Fortress Termite and Pest Control was voted the Best Business in the Collierville Independent’s 2017 Readers’ Choice ballot. Owner Steve Christensen operates the business with his wife, Sherri, and son, Ryne.
After working in the computer networking field for more than 20 years in Dallas, Steve Christensen got an opportunity he couldn’t pass up 15 years ago to move to Collierville and buy his father-in-law’s termite control company.
Christensen renamed the business Fortress Termite and Pest Control in 2002 and expanded its services to include the treatment of crawling insects and rodents.
The business, which was voted the 2017 Readers’ Choice Business of the Year, is currently operated by Christensen, along with his wife, Sherri, and their son, Ryne.
Christensen said the business has grown primarily thanks to word-of-mouth, social media and its reputation for stellar customer service.
While Fortress is open Monday through Saturday, Christensen admitted that he’s been known to take calls on Sunday as well.
In fact, Christensen is so accommodating that he often works around the schedules of his clients.
He noted that there are several food related businesses that schedule rodent visits early in the morning so that their customers don’t have to see the pest controllers.
“That’s how we roll,” Christensen said.
Another effort he recently made to provide top-shelf customer service involved an overextended homebuyer.
While treating a resident’s newly purchased home, Christensen learned that the client hadn’t yet sold her other house.
After realizing the financial bind that the homeowner was in, Christensen stepped in to alleviate some of the burden.
“I told her, ‘You don’t pay us until you sell your other house,’” he said.
Part of what allows Fortress to be so accommodating with such a small crew is the Christensens’ ability to strategically schedule. The family charts their visits very closely and will often work within a single zip code all day.
“It’s all about scheduling,” Christensen said.
While most of their calls currently come from Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville and Cordova, the Christensens offer termite control, which still makes up about 60 percent of their business, as far as North Mississippi, Covington and Bolivar.
The most common calls that the family gets are regarding spiders.
“They’re always a problem,” Christensen said.
Rats have also received more attention in recent years.
“We had a house in Collierville that took us a month to get around 23 rats out of the attic,” he noted.
Christensen noted that mosquito prevention has also been particularly popular in recent years.
“We’ve been doing it for two years,” he said, “and since we started everyone has renewed.”
When asked if he plans to grow his staff any time soon, Christensen hesitated.
“We would have to be very particular about who we hired,” he said. “We are so aimed at customer service.”
The Christensens pay attention to every detail of customer service, right down to how the phone is answered.
“I run into so many people who just love the way Sherri answers the phone,” Christensen said. “It is really amazing.”
For more information about Fortress Termite and Pest Control, call Sherri at 901.853.8343.