No pest manager wants to be called back to re-treat a premises free of charge. But what is the true cost to the business?

We all know that getting a callback on a job is part and parcel of being a pest manager. But have you ever done the maths on what that callback is really costing you?

Once you crunch the numbers on things like the return drive out to the customer, the time taken to fix the problem, any products you need to use, and potential future profit loss from reputational damage, it starts to add up. The time you spent on a callback could have been invested in another job. In other words, one callback can cost you the profit of two jobs. Repeat this process enough times in a year, and it starts to impact your bottom line.

So, what’s the best way to keep callbacks to a minimum? Here are four tips to keep in mind.

1. Use the best products for the job

Getting the job done right, the first time, requires high quality products that use the latest technology and chemistry to deliver results. Syngenta offers a range of products that are designed for effectiveness, so do your research and stay in touch with what’s on the market. It also helps to rotate your products so that you are using a variety of modes of action, and to pair products together for comprehensive coverage. Arilon non-repellent insecticide, for example, can be used with Advion ant and cockroach gel to deliver comprehensive control in jobs that are resistant to other treatments.

2. Use best practice methods

Customers depend on pest managers to get the pest species right, locate the source of the problem, choose the right treatment and implement long-lasting solutions. It may sound simple, but ensuring your work is of high quality is one of the best ways to reduce callbacks down the track. Investing in education, using best practice methods and staying up to date with industry standards will reap rewards for your business. In the long run, you’ll build a strong reputation and your bank balance will thank you for it.

3. Allow enough time to do the job right

Time is money, and this is especially true in the pest business. While it can be tempting to hurry through tasks when you’re pushed for time, slow down and take care to do the job right. It’s also important to spend enough time identifying the species of pest you are dealing with, so you can implement the most effective solution. Using the wrong strategy because you’ve misidentified the pest only costs you more in the long run, as you will most likely need to spend time treating the area again and correcting the mistake.

4. Set the right expectations with your customer

Callbacks often occur because a customer has misunderstood the treatment’s results. To prevent this from happening, communicate honestly about what to expect after a treatment, especially if the results won’t be immediate, or if there may be an increase in pest activity for a short time before the population is eliminated.

It also helps to talk to the customer about why the problem occurred in the first place, and what steps they can take to prevent future infestation. Actions such as keeping pet food in a sealed container, mowing the lawn, cutting back vegetation from buildings and cleaning grease from stoves can go a long way towards keeping pests at bay and preventing callbacks down the track.

James Hotten, Business Manager, Syngenta