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Eris Hess

Eris Hess

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Like many other industries, the worldwide web has become one of the main tools that customers use to search for pest control services in their area. If you've been neglecting your website as of late or if you don’t yet have one up and running, 2014 is your year to make it happen!

 

Here are some great tips from Agserv to help you get your website on track for the New Year and get ahead of your pest competitors:

 

#1. Great Design & Navigation

 

·         Great design and navigation are the basic elements every website must have.If your site isn’t easy to navigate or if it doesn’t look professional, you’ll lose web customers quickly.

 

·         If your website is more of the ‘amateur’ kind or if it has been created using something like a Wordpress template, consider investing in a quality web design service in the coming year to really make your site stand out over the rest.

 

#2. Quality Content

 

·         The content on your website is of critical importance, both to customers and to search engines (like Google). You should make sure that your content is well written (ideally by a professional writer) and that it is easy for customers to understand who you are, what you do, what types of pestservices you offer and why they can benefit from hiring you over another pest company.

 

#3. Social Media

 

·         Social media is one of the best ways you can engage with customers, as well as improve your website rankings online. The most important social media sites you should be using include Facebook, Google+ Local, Twitter and YouTube (for videos).

 

·         You’ll need to make sure you are active on your social media pages at least once a week or more and that you post/share interesting content and readily respond to users’ comments, questions and reviews.

 

#4. Blogging

 

·         Blogging is a fantastic way to regularly add new content to your website (search engines love this), as well as deliver valuable information and advice to your customers. Blogs also provide you with great content to share via your social media channels and email campaigns.

 

·         If you don’t have a blog for your business, consider starting one in 2014. Blogs should be well written and should either bring useful information to your customers (like tips, advice) or share news about your business activities (awards, new stores, promotions, sales) with them.

 

#5. Localising Your Business

 

·         Promoting your business location/s on your website is also vital, since it tells customers where you are based and also improves your relevancy in online searches results.

 

·         Using the Google Places application is a great way to promote your address online as well and helps your business get found in search engines, as well as on Google Maps and Google+ Local.

 

·         All of your profiles that link to your location should also be completed thoroughly and accurately; you will usually need to include information like your business description, services, trading hours, contact info and uploading photos/images is also recommended.

 

#6. Search Engine Optimisation

 

Search Engine Optimisationis the practice of enhancing a website so that it shows up at the top of user search results. For those of you who are keen to optimise your website and boost your search rankings, here are some great tips for 2014:

 

·         Improve your content and keyword usage; with Google’s recent Panda/Penguin algorithm crackdowns, overusing keywords and anchor text links on your website is now a big no-no. Instead, useful content and natural keyword usage is the way to go.

·         Social media also contributes greatly to your SEO, so investing in your social media campaigns and activities will be beneficial in 2014. Other social media sites/apps that are also becoming more popular include Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat and Vine.

·         Mobiles and small devices are also changing the way customers search for businesses online, so making sure your website is mobile friendly can greatly increase your chances of getting found online and engaging a new customer.

 

·         Investing in paid advertising (e.g. via Google AdWords) can also be beneficial in 2014, particularly if you want to get noticed online; just make sure you have a method to measure your results and track your ROI. 

 

 

At Agserv, our goal is to help all of our customers succeed.You can review our Pest products here or contact us on 1800 554 445 to chat about either pest solutions or website ideas.

 

Good luck for the rest of 2014!

 

 

 

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At Agserv, we pride ourselves on operating and servicing customers Australia-wide. Our head office is located in Sydney, in the grand suburb or Silverwater (just a stone’s throw from the Parra River!) and our branch here is the largest in the country. We have an extensive showroom in Sydney, as well as a training room – which our clients get to use free of charge!

 

So who works with our Sydney/NSW clients on a daily basis?

 

Meet the Agserv Sydney team!

 

Michael Harband, Central Region Manager – “Our Pest, Bird & Training Expert!”

 

Michael has 13 years’ experience in the Pest Control Industry, specialising in Commercial Bird Management. During this time, Michael has conducted both onsite and classroom training for many companies in all aspects of Bird Management.

 

In his spare time, he loves trail running, mountain biking, reading and photography.

 

Got a question for Michael? Contact him at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0434 301 593

 

John Rutledge, Technical Sales – “Sales Guru and Technical Leader in One”

 

Having been in the pest industry for 30+ years as a pest controller, John is our technical pest expert.Throughout his career, he has gained extensive knowledge of all pests in all settings and is our resident termite elimination guru. John designs and builds amazing spray rigs for Agserv’s clients and also manages all equipment repairs.

