We had a customer recently call on the afternoon of her service, to find out when the tech would be there. I let her know she was scheduled for the morning, so she should already have either an invoice or a notice that we missed her for some reason. She said she thought so too, but didn’t see anything. I let her know I would call her back after checking with the technician to find out what happened. The tech remembered treating her home, and remembered that she had a pond in her yard, and said he left the invoice in the backdoor. I let the customer know this and she was very confused. She wanted to call her neighbor to find out if they were serviced already. When she called back she asked if there would be some reason to not leave the invoice for her, because her neighbor got their invoice. I told her if she didn’t believe the tech was there, we could send someone back to treat again for her. She said she believed me, and that wouldn’t be necessary, but was still baffled that she always could find the paperwork and didn’t see it anywhere today. I told her I would mail her a copy of the invoice when the tech brought it to the office and she said that would be great. She called again about an hour later, laughing so hard. She said she completely forgot that she has a backdoor to one of the bedrooms. She had found the invoice tucked right into the door, just like the tech promised. She apologized for making such a stink and said she felt so silly for not thinking of that before. She thanked me for all my help, and for all the calls back and forth trying to figure it out.
St. George branch
I’m Gabby, and have worked for Bulwark Exterminating for over three years now as a Customer Service Representative. One of my many duties entails calling and scheduling customers. There is this one particular customer that called in on September 25th 2007. This customer has been a loyal customer of ours since 2007. She has requested to have a specific technician to do her regular service and that is Roger. He is known in our office because of all the great compliments we have received from various customers. Roger services a well known gated community in the Austin, TX area. One of the great things we hear from all his customers is that he bends over backwards for our customers. Which I agree he really does. If I could estimate there is about 30 additional customers who request Roger as well. So those customers are known as “Roger Only” customer that’s how popular he is in our office. So on that day in September the customer who was scheduled to have Roger out there that morning and got a notice left on her gate that stated her mailbox was full! She called the office to inquire what that meant. I then informed her that when we called her to let her know about the scheduled service, her voicemail was full and therefore she didn’t know about the appointment and left her gate locked. She then requested not only to have Roger go back and perform the regular service but to also delete her messages on her voice mail because she didn’t know how to do that. I explained to her that I couldn’t schedule that because that is not Roger’s area of expertise and she would have to contact her phone service provider for that. She insisted on getting Roger back out there, so I did. She continues to be a “ Roger Only” customer and I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger did go back and perform her regular service and also deleted her messages for her because again Roger always bends over backwards for his customers.
One time I went to do a service for interior earwigs. As I was on my way, I called the customer (wife) to let them know I was on my way. She said, “Yes, please come over we need a spray badly!” So, when I got there, the husband came to the door and said, “What are you doing here, I already canceled the account!” So I said “I just spoke to your wife and she said to come over and do the service.” So he said, with a grumpy old face, “Come on in then!” So as I went in, and the wife began showing me where the earwigs were, and the husband kept running around following us and saying, “You know, I can take care of this myself!”,…. “And I can do a better job!” So as he kept complaining, the wife said, “Honey, What did I tell you!!” as she grabbed him by the ear and dragged him to his room.
What I heard from the other room was, “I will pay for the service.” She came out and apologized and thanked us for the service. I thought to myself, HMMM, She just put her husband in time out for trying to refuse Bulwark’s services!
Las Vegas, NV
I remember a call that I got last April, and it is a month this customer will never forget. While in her laundry room, she noticed an odd, gray bug clinging to the wall. She showed it to her husband and neither of them knew exactly what it was, so into the garbage disposal it went. Afterwards, she went out of town leaving her dogs and husband at home for about ten days. When she returned, she found another odd bug in the laundry room. She also found ticks crawling on the walls, floors and embedded in her poor little pups! She immediately called the vet and picked up some very expensive tick guard. She went to the local pet store and bought even more expensive sprays and foggers to try to stop these horrible little creatures from their massive invasion. She had to take all my dogs to the groomer and have them shaved so she could check them for ticks on an hourly basis!
Her tick problem was just getting worse so the neighbor, vet and groomer suggested she seek professional intervention. Heeding the neighbor’s advice, she called Bulwark and spoke to me. I made a special trip to their home the very next day because I could hear and feel the frustration and overall panic in her voice. The customer said in a review “Chris and his technicians came to our home several more times treating the yard, inside the home and even provided them with some tick spray for our dogs!” We answered their calls and her questions in a caring professional manner. It took about two months to completely eradicate the ticks and all their eggs, but they are happy to report they are tick free! Bulwark sprays their home once a month and they continue to be pest free. Living on the desert of Phoenix is beautiful but leaves everyone more susceptible to many critters, large and small. The small ones are oftentimes the most irritating and destructive. She continued to say, “Thank goodness for the professional team of Bulwark and their ability to take care of all our pest problems. I always recommend Bulwark and Chris Benham to anyone who does not want a pest problem!”
