[Pest Perspectives] Why Take the Service Ticket So Seriously?

Columns - Pest Perspectives

October 23, 2013
Kim Kelley-Tunis

Often thought of as just a leave behind following service, the service ticket can be a wealth of valuable information. Companies spend countless hours reinforcing the importance of documenting what was done during the pest management service. Designed to meet those requirements set forth by both the federal and state governments, the service ticket is also an important tool to communicate with your customer. Information on the products used, the amount of product applied, the locations of the applications and the target pest are documented to meet both federal and state regulations. Documenting conditions conducive to a pest infestation, sanitation or structural deficiencies, visible pest activity and details on the services performed are noted to meet the client’s needs.

However, the information collected on the service ticket also can be of great benefit to the service professional. When taking the time to review the service tickets of an account, the service professional can gain a greater awareness of their customer’s account and ways to enhance and improve the existing pest control program.

Pest Activity Trends.
The quickest and easiest way to make an immediate impact on your client’s service is to conduct a 12-month review of the service tickets and note if there are any trends regarding pest activity. It is well documented that there is a seasonality associated with many of the invading pests we deal with.

In the spring, termites and overwintering pests tend to be the dominant pests; the summer months bring ants, flies and spiders; and the cooler temperatures of fall signal an increase in yellow jacket and rodent activity, just to name a few. However, there may be pest pressures that are specific to your location and more specific to your customer. A review of the service tickets can help to identify the potential for pest activity before it happens. This helps the PMP be more prepared for the services needed to reduce the pest pressure within the home or structure.

Conditions Conducive to Pests. As a way to help better communicate concerns with our customers, information collected during an inspection regarding any sanitation issues, structural deficiencies and conditions conducive to a pest infestation are always noted on the service ticket. This can prove useful to a pest management professional and can be used to create a more complete and balanced control program based on the specific needs of the customer.

Deficiencies or issues noted can help pinpoint areas of concern, or specific areas that may require additional pest management services. This can be especially true for concerns or issues that have been noted on the service ticket more than once. Lastly, the data collected also can be used to identify additional service and sales opportunities, including minor calking or sealing, the installation of door sweeps and window seals, for example.

Products Used.
Often overlooked, the information collected for regulatory compliance can help the service professional evaluate the overall effectiveness of a control program when providing service to an account that may have a chronic, or long-term, problem that has been difficult to control. As product effectiveness can be affected by a number of factors, including environmental conditions, application site and application method, it is important that a periodic review of the control methods and products be done to ensure that the strategies and products being used are working.

Final Thoughts. As a pest management professional, it’s important to remember that each completed service ticket is simply a snapshot in time. That is, the information collected during that service visit only provides a small portion of the pest management picture. It is only when we take the time to look at a series of tickets can a more complete image of your customer’s account be visualized, and a more successful control program be developed.


The author is Rollins’ technical services director. She can be reached via email at kkelley@giemedia.com.