 

John enjoys spending his spare time with his family – you’ll often see him kite flying with his young daughter or brewing (and sipping) his own handcrafted ale! 

 

Got a question for John? Contact him at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02 9647 2111

 

Fatima Chami, Customer Service, Sydney – “Sydney’s Best People Person” 

 

Fatima has an extensive background in sales and customer service and she provides excellent support to all of Agserv’s NSW clients – oh, and she loves every minute of it!Fatima is a great first point of contact for any query, whether it’s about products, equipment, advice, events or if you need to troubleshoot any pesticide issues or simply have a chat!

 

When she’s not at Agserv, Fatima enjoys spending time with her family, watching footyand lending her full support to the NRL Bulldogs!

 

Got a question for Fatima? Contact her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02 9647 2111

 

For further pest control supplies and advice or to visit our Sydney Showroom or take advantage of our free meeting rooms, contact the Agserv Sydney Branch:

 

Phone: (02) 9647 2111 or Toll Free 1800 554 445

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6/105 Derby Street

 

Silverwater NSW

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Getting rid of those pesky termites is a huge part of our job as Pest Control operators and suppliers. Termite baiting has lots of great advantages and is considered one of the best methods for delivering colony control and eradication.

 

But it’s not always that easy, right? The longer it takes to get termites feeding, the smaller your profit margins and the more you risk dissatisfying your customer. Whatever baiting system you use, Agserv has created these top tips to help you maximise your chances of a faster and more thorough termite “hit.”

 

Tip 1. Choosing a Reliable Bait

In our experience, there is certain termite baiting technology that can be more reliable than others. These are usually top-shelf baits like Xterm that consistently lead the market in terms attractive ingredients and fast-acting termite elimination. 

Remember, a huge part of driving your success means investing in great products that will deliver the results you want, so don’t skimp when it comes to selecting a good bait.

Tip 2. Mixing Bait

Mixing bait correctly is also of utmost importance and it’s one of the most common problems we hear about in relation to baits not working. The bait must not be too wet or too dry and you also need to avoid using any type of contaminated water or liquid in your mix. Make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions carefully when choosing your liquid and mixing your bait.

Don’t forget, if you get stuck in the field, just call Agserv’s Pest Controller support team on 1800 554 445 – we’ll make sure you’re preparing the bait right! 

Tip 3.Placing Baits in the Right Spots 

Once your bait is mixed and ready to go, successful application is dependent on your assessment of the problem, the type of baiting system you’re going to use and where you’ve decided to apply your baits.

For instance, will you be using above-ground or in-ground baiting systems? If so, where will these go? Or will you be using a dust or liquid termiticide to apply a barrier treatment?  

Placing bait near pathways of high termite activity or at entrance positions is ideal. You can also place baits in area that are already damaged, since termites are likely to return there.

If you choose to use bait stations, you’ll also need to make sure you use a sealant that won’t repel termites and discourage them from taking the bait.

Tip 4. Don’t Disturb Those Termites!

Inspections or applications that are too vigorous or invasive can also disturb termites and their existing termite routes, sending them running away from your bait!

Careful inspections and gentle installations are ideal here so that you don’t “spook” the termites and risk making your application less successful. This takes good practise and training and is the mark of a great pest control operator. The less you disturb the termite activity, the faster your “hit” will work. 

Tip 5. Communicating With Your Customer 

Communicating the right information to your customers about your chosen bait system is also essential for a successful job. At the end of your application, your customer should have a clear idea of how your baiting system will work, when they can expect to start seeing results and if/when you will be back to monitor the application’s progress.

Communicating these details to your customer will mean you can make sure their elimination expectations are realistic and that they’re happy and satisfied at the end of your job. 

Do you have any tips for successful termite baiting? We’d love to hear them! To chat further or learn more about our bait products, contact Agserv on 1800 554 445 or visit www.agserv.com.au

 

 

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When young Eris Hess took over the family business supplying pest control chemicals and equipment, without any background in either, his learning curve was steep. Today Agserv is a major supplier to Australia’s pest control operators. Patrick Hess was an executive at chemical giant Ciba-Geigy’s Australian operation, when he acquired their application equipment arm Agserv in 1974. He soon acquired Victorian- based distributor Rudducks and launched Queensland pest control agent supplier QSR, to strengthen the Agserv brand, which is now a major supplier to Australian businesses.

Clients are mainly urban-based, including councils and government health departments, keen to rid themselves of unwelcome populations of termites, cockroaches and myriad other dirty and destructive insects.

