Product Education   |   October 5, 2022

Five steps to successfully conclude a callback

There are two primary issues with callbacks: 1) the specific pest problem and 2) the reaction of the customer to the PMP’s response. Resolving the pest problem can be straight forward; making the customer happy can be more challenging. Here are five steps to consider when working with a customer who has a complaint or concern.

  1. Listen to the customer. Assure the customer that you are actively listening, don’t interrupt or challenge them. And don’t take what they say personally. Remember, you’re there to help and should be a sympathetic listener.
  2. Clarify the concern. Make sure you understand the concern. Restate it and allow the customer to add more details if necessary. You may need to prompt for further clarification, i.e., “are there other locations where you have seen ants…?” Make sure you understand fully what the customer is unhappy about.
  3. Plan to resolve the issue. Describe what you are going to do and assure the customer you will solve the problem. Examples: identify the pest, inspect the exterior, the attic, the pantry, etc.; determine why the problem is continuing, devise and apply a treatment.
  4. Take action. Perhaps the worst thing you can do when handling a complaint is to show indifference. Even if you are not sure what course of action to take, always begin with a thorough inspection. Remember that a problem well stated or defined is a problem half solved. Show the customer what you discovered during your inspection and tell them what you are doing to fix the problem.
  5. Follow-up. Some remedial treatments may require a return visit – rats or mice in attics, garages or basements are examples. Make sure you have the customer’s contact information for follow-up and that they have yours as well so they can contact you if they have further questions or if the problem is not resolved. With a follow-up contact, you earn the customers trust and improve their experience with your company.

By following these five simple steps when dealing with callbacks and potentially unhappy customers, you can defuse a tense situation and win customer loyalty.

Jeff Tucker is an urban entomologist who works closely with the BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions Team. Jeff has more than 35 years of experience working with pest control customers to resolve their concerns.