Many years ago I had a client who had two major problems. One was a nasty cockroach problem and the other was, well, me. She was a nice enough lady but she must have felt ashamed or embarrassed to have a bug man and so she was very specific in her instructions. I was to come mid morning when most of her neighbors were at work and NEVER EVER park out front or in her driveway. Like a clandestine spy I would stealthily steer my truck from a side street that connected to an alley that led me to the back of her home. Quickly I whisked my equipment from the tool box and would slip in the already opened back door and she would immediately slam it behind me.
Thankfully this is not the prevailing attitude of pest control professionals and indeed most clients are quite the opposite. People are happy to have a true professional come to their homes and provide a service. Trust is something that most folks give freely and as long as their technician appears friendly and knowledgeable they are more than eager to have us out.
Clients are eager to hear about my family. For me I always speak of my wife and kids; how one is flying the country side in his little plane and how my other dons the football helmet every Friday night for his high school football team. Of course we both realize the reason I’m there is to provide a service and the talk always turns to what I found on this trip and how I treated to either correct or prevent a pest control situation.
Of course there are two sides to every coin and all pest technicians have the other type of client as well (like in the example at the beginning). I won’t say that they are grouchy or hate to have a bug service but they want their visits short and to the point with very little talk other than job related. Pest sightings are given in a matter of fact style and even though they pretend to not care what you do with the information they’ll watch you to make sure you’ve covered the the areas where the bugs were spotted.
In both cases, I believe the customer is thankful to have the service. Having done service work in many areas of the country this prevailing attitude of wanting professional service is widespread and whether they want to chat or just get the job done doesn’t alter that expectation. For most companies this arrangement works out fine because they are proud of the work they do. While there are a scant few who fall into other categories they would be the subject of another less flattering article and become the ‘water cooler’ talk for the technicians before they head out on their routes in the morning. Pest control is such a great career and after a few years any good tech has enough stories to tell at a party or family get together. I’ve been at this for over 26 years now and only begun to scratch the surface as I write on my blog. I’m still waiting however for the next time I’m asked to park in the alley way but since where I live now there are no alley’s I’ll just have to sharpen up my 007 driving skills.
Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. Owner of The Bug Doctor Inc. in Ocala, Florida Jerry also spends much of his time sharing his insight through his blog and comments regularly here on deBugged.