What’s it like to work in bird control? Three members from Bird-X’s sales and customer service teams answer questions about their day-to-day activities and the industry as a whole.
Ray Kroc once said, “You’re only as good as the people you hire.” Kroc may have been in the food industry, but that sentiment rings true everywhere—especially at Bird-X. Bird-X, the leading brand of humane pest and bird control solutions worldwide, prides itself on having the most knowledgeable and experienced staff in the business.
One of those people, Tim Coughlin, a National Account Manager with Bird-X since 2014, has over 30 years of experience selling and installing bird products. His colleague, Tom Olmsted, another National Account Manager at Bird-X, has been selling bird control products for almost five years.
Then there’s Lourdes Ramirez, a Bird-X Customer Service Lead, with just over a year of bird control industry experience. Her newness to the business hasn’t stopped her from gaining insight into the importance of customer service in this dynamic, global industry.
“If [there is] one thing we take seriously, it’s our clients’ satisfaction! Here at Bird-X, we strive for excellence in customer service and we do our best to keep our customers satisfied,” said Ramirez. “We are given the authority to make decisions that are fair and beneficial to both our clients and [our company].”
After another busy day of client phone calls and e-mails, Coughlin, Olmsted, and Ramirez sit down and discuss the fascinating world of bird control and their place in the Bird-X ‘flock.’
What made you want to start a career in bird control?
Ramirez: I was excited to start a career in customer service for bird control because I knew it would be different compared to any other customer service I had ever done prior. I was also given the power to do what I thought was best for the customer.
Olmsted: I was in sales and looking for a job change. I saw a job ad for Bird-X and it looked like a good company and a potentially interesting field to enter.
How does the bird control industry differ or stand out from the other industries in which you’ve worked?
Coughlin: [The] pest control [industry] offers recession-proof job security. It also allows me to put the client and colleagues before myself in order to offer solutions that will make their lives safer, easier, and more profitable, while reducing their overall risk.
Olmsted: The greatest difference from other industries I’ve worked in as a sales associate would be a greater, more urgent demand for our products—especially by end users looking for solutions to bird [and] pest issues, and also the numerous markets [in which] our products can be sold—[it’s a] huge potential customer base.
Ramirez: The bird control industry stands out from all other industries because every customer is in a unique situation, and therefore, each situation is handled differently. So [each] day is different than the day before, which I enjoy.
What does your average day look like?
Coughlin: No such thing as an average day! [The sales team] must be ready to move quickly, accurately, listen carefully, and look for the lowest overall cost solutions for clients. The mechanics are simple—check voicemail and e-mail, follow up on orders in process, contact clients, [and] stay focused one day at a time.
Olmsted: My average day consists of answering customer inquiries and responding to requests for help with bird or other pest issues. Inquiries and requests come in via e-mail and phone. In addition, I spend a portion of the day pursuing new customers, including end-users and Bird-X resellers. Reports and documentation of activities and sales efforts are also part of the daily schedule.
Ramirez: My average day consists of answering phone calls, chatting with potential customer online, answering email inquiries from customers, taking orders for customers, and helping [clients] return products for replacements, repairs, or exchanges. I also work with our sales department quite a bit when it comes to communicating with Spanish speaking customers that need recommendations and quotes. Needless to say, there is a variety of things to do during the day, which makes [the time] fly by! My days are never boring!
How do you manage working with clients from so many different industries?
Coughlin: I have worked in a few industries. [I] draw knowledge from past, current, and future experiences, [and] become a student of the industry [in which] I work and the industries [to which] I sell. The key, for me, is listening with total immersion and asking great questions.
Olmsted: It is quite a juggling act! I need to stay on my toes and be ready to shift focus to accommodate each type of customer at any given moment.
Ramirez: [Bird-X] has clients from many different industries, and our stellar sales team does an amazing job of tailoring recommendations to their specific needs. It makes working at Bird-X all the more diverse and exciting!
What has been the most surprising part of your job so far?
Coughlin: How complex and simple the bird industry is.
Olmsted: The most surprising part of my job was learning the huge negative impact that birds and other wildlife have on our society.
Ramirez: The most surprising part of my job so far has been working with clients from all over the globe! Clients in Africa sometimes have problems with animals like Elephants and baboons, while clients that are domestic [in the U.S.] usually have bird problems. I was also surprised at the sense of humor some of our clients have. They make me laugh and it’s great!
How do you see the bird control industry changing in the future?
Coughlin: More international opportunities. If Bird-X continues to offer the value, honesty, and integrity [we have] in place, we will [continue] to capture large segments of the market.
Olmsted: I see technological developments, such as drones and other innovations, changing the industry by creating new, practical ways to humanely control birds.
Ramirez: I see the demand for bird control increasing in the future as more and more buildings are constructed and birds have less and less open forest area [in which] to inhabit. This sets the stage for the bird control industry to blossom and allows for Bird-X to continue growing.
Bird-X understands that people can be a company’s greatest asset. Do you have any questions about what it’s like to work in bird control? Let us know in the comments section!
*Direct quotations have been edited for clarity, length, and grammatical correctness.
Written by Ashley Estes for Bird-X, Inc.