The PestWeb Podcast episode 11: What a technical director can do for your business


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The PestWeb Podcast episode 11: What a technical director can do for your business

For many professionals, the responsibility of a technical director seems more or less the same as an entomologist’s. But as guest Tommy Powell explains in this episode, technical directors play a much broader role in supporting pest control businesses.


Tommy brings longtime expertise as a technical field representative at MGK. Listen in as he discusses a technical director’s perspective on hiring the right technicians, keeping them motivated, and minimizing callbacks by clicking the audio player below.





What are the biggest misconceptions people have about technical directors? 

Most people who haven’t met a technical director assume it’s just an entomologist who identifies insects. The truth is, technical directors can do much more than that.


There’s also a misconception that a technical director will come in and tell a branch manager how to run the business. Instead, the goal is to serve the leaders to help the business be more successful.



How can a technical director help a business achieve its goals? 

A good technical director can help with any problem the branch is facing, from finances to callbacks, and support overall business operations.


It’s best when technical directors sit down with a branch manager to ask questions and make suggestions — not just telling them what to do, but getting involved to help them be successful.



How can technical directors help with pest control technician training? 

Effective technical directors know to keep it simple. Technicians are already under a lot of pressure with a lot of things to do. Giving them 50 ways to kill an ant just isn’t helpful.


As a technical director, it’s also important to know what to do. You can’t teach a technician to control bedbugs if you’ve never done it yourself. Technical directors have been in the field and seen what technicians see on their routes.  



What do technical directors look for when hiring a pest control technician? 

It’s not about how much experience a technician has had. Anyone can learn to control pests.


The key is finding someone who can keep customers happy. They need to have good communication skills. The right technician should be able to explain the service they provided, set expectations, and describe what they will do on the next visit.



What are techniques for keeping pest control technicians motivated? 

Most technicians are innately competitive, so providing opportunities for recognition or competitions will spark a fire in them to do a good job. It’s effective to bring up a job well done during a branch or training meeting. That will make the other technicians more motivated to earn that recognition as well.


Some companies also host cookouts as a thank you to technicians for their hard work.



How can a technical director help with inventory? 

A technical director can help a business figure out how much of the products technicians are using. It’s not always about technicians using too much. Sometimes there may be a technician who’s not using any at all because they’re not treating accounts, or they may be mixing products.


The right technical director will identify the reasons behind that information and help make corrections.



How can a technical director help with routing? 

An effective technical director will help put the right people in the right places. Some companies will have three technicians working the same street. That’s just not efficient. Ideally, each technician will have a dedicated zip code.


For bigger changes, the technical director will sit down with the technician, a supervisor, and a branch manager, and explain how serving a smaller area will help grow the route and boost efficiency.



How can routing help minimize callbacks? 

Time is a big factor for technicians. If you put them in a situation where they have to cut corners because they’re worried about drive time, you’re going to have callbacks.


If technicians have smaller, tighter routes, and don’t have to go from one zip code to another, they can do their job better. That way, the technicians can take their time and do it the right way.



Want to learn more tips for growing your business?


Click here to listen to more episodes of the PestWeb Podcast.

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