When Patrick passed away in 1986, his son Eris was only 14 years old, so Agserv was managed by Ken Davidson in Sydney and brother-in-law Jim Westhead at Rudducks in Melbourne. Both men were to become Eris’s technical mentors during his learning period.

“After university I worked at Rudducks in sales and marketing and then Optus before heading to London for a job in personnel recruitment,” Eris says. In 1997 he returned to Agserv in Sydney “to help out for a few months”, but the Davidson brothers had other plans. The next year he became managing director. “I met my future wife and stayed,” says Eris, who was named after the first Bishop of Melbourne.

The business has evolved from an even mix of chemicals, application services and equipment, to principally supplying Agserv Pty Ltd chemical products to Australia’s 7,000 pest control operators in 1,500 businesses. Agserv offices in the Sydney headquarters, as well as Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle are manned by 16 staff, who also provide technical support, training and advice to operators. A small offshoot, Altis, sells termite reticulation systems.

“Our customer service strategy has successfully grown turnover 15 to 20 percent year-on-year since 2005, including the global financical crisis period,” says Eris. His mum Marjorie is pleased, as although never active in the business, she remains the majority shareholder. His sister Margaret sits on the company’s board too.

Pest control industry chemicals and practices are increasingly under pressure from a vigilant regulator, and Eris has served on the board of AEPMA, voice of the Australian professional pest management industry, in an ongoing dialogue with government. The regulator’s vigilance has also paralleled a return to natural chemicals like pyrethrum, which is extracted from chrysanthemums, and traditionally imported from East Africa but now grown successfully in Tasmania. “This takes the industry full circle, 70 years back, as demand has moved away from more toxic synthetic chemicals,” says Eris.

 

Succession planning in the Hess family isn’t an immediate priority, but with 12 grandchildren coming through, the future is looking bright.

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STOP THE CALL BACK!

 

12 Ways to Avoid the “Call Back Curse”

We’ve all been called back on to look at a job we thought had been 

completed at one time or another. Call backs are the curse of the busy 

pest controller. Rushing from one job to the next, especially in busy 

summer months, we can sometimes forget to explain something or even 

miss a vital part of a process trying to be on time. 

Call backs not only put a dent in your profits, but can also affect your 

relationships with clients and their view on your service. Great 

preparation and a solid process can be the difference between calling 

once and doing a great job and going back inconveniencing both you 

and your customer. 

Expert pest controllers Grant Curry, Rowan Gregson and our own 

regional manger Richard Lawrence have shared their expertise for this 

guide. 

As my father always used to say, “measure twice, cut once”. 

1) Have the correct expectations been set from the beginning? Good 

communication with the client from the initial call is essential to set 

realistic expectations. 

2) Timing of jobs is crucial so ensure wind, excessive heat, sunlight and 

time of day are taken into account when booking the appointment. 

3) Review customer records and customer history on usage of 

materials and quantities, also any problems previously experienced.

4) Always provide realistic and genuine estimates. Low estimates to get 

work ALWAYS end up costing you reputation and money. 

5) Do you have the right chemicals and tools for the job? Create a 

simple pre-flight checklist before you leave the office, this will ensure 

you have everything you need prior to leaving.

6) Ensuring your equipment is in great working order is essential for a 

trouble free site treatment. Always clean and maintain your equipment 

well and it will look after you in return. 7) Ensuring the customer fully understands their problem is essential in 

reducing call backs. Explain what you are going to do and what the 

likelihood of success is and whether a follow up treatment is advised. 

Creating a simple flyer to give to them “You’ve just been sprayed for 

XXXX”, can educate and encourage them to make contact in a set 

amount of time with a stamp. 

8) Create a service tick sheet. This is a thorough step by step process of 

your service you provide to ensure you are not missing anything on 

site. 

9) Ensure paperwork is easy to understand and complete. Ensure all 

materials, when and where used as well as the details of your warranty 

are clear. 

10) Always ask if their is anything else they need to know, if they are 

happy and even if they have any other issues they would like you to look 

at prior to leaving. 

11) Communicate after the job to understand how your services are 

seen by the public and improve where possible. Ask for reviews that can 

be used in marketing and pass them on to the business. 

12) Regular “tool box” meetings where all pest controllers input their 

experiences on a regular basis to improve the service for customers.

Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can fail due to human nature on 

both sides. 

If you have followed all of these and you still get a call back, let’s 

minimise the pain a little. Uncover what the problem is prior to returning, 

as you may not need to go back at all. 

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