For business owners, it’s common knowledge that each new generation tends to take a unique new approach to things — and that’s the truth whether you’re discussing your employees or your customer base. While that information may not be groundbreaking on its own, actually knowing how to leverage that awareness to communicate better across generations can prove extremely valuable for today’s pest control professionals.

PestPac by WorkWave was thrilled to sponsor the latest Pest Control Technology webinar, Bridge the Gap: Communication Across the Generations. Our own Mike Christ, Product Manager for PestPac, was joined by Michelle Patsche, Quality Assurance and Training Coordinator at TRNZ4m, to discuss how rapidly advancing technology has shined a light on many cross-generational differences — as well as how PCOs can take advantage of technology to alleviate stress on cross-generational communication.

Identify Sticking Points

The first step toward resolving issues is identifying them. These can vary widely depending on how your company’s priorities align with those of the generation in question, from minor inconveniences to communication breakdowns.

For instance, while something as simple as a dress code may resonate differently with employees from different generations, it’s usually fairly simple to address. A general difference in employment priorities — such as whether a prospective employee’s generation places an emphasis on salary, room to grow, or company culture — may mean you’re missing out on potential employees just because of how your job postings are presented.

You can also hit snags when interacting with prospective customers of different generations. For instance, phone calls tend to be the preferred communication method for older generations, while email or text communication is a must-have for younger generations. It’s important to hone in on these types of differences and how they impact your customer journey, that way, you can take steps to make your pest control operation a more attractive option for prospects across the board.

Find Ways to Overcome Hurdles

In many cases, shifting your perspective is the most difficult step in resolving cross-generational challenges. Implementing a new approach or taking advantage of a new resource is something your business knows how to do; it’s recognizing the need to do so that can prove challenging.

To get in the right headspace, focus on acknowledging the diverse range of priorities, opinions, and approaches that come from each generation.

By consciously aiming to approach differences from a place of understanding, you can begin to recognize differences between the generations in a way that avoids stereotyping and instead allows you to predict and address hurdles before they occur. Learning each generation’s language — not just how they speak, but how they communicate and what motivates them — allows you to find win-win solutions. These may include leveraging unique strengths to overcome problems or flexing your expectations to accommodate differences better, ultimately allowing you to resolve issues before they gain momentum.

You don’t need to agree with each generation’s priorities or preferences, but you do need to appreciate them to start making progress. Recognizing these differences will take you forward in leaps and bounds, opening new paths to find a middle ground and strengthening cross-generational communication.

Meet Them Where They Are

There’s a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time when it comes to finding your next star employee or signing your next customer — but you don’t have to leave it up to fate. Putting your pest control operators out there in a strategic way ensures that you’re always in the right place at the right time; you just need to decide which places are the right ones.

For attracting employees, it’s critical to recognize that each generation has its own way of finding available jobs. While it’s easy to generalize and say that just about everyone applies online these days, it’s important to be more specific. Job posting websites come and go like anything else, and each generation tends to stick with whichever one they’re most familiar with. For some, like the generation currently entering the workforce, jobs are frequently found on social media rather than on dedicated employment sites. When looking for talent, be sure to factor in where your target audience wants to find your listing.

The same goes for attracting new customers, though in a different way. If your trucks or promotional materials only list a phone number to contact you, you’re likely to miss out on business from younger homeowners — even if they live in neighborhoods you’re already servicing. Communicating with customers via multiple channels like text, web chat, and self-serve portal — and making it clear that you do so — ensures that you’re not missing out on business based on a customer’s preferred method of communication. By ensuring your pest control operation supports multi-channel customer communication, you set yourself up for success when it comes to attracting new prospects and keeping them satisfied as customers — regardless of which generation they belong to. With PestPac and Communication Center by WorkWave, you can equip your business with the tools you need to keep customers engaged and connected at every step of their journey. To learn more or to get started, take a look at Communication Center today!

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Paula joined the Marketing team at WorkWave in April 2019. She is currently the Director Product Marketing - Pest, managing all aspects of the product marketing life cycle including campaign development, messaging, promotions, and market research for PestPac, Coalmarch and WorkWave Marketing products. She is dedicated to working closely with the Product, Sales, and other Marketing team members to ensure go-to-market plans and product adoption.