Rapids Solutions’ CEO Belinda Smith reminds pest managers of the importance of maintaining professionalism, even when peak season hits.
NSW has celebrated its Freedom Day, other states and territories are nearing vaccination targets, and – most importantly – we’re well into the annual busy season for pesties.
The combination of a backlog of jobs that have accumulated during lockdown, the hot property market, and what is shaping up as a bumper pest season means that many companies are struggling to meet demand. Whilst great for business, this is not without its challenges. In making every effort to keep existing customers happy and tap into the glut of potential new customers, it’s important not to take shortcuts. More work means more site visits and greater opportunity for errors, so it’s as vital as ever to be diligent in your work and protect yourself from customer complaints, rework, reputational damage and, when things really go wrong, claims against you.
The basis of most claims Rapid Solutions sees is an alleged breach of Australian Consumer Law. This means your customer says they paid you for a service (e.g. treating termites or a pre-purchase pest inspection) and because they found live termites or damage, that service wasn’t provided with the due skill and care they’re entitled to expect.
Avoiding these allegations usually comes down to:
- The contract you entered into: Quotations, terms and conditions, and pre-inspection agreements (vital for pre-purchase inspections and required by Australian Standards) all form part of the contract between you and your customer. Each of you is entitled to rely on this binding agreement. Avoid acting only on verbal “go aheads” on jobs, including for mates.
- Your paperwork: Ensure all aspects of your paperwork accurately reflect the property’s condition and work done,
and use photographs as much as possible, including for termite management. This can be valuable evidence to show the condition of areas you treated and inspected, particularly if the complaint or claim comes years (and hundreds of jobs) later.
- Report recommendations and next steps: If return visits, invasive inspections, or other trades are needed at the property, clearly state this in your paperwork, plus how soon the recommendations should be acted on.
We wish you all the best with taking advantage of today’s opportunities for tomorrow’s success!
Belinda Smith, CEO, Rapid Solutions