Jackson Griffith/ Fred Speer
Clark Pest Control
A Personal Interview With Branch Manager Travis Mickel About Pest Control in Yuba City, CA
Clark Pest Control’s branch office in Yuba City pest control services routes that wind through a wide swath of northern California, spanning the Sacramento Valley and such cities as Woodland, Colusa and Yuba City-Marysville up into the mountain communities of Nevada and Sierra counties – Grass Valley, Nevada City and even Downieville. The territory includes a lot of prime agricultural land, residential areas from urban settings to small towns and, heading east, mountain forests.
Travis Mickel, the Branch Manager, moved to Yuba City from Clark’s Salinas branch, about a month and a half after the office moved into new digs on the Garden Highway. According to Mickel, it’s a real upgrade that has resulted in much-improved employee morale. The added space has provided room for branch employees to pursue the continuing education they need – to maintain state license requirements, and to keep up on the latest developments in pest management, customer service, and sales. “One thing we’ve done recently,” he says, “is we’ve opened a library here at the branch with basically everything from sales to service books that guys can check out on the honor system – videos, audio books, even NPS materials. So we’ve got that as a resource for all our employees now, and it’s kind of exciting.”
NPS, or Net Promoter System, is what Clark uses to assess customer satisfaction, with feedback that helps the company design and guide efforts to improve service. It’s a company-wide effort, and the 21 Clark Pest Control branches in California and Reno, Nevada are where the idea of Amazing Customer Experience gets put into practice. “We’re heavily into NPS,” Mickel says, “like I think everyone in the company is. I have a fantastic NPS Champion, Brad Braun, who also is my Service Manager. We typically let everyone know what our results are each month, and we’ve been scoring consistently better than the company average, month in and month out – which I attribute to a lot of really good technicians who deliver great customer service, as well as Brad and Tony [Garcia], the supervisors overseeing that.”
According to Mickel, Yuba City’s numbers are increasing, both sales and estimates. “So far this year,” he says, “we’re 40 percent ahead of where we were last year at the same time period for our number of estimates, and our number of sales is 42 percent ahead of where we were last year.
“Team Yuba City pest control takes pride in growing bigger and better,” Mickel adds.
Looking ahead, Mickel sees that to grow his 30-year-old branch, which today employs 28 people, he will need others to step up, so he started a leadership class four months ago that’s set to graduate its first group this week. “I asked for volunteers, if anyone would be more interested in learning about leadership,” he says, “possibly in an existing role as a supervisor, or those who would want to go into that at some point in the future.” The result he calls pretty exciting, and kind of a cool thing.
Yuba City also recently hired a new termite inspector. “We’re looking for good things to happen there,” Mickel says. Lately he says he’s really been focusing on sales training for his staff. “I’ve been taking the whole branch through The Personal Guide to Successful Sales book that I wrote many years ago, and we’re seeing results with our creative sales. Lot’s of great things are happening.”