I was lucky enough one day to receive this phone call from a customer complaining about rats and mice. She wasn’t sure if they were rats or mice, but nevertheless, it was quite comical. She wanted to know all about our service and how we treated for them. I told her the technician would put out glueboards and mouse/rat traps. She seemed very upset, I asked her what was wrong, she said she didn’t want to kill the rats or mice, she just wanted us to move them to a different location. I couldn’t help but laugh, however, I laughed to myself. I spoke briefly with a manager to see if there was anyway to catch them without hurting them, but the answer was no, which I already knew, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, I got back on the phone with her and told her we don’t offer that kind of service.
I told her not to look at the glueboards or look in the traps, but to call us and we would send a technician out there to check them for her. She seemed okay with that and we sent a technician out to check out her rat/mouse problem, which she definitely had. She has not called to complain since that phone call… I was glad to help in anyway I could. Hopefully her problem is that of the past.
One day I was servicing a home while training a guy that had been sitting in the truck while I did all the spraying and all the services. He always was having an excuse to be on the phone. I was really getting frustrated cause I believe that he was just being lazy. I knocked on the customer’s door and there wasn’t an answer. I checked the gate, it wasn’t locked, so I went back to the truck and asked if the trainee wanted to spray the house. He was still on the phone so I just started to spray the house. When I got to the backyard I made it to the far side when this big dog came from under the dog house, filthy dirty, and growling viciously. The dog came towards me, and I felt like I had to run. I jumped the neighbor’s wall and came to the front yard. I saw that my trainee was off the phone and I just quickly asked him to finish up the back while I made a phone call to the office. He went towards the back yard where I was sure that he was going to have to jump the wall like myself. To my surprise he finished the service and rolled up the hose while I faked being on the phone with the office. I guess if I would have not run the dog would not have chased me. But at the least it got this tech to start to spray houses and learned the lesson that not all dogs of this sort are really vicious. Richard Wickoff
Mgr. Las Vegas
I was working out in Scottsdale. I arrived at the home and checked the back gate only to notice a BIG dog charging at me. I quickly shut the gate. I called the customer and she answered the phone. She was home, but didn’t hear me knock. She told me the dog was nice and would just jump on me. The dog was put away and I started spraying the perimeter of the house. I was in the front yard when the customer opened up the door to take out the trash. The dog snuck out and started running at me. Again she said the dog was nice; however, the dog had his own agenda. He charged at me and I jumped back only to be bitten in the right butt check. The customer felt so bad and quickly grabbed the dog. It hurt pretty badly. It was the first time in a year and a half that I have been with Bulwark that I have been bitten (and hopefully the last). I was fine but sore and bruised. I told the customer she had nothing to worry about.
During the summertime in Phoenix we have several customers who call in because they have a problem with scorpions. This summer I had a woman call in who was extremely afraid of scorpions and found a scorpion in her house. She said she would not go home and did not feel safe being there. I looked and looked for somewhere I could get her on for a call back service. When I got back on the phone with her I told her I would have a technician out first thing in the morning. As soon as I said that I could hear her beginning to cry. I felt horrible and realized I needed to find something right away! I told her I would call her back and have to call my technicians to see who was close enough to stop by her area that same day. I found a technician who was close to the area and said he could stop by. When I called her back she was very grateful for our help and glad we could get her on for that day. A week later when we called her to follow-up on her call back service she said the technician did a great job and had not seen any scorpions in her home since.
Sometimes being in the service industry, service men and women might be asked to go beyond the normal realms of a normal job. I like to joke about the fact that we are not the electric company and we have to actually strive to keep our customers happy. Our customers have other options that they could leave us for.
So, one day I had a route that seemed to be a little demanding. What I mean is that there was a lot of driving. Sometimes this happens because we cannot control when our customers get pest problems and where they live. Well, when it rains it pours.
By 2 PM I was calling my 5:00 service and letting them know it would be closer to 7 PM. They were ok with this. I also called my 6:00 service telling them it would be closer to 8:30 or so. Well, if you have ever driven through Austin, TX in Friday rush hour, you know where you have been and you know how slow you were going. After calling my 5:00 service for the 3rd time, I let them know it would be closer to 9:30. I honestly thought the customer would want to reschedule for another day and I was a little worried that the customer would be upset with me. To my surprise, the customer said, “we will be here”. I was happy to do the service late at night just for the simple fact that I was worried the customer would be upset for me falling so far behind. On top of that, I called my 6:00 service for the 5th time and told her that it would be closer to 11 PM. To my amazement, she was good to go. My 5:00 service that I was finishing up with around 10:30 was walking around his house with me while I did the treatment and he held the flashlight. He was happy, I was happy.
Could it rain and pour some more? By this time the rush hour was over so that was a relief, but that is when the roadwork started and I35 was shut down! I called my 6:00 service for the 6th time and said, I am sitting still on I35 so I don’t know when I will get there. She said, “I am just up doing laundry, so don’t worry, I will be here and I will be up”. I showed up at her house at 1 AM! She was happy to see me as she had a horrible problem with some very large roaches. She had just moved into and older house in a college neighborhood. I think I got some pretty good advertisement as there was a very loud party happening next door! They did not expect to see the bug guy! I finished her house at 2 AM and somehow I was on time to my first house the next day.
The moral of the story? If you have a pest control technician show up at your home on a Saturday morning and that technician is dragging his feet, has blood shot eyes, and might be slurring a little bit, it does not necessarily mean he was out parting the night before.
- George Bryant
San Antonio, TX