What Your Customers Are Looking For In A Pest Control Company

Pest Management TechnicianPest control management can be a competitive field to work in since there are usually several companies in one city offering the same services, each one claiming that they can get the job done best. So when a potential customer opens the Yellow Pages or does a quick Internet search, how do they know who to choose? Here is some insight into what customers are looking for from a pest control professional and ideas to make your company successfully stand out among the competition.

Referrals

There’s a good chance that new customers seeking pest control services will ask their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers for recommendations of a company that they have used. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of gaining more business, making each interaction on the job vital to future success. Always treat customers with respect and listen to their needs and concerns so that you may gain a superior track record. Ask old customers for testimonials of the good experience they had with your company, and be ready to give potential customers referrals when asked.

Proof of License and Insurance

One of the first things most home and business owners will want to know is if you’re currently licensed to operate in their city or state. A license shows that you’ve had proper training in the application of pesticides and in handling the specialized equipment necessary for administering those treatments. Carrying general liability insurance protects both you and your customers. Accidents can happen at any time, even with the best pest control companies, and being that there are chances of pollution due to the chemicals used in pest management, having insurance will allow everyone involved to feel secure. You should be able to produce a copy of both your license and insurance policy when asked by a customer.

A Policy That Guarantees the Work Performed

Guaranteeing your work demonstrates that you have confidence in the job that you do and can also put a customer at ease if they are still hesitant to sign up for services. Clearly state the terms of your guarantee in a contract so there is no confusion later on down the road.

Pest TechnicianAbility to Answer Questions Regarding Treatment

No one feels comfortable hiring a company that skirts around answering questions. Customers need to feel satisfied that their safety and health concerns are addressed, that the pest control professional understands exactly where the infestation has taken place and that there has been straightforward communication about the treatment method to be used.

Options for Green Pest Control Management

With a lot of people becoming more environmentally cautious these days and worrying about the health risks associated with chemical pesticides, it’s important for pest control companies to provide options for a green or integrated pest management program. Knowing that they have the choice available to them to use non-toxic treatments is oftentimes the number one priority for many customers in selecting a pest control professional.

Customers generally want a pest control company that they can trust to resolve their pest problems in a timely and efficient manner, using a method they agree with and at a value they can afford. Meeting those requirements should gain you a lucrative and long-lasting business.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is an avid blogger and writes on a wide array of topics. She loves to share information with others via social networking and guest blogging. When she’s not writing you’ll usually find her cooking, making art, or reading.

 

How Much Does A Pest Control Technician Cost?

Pest Control TechnicianConsumers and pest control operators alike value their pest control technicians.

For the consumer, a skilled and attentive technician keeps their families safe from dangerous pests like stinging scorpions, poisonous Black Widow spiders, and disease carrying cockroaches. This VALUE is immeasurable but in terms of a monetary COST; it’s about $50 a month, depending on the size of a home, location, and treatment methods.

For the pest control operator, a reliable and experienced technician creates immense value for the company. A high-quality technician retains customers through their expertise and superior customer service. This value and monetary cost is a little more challenging to calculate, but really got me thinking: How much does it cost to replace an excellent pest control technician?

What It Costs To Replace A Pest Control Technician

Financial costs reportDetermining what it costs to replace a pest control technician is a difficult task, especially since there are so many different variables. These direct cost calculations are a very rough estimate. The dollar figures used come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates the average pest control tech makes $14.59 hour; and pest control manager makes about $50K a year. These are the numbers I went by.

Please note that these figures are direct costs only. There are many more indirect costs like: loss of productivity while other techs run partial routes, lost manager and supervisor productivity, and a drop of customer satisfaction due to a temporary loss of customer service or even losing their once favorite tech. These indirect costs are nearly impossible to calculate.

Want Ads. In order to replace an old technician, you need to find a new one. An online pest control technician want ad runs about $40.00.

Interview Process. Management must spend time going through applicant resumes and conducting 30 minute interviews. I estimate this to be about a half day’s work/ salary ($50K yr/ 260 work days yr/ 2 for half day = about $100). Multiply this by two, because two managers are usually present for interviews. $200.00.

HR Administrative Time. After hiring an employee, a company must get them ready for the work force. This includes, collecting records, on auto insurance, gas cards, company phone, etc. I figure this is about a half days work ($50K yr/ 260 work days yr/ 2 for half day). About $100.00.

Background Checks. Make sure your new hire is safe to send into your customer’s homes. $36.00.

Driving Records. Make sure your new hire is safe on the roads. $15.00.

Licensing. Each new technician needs to be licensed. This is about $50.00.

