virginia. “Anyone, anywhere, can get bed bugs. Bed bugs are not prejudiced; they will attack the rich, the poor, the clean and the unclean. “

Jodi Ashby

Jodi Ashby

For Rosenbloom, providing bed bug management services is worthwhile when you see the relief customers experience for helping them regain their quality of life. “A bed bug problem is psychologically stressful for most customers,” he emphasizes. “If you eliminate bed bugs from your life, you will be very grateful.”

But it’s not that bed bug treatments are magic. They are based on biology, application, chemicals and a partnership with the customer to solve the problem, says Markland. There is no quick fix and customers need to remember that.

“As PMPs, it is our responsibility to take care of our customers by educating them about the bed bug control process and explaining what to expect,” he adds. “In addition, it is our responsibility to train and train our inspectors and technicians throughout the bed bug control process.”

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

COVID CREATES CHALLENGES

Rusty Markland

Rusty Markland

Over the past year, COVID-19 had an impact on bed bug work, according to PMPs who answered Pest Management Professional’s (PMP) 2021 Bed Bug Management Survey. The data shows that bed bug pressures were moderate, perhaps because people aren’t traveling and coming together and spreading the pests like they used to. Additionally, some PMPs interviewed said their customers don’t want technicians to perform bed bug control services in their homes.

Another challenge that respondents reported was that government-ordered closures made it difficult for customers to find accommodation if they were asked to leave their homes during bed bug treatment.

However, despite the COVID-related challenges of the past year, calls from customers for bed bug services appear to be increasing in frequency.

“Twenty years ago, bed bugs were only in a bedtime poem. Now they are here and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, ”says Ashby. “It is important for PMPs to offer an effective treatment for bed bugs so we can help stop the spread.”

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: DENYS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: DENYS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021.

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021.

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES: KATARZYNABIALASIEWICZ (BEDROOM), WILDLIVINGARTS (CONDO), PCROSS (HOTEL) / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Source: PMP online survey conducted from January to February 2021. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES: KATARZYNABIALASIEWICZ (BEDROOM), WILDLIVINGARTS (CONDO), PCROSS (HOTEL) / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES

Source: PMP online survey conducted January to February 2021. PHOTO: JOHNNYLEMONSEED / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS / GETTY IMAGES