The secret to saving big dollars in annual renewals for the Sentricon® System each year might be closer than you think. Want to find out? Call your company’s main phone number and tell the person you plan to cancel your service to see what they say.
If your office staff aren’t doing more to help save cancellations, don’t blame them. More often than not, the office staff may be missing out on valuable industry training. Office administrative staff tend to wear many hats at a pest management company, but one of their most important ones may be at the front line of retention — answering cancellation calls.
Think of office staff as the first line of defense for fighting a cancellation. Amy Chapman, sales representative, Dow AgroSciences, saw an opportunity waiting and took the initiative to empower the office staff at her territory’s largest customer, Terminix Service, Inc. Chapman discovered that some of the office staff who have been around 10 or 20 years had never seen termites or gone through termite training, such as Sentricon Advanced Training. For the most part, they learned on the fly or as they came across a topic.
That’s where Chapman’s idea of a training program for office staff became a reality. Over the course of 15 months, Chapman took more than 300 office staffers through a series of training programs, created a contest and was able to help Terminix Service, Inc. save almost $500,000 in renewals that they otherwise might have lost. Those savings were over the course of just four months! Imagine what you could do in one year.
“Amy’s work with our office professionals had a great impact on our company’s bottom line during the slow winter months,” says Susan Douglas, vice president of finance, Terminix Service, Inc. “We set a goal to collect half a million dollars of unpaid renewal accounts for Sentricon in a four-month period. With education and incentive, our office professionals were able to exceed that goal.”
“Confidence is key, but to grow confidence, you must empower your office professionals,” says Chapman. “For a company to be successful, it’s important to make your employees feel recognized and appreciated. And, no matter what industry, you have a commitment to continue to learn.”
The office staff completed five lessons about basic knowledge and information that would be relevant for a majority of phone calls directed to the company’s main line. They also received hands-on experience in the Terminix Service, Inc. training facility, applying what they learned in the following lessons:
“Research tells us that purchase decision-making is made by a woman 70 to 75 percent of the time,” adds Chapman. “Office staff are usually women, and that is really effective when a woman is on the other end of the phone call and wants to cancel her service. There tends to be less gender resistance during a woman-to-woman conversation. Office ladies are a great asset to our companies, and they need to feel empowered to talk termites with homeowners, homebuilders or whoever else calls.”
Chapman loved seeing the confidence the office staff gained as they learned more about termites and the Sentricon System. Confidence comes with knowledge. When a person feels confident to engage in a conversation and explain why that homeowner should not cancel their service for Sentricon, they are more likely to save that cancellation by explaining the value of Sentricon®.
“I saw a wonderful change in our company’s administrative staff,” says Cheryl Raven, director of branch administration, Terminix Service, Inc. “They were excited to learn about termites and understand how important their role is in our company. They recognized how much we were investing in their education. We depend on them to do so many jobs during the day, so it’s important to give them training just as we would offer training to our technicians or salespeople. Amy was able to help us make sure we were helping our staff reach their full potential.”
If you want to gain revenue from renewals, consider expanding your training across the company.