Uniforms. Five shirts ($30 each), uniform hat ($40), uniform jacket ($60), protective boots ($100) and individual technician manual/treatment guide ($100). This equates to $330.00. Note: some PCO’s require new technicians to purchase these.

Training. A new technician requires 2-3 weeks of paid training. This training includes working on-site while a manager or supervisor is present. Calculating the paid training ($14.59/hr for 3 weeks @ 40 hrs a week = $1750.00), plus three weeks of a manager’s or supervisor’s time/salary (Approx $1000 a week for 3 weeks = $3,000), equates to $4750.00.

Technician Overtime. Overtime that goes to technicians who are covering the vacant route also need to be factored in. If the vacant tech was working 40 hrs a week, then I figure about 40 hours of overtime for all other staffed technicians, per week ($14.59 an hr @ time and a half multiplied by 40 = $875.00). If it takes a month to hire and train a new technician, you’re looking at $3500.00 in overtime paid to other techs covering the vacant route.

Summary:

Want Ads–   $40.00
Interview Process–   $200.00
HR Administrative Time–  $100.00
Background Checks–   $36.00
Driving Records–   $15.00
Licensing–   $50.00
Uniforms–   $330.00
Training–   $4750.00
Technician Overtime-   $3500.00

Total:   $9021.00

WOW! When factoring in direct costs alone, it costs $9021 to replace a pest control technician. That’s a significant hit! If the average technician makes $30,340 per year, the financial hit is about 109 days of a technician’s pay. This doesn’t even take in to account any indirect costs of losing a technician.

Pest Control home inspectionThe Value Of A Good Technician To The Consumer

For customers of pest control services, your home is your castle. It’s also your biggest investment. A good pest control technician protects this investment from destructive pests like termites and Carpenter ants.

A quality pest control technician also keeps your family safe from dangerous pests like stinging scorpions, poisonous Black Widow spiders, and disease carrying cockroaches.

A first-class technician will do all of this, all while being punctual. You are busy and need a technician to be on time. An excellent technician is somebody you can trust; somebody you feel comfortable letting inside your home and around your family. They make you feel safe, and not just from the bugs. On top of it all, a good technician is somebody you have rapport with; somebody you can talk to about your day.

There is immense value in having a good pest control technician.

Pest Control Technician SprayingThe Value Of A Good Technician To The Employer

We already determined the cost of replacing a good technician. It’s just over $9000. The VALUE of a good technician is something completely different.

Pest control technicians are the face and image of your company. They are face-to-face with your customer daily; customers who rely heavily on first impressions. Good pest control technicians create value. They are the first ones you send to service troubled accounts. They get excellent online reviews. They have high customer retention rates. They are reliable, dependable, punctual, and keep your customers satisfied.

Not only do good pest control technicians add value to your business, they are the backbone!

What It Costs Keeping A Bad Tech Too Long

We determined that good pest control technicians are extremely valuable to both consumers and pest control operators alike. It’s also a big financial hit to replace a technician ($9021); But bad technicians are equally bad for business.

We’ve all seen it before in the business world… An employee who is unproductive, burnt out, and ready for a change. For PCO’s these employees have both direct and indirect costs associated with them as well. Low productivity, bad company morale or culture, and lost customers are some of the costs that come to mind. Sometimes pest control operators hold on to bad employees too long, because they don’t want to have to hire a new tech (with accompanying costs). As for a direct monetary number associated with these bad pest control technicians; that’s another blog post for another day. I’m guessing it’s comparable to the costs associated to losing a good technician.

What It All Means

Pest control technicians are very valuable to both the pest control operator, and to the consumer.

For pest control operators, technicians are the backbone of your business. Maximum effort must be utilized to not only hire these good technicians, but to retain them. The old saying goes, hire tough, manage easy. Do this, and retain your technicians through compensation and motivation, and you’ll be one step closer to succeeding in business.

For pest control consumers, let your technician know how much they are valued. Give them a good review on Yelp or Angie’s List. There isn’t a lot of glory in keeping you free from dangerous pest, but these excellent pest control technicians show up everyday and work hard, so you can live pest free.

 

Catch Negative Reviews Before They Happen – Why Customer Resolution Matters

Business Sign X

Customer service is the cornerstone of any business. If your customers aren’t happy, then you don’t have any customers. Your employees should be trained on the best ways to resolve all different types of complaints or problems your customers could have. And, your employees need to know how important that customer resolution really is. In the past, one unresolved complaint could go unnoticed and not have a large effect. Now, one unresolved complaint can turn into an online rant that can reach all of your customers and potential customers.

