Bed Bugs Invading Contact Centers: New Issues in Performance

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Just when we think managing all of the different customer contact channels, and those customers that can never be satisfied is pesky – we now must add beg bugs to the list of contact center performance issues.

While at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo I was walking the Expo Hall and spotted a vendor that caused me to pause. After a quick battery of internal questioning, I falsely assumed that they must be recruiting talent for themselves.

But, I needed to know for certain.

I was not only corrected, I was somewhat surprised by the truth. Bed bugs in contact centers?! That’s why Orkin was at the Contact Center Expo.

Orkin, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia employs nearly 8,000 team members in more than 400 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Australia. They serve approximately 1.7 million residential and commercial customers.

After doing more research on this issue, I happened to find several news features covering this contact center pest problem. And I also found this quote from Dr. Tim Husen, an Orkin entomologist.

“The number of bed bug infestations in the United States is still rising. They continue to invade our homes and businesses on a regular basis because they are not seasonal pests, and only need blood to survive,” he says.

In fact, Orkin released a report on the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list and after reviewing the list I’m able to confirm that several of the cities listed are known to be locations where a high percentage of contact centers exist. So, in my mind I can (now I can) completely understand why Orkin was at the Contact Center Expo. I say smart move on their part.

I met several people from Orkin and interviewed Brian Brockman, Branch Manager with Orkin on-site. Here is an edited transcript from our interview:

Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here at Contact Center Expo with Brian Brockman of Orkin. Orkin?! Brian, how do you help folks get over the hump?

Brian Brockman: Your response there was one we’ve seen a lot today. “What in the world is a pest control company doing at this show?”

Well we’re here today at the ICMI Expo, talking to call centers about how Orkin can provide a service to protect their location, their business, as well as their employees. We’ve seen a drastic increase in bed bugs in these types of locations and we do a program of training employees as well as proactive inspecting programs to help provide a protection for the establishment, their employees and the business to keep things moving slowly so there’s no hiccups.

Jim Rembach: It’s really important for the supervisor to really have an easier life in the contact center because they’re so important. How do you make their job easier?

Brian Brockman: Well the big thing is documentation. We’re going to do an inspection protocol even some proactive treating if necessary. And our documentation is key. We can provide documentation that allows you to monitor the services were providing over multiple locations. So, if you’re not on-site or you have multiple facilities, you can track those reports from off-site. And they’ll be your detailed report tonight so you have basically an extra eye on what’s going on in your business.

Jim Rembach: So, Brian how do folks learn more?

Brian Brockman: Very easy call 1-800-ORKIN-NOW or just go to our website – www.orkin.com/commercial/.

Jim Rembach: Brian thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom we wish you the very best.

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