Welcome to the latest edition of Arthropodcast!
You’ll probably notice, I’ve stepped up the post frequency as of late. I’m going to crank these things out on a weekly basis now. The reason for the change is just practice. Podcasting requires a few skill sets most of us aren’t born with, so the only way to get good at this kind of this thing is through repetition. With a monthly podcast, I don’t think I’ve been doing this stuff frequently enough to grow my skill set.
So we’re moving to a weekly schedule and you’ll probably notice a standard format begin to develop here in the near future. Maybe like a weekly tip, an interview, a Q&A session. We’re going to do some experimentation, to come up with some type of standard format on the podcast.
So today, Let’s talk about 3 free things that have made me a better PCO. Obviously, this list is not all inclusive, there are plenty of other things that have helped me along the way. These are just 3 random things that have helped me become a better pest professional, and I didn’t spend a dime on any of them.
- Jelly packets. A lot of people already know where I’m going with this. You’ll find these things at the condiments section – sometimes behind the counter at McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Burger King… pretty much any fast food restaurant that serves breakfast. I keep a small supply of jelly packets with me when I’m running my route. They’re really good to help attract ants if I need to locate a colony. I’ll just put some jelly down, give a little bit of time for an ant trail to form, then follow the trail back to the colony.
- Phonetic Alphabet. As a single operator, I spend a lot of hours on the phone and during much of that time I’m dealing with background noise. Dogs barking, gas rigs running, regular road noise. So at some point in my career, I realized I needed a good system to take down information accurately, and make sure names are spelled correctly. Before I knew this alphabet, I didn’t have standard example words I’d use when repeating back info to the person on the other side of the phone. and because of that, I’d put myself on the spot and sometimes I’d use really strange example words or ones that rhymed with other words. One time I actually used “P” as in pig. So number one, that’s a rather weird word to use, but number two, It rhymes with other words, so I created greater confusion. “P”, “B” and “D” those letters rhyme as do Pig, Big and Dig. But If I had known the phonetic alphabet, I’d know P,B, and D as Papa, Bravo, and Delta. I’d save time and confusion. But here’s the real kicker, it’s hard to imagine how many hours I wasted going to the wrong address and correcting paperwork because of misspelled names, but when I decided to sit down and learn the phonetic alphabet, I probably learned it really well in about a weekend. If you don’t know it, learn it, you’ll be happy you did.
- Genuine care. Phone calls are pretty much free these days so there’s no excuse for not checking up on a new start or an extra service I performed a few days ago. I find it really important to show my customers I really care about the service I provide. Sometimes the feedback I receive makes me better at my craft. Going even further than that, I like to show them I care on a personal level. Maybe one of my customers had surgery, a new job interview, maybe one of the kids had a piano recital or something. Showing care helps my retention and referrals. One of my customers has a son that coaches strength and conditioning for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. After the National championship, I just sent him a text saying “hey, just wanted to congratulate you and your son on the big win.” After all the kaos died down, the next day, I heard back from him. And just little more than a week later, he referred me to another customer. I’d been servicing him for about a year and a half, and received no referrals. A week after my congratulations text, he sends another customer my way.
So the way I see it, if you keep your customers in mind, they’ll keep you in mind. With that being said, keep this episode in mind. Do you have any free tools or skill sets that would benefit other PCOs? Drop me a message on Arthropod Alley.com or shoot me a tweet on Twitter @stevejacksonus that’s @stevejacksonus. Take care y’all.