One huge recent effort at Clark Pest Control has been the orchestrated rollout of the Net Promoter System throughout the company – along with a mission to deliver “A.C.E.,” or an Amazing Customer Experience, to every person the company serves. NPS gathers data from customers on how well the people who work at Clark Pest Control are meeting those customers’ wants and needs. Then, that information is routed to the right person, or people, within the company, so they can make the customer experience a more satisfying and even amazing one.
How that plays out at the local level, according to David Minder, the assistant branch manager who runs Clark Pest Control’s Reno office, is that many more customers are now choosing to continue staying on service with his branch, because there’s a much greater likelihood that their needs will be met – and even exceeded. “A lot of the time, we as individuals think we know what a customer wants,” he explains. “The nicest thing about the NPS system is that it lets our customers tell us what’s important to them, and then we’re able to adapt to what’s important to the customer – and not necessarily what we thought was important.”
To help put that idea into action, the branch’s office manager, Wendy Wright, has made it a point to follow up with every customer who has called in for additional service, after that service is performed. Minder says she asks them if the technician showed up when they said they would, and if they took care of the problem. Then, she asks the customer if he or she is satisfied, and if there’s anything else the technician can do to enhance the customer’s experience.
The Reno office is Clark Pest Control’s youngest branch, established in 2007. Being located in Nevada, the technicians there are subject to a different set of state laws and regulations than their colleagues in the California, where the company’s other 20 offices are located. But because the Reno office’s territory extends into California’s eastern Sierra region, which includes Lake Tahoe, Truckee and the Sierra Valley, some Reno technicians carry licenses to do business in both states. “We pick up where Chico, Yuba City and Auburn stop,” Minder says.
Reno may be best known as a destination for casino gambling, but the city also happens to be a huge transportation hub, with warehouses and distribution centers making up a sizable chunk of business activity. According to Minder, those facilities, along with the typical mix of offices, apartment complexes and restaurants, are the focus of the Reno office’s commercial pest control efforts. Still, around 85 percent of the business of the Reno office, located near U.S. 395 and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, is serving residential pest control customers.
Most of the same pest problems found in the more low-lying areas of California also affect Northwestern Nevada, but for one. “There generally are no rat issues in Nevada, except for some pack rats,” Minder explains. “The bulk of the rodents up here are mice and squirrels. As far as the other types of pests, ants are very prevalent in Reno; however, we don’t get any flea problems, because of the high elevation and the dryness.”
One pest that has been causing problems for a lot of the Reno office’s customers is the pitch moth (genus Synanthedon). When pitch moth larvae infect pine trees, they trigger those trees to produce large, unsightly amounts of resin. According to Minder, quite a few of his customers have been getting on the phone to the Reno office, urgently asking for help with sap-oozing trees.
Over a third of Reno’s residential customers are choosing to add some type of agricultural work to their regular regimen of pest control services, according to Minder. These ag services include tree and shrub work, tree injections and topical treatments. Many times, Clark Pest Control’s customers have no idea that the company offers such a broad range of services outside of pest management and termite protection. “One of the biggest things that we’ve done here,” Minder says, “is that we make sure that all our employees have an understanding of all the available services Clark Pest Control has to offer.”
Because many of the Reno branch’s technicians are licensed to perform services in Nevada and California, and because all the technicians who currently work at that branch carry a Nevada ag license, Minder sees Reno as positioned to better serve more customers, especially once those customers learn the depth of knowledge, and expanded toolkit of capabilities, that Reno’s technicians bring to the field. “We are one of the top five branches in all of Clark Pest Control as far as how [effective] our employees are,” he explains, “because they can do multiple services with just one call, one tech.”
According to Minder, all the efforts his employees are making are beginning to pay off. Reno had the best-scoring technician in the entire company recently, and there are many other positive indicators – including the gains that result from making sure that every customer who does business with Clark Pest Control has an Amazing Customer Experience.