Customers Require Resolution

When customers have problems with your company, their shopping experience, their purchase, etc., they want a resolution to it. In fact, they expect a resolution. No matter what, a customer wants to be satisfied with your company, and they will usually give you a chance to make it up to them if they aren’t satisfied right away. Without a resolution to their problem, customers will be unhappy with your company, and you could very well lose them as a customer for good. If you want to hang onto customers, you need to be able to resolve their problems.

Dissatisfied Customers Will Vent

It’s extremely important to resolve customers’ problems because dissatisfied customers will want to vent. When people are unhappy with the products or services they purchase, they usually don’t keep quiet about it, especially if they tried to get a resolution from the company itself and weren’t pleased with the response. Many dissatisfied customers will vent to a friend, family member, or coworker, and this alone is enough to make you lose another customer. Now, dissatisfied customers can go a step further; they can vent online, where they can share their experience with everyone and get your attention to remind you how dissatisfied they are.

Negative Reviews Matter – A Lot

Yelp Icon

It’s no secret that negative reviews can make a huge difference in the success of a company. If a restaurant has a few bad reviews on Yelp, they could go out of business, and that’s not an exaggeration. When you resolve your customers’ problems, you can catch negative reviews before they even start. At the very least, if a customer still wants to complain online, they will hopefully include the fact that your company did do something to resolve the issue. People don’t want to give their business to companies that don’t do everything they can in the way of customer service. Mistakes or issues are forgivable, as long as you address them properly.

Make sure all of your employees – even those that don’t typically interact with customers or address their complaints – know proper ways to resolve customers’ complaints. Hold regular training sessions, and be sure to monitor and assess the way your employees handle complaints. The best way to prevent negative reviews from appearing online is to make sure there is nothing negative anyone can say about the way you treat your customers or handle your business.

Joshua Reynolds is an expert reviews tracker and avid blogger.  He is currently teaching others about proper online reviews management and customer service.

Published By Thomas Ballantyne

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10 Mistakes Companies Make On Facebook

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Everyone knows Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool. It allows you to connect with a broad audience, provides a venue to interact with customers, and can give your company a personal feel. However, to be effective, Facebook must be used correctly. There are a number of mistakes that some companies make that turn off potential customers.

1. Posting Too Often

Of course it is a good idea to post frequently. It keeps customers engaged and coming back for important information. However, there is also a point where it becomes too much. If you are posting five times a day, people are going to get annoyed and stop following you. Many people recommend no more than once a day.

2. Not Posting Enough

On the other hand, you don’t want to be completely silent on Facebook either. People need a reason to follow you. If you haven’t posted in weeks, people will think you are irrelevant or that there’s no reason to follow you. Be consistent.

3. Uncreative Content

People will only like your page if they think it has something valuable to offer. There are so many people on Facebook that you need something to set you apart from everyone else. Post creative content, even if it doesn’t seem to have a direct connection to the product or service your company sells.

4. Unresponsive to Fans

One of the best elements of Facebook is the opportunity to engage with fans of your page. If people ask questions or give compliments, they will be offended if you don’t respond. The more you engage customers the more they will be willing to purchase your services.

5. Arguing With Customers

While it is important to engage with customers, always keep it positive. Never get into arguments about a product, even if a person is wrong. There are people that will intentionally try to get a negative reaction out of you. Simply apologize when people complain and stay out of fights.

6. Posting the Same Topic Over and Over

People need variety. If you just post about the same thing every time, people will get bored and stop following you. Try to add variety to your posts. Not everything has to be directly about the product you sell. Try to engage customers in interesting conversations about a wide variety of topics.

7. Not Having a Plan

You simply will not be successful if you don’t start out with a strategy. This is essential for any type of marketing campaign. Understand what type of audience you want to target and how you will reach them.

8. Focusing Too Much on Numbers

Some companies feel that the ultimate goal of a Facebook page is to get as many followers as possible. This isn’t necessarily true. A greater focus should be based on the actual content of the page and how it is impacting viewers.

9. Ignoring the Analytics Feature

Some people don’t look at or don’t even realize Facebook gives you analytics about your page. Looking at these stats will tell you how many people are viewing your page and what types of posts are working.

10. Not Having a Cover Photo

This is free advertising space. Facebook is frequently coming out with new profile features, so pay attention to them. Pictures are the first thing people will pay attention to. Keep them updated and visually appealing.

About the Author: Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in the latest social and technology trends, specifically involving the use of social media. She is currently a consultant for Vivint. Follow them on Twitter here.

Published By Thomas Ballantyne

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Best Practices For Generating Repeat Business

The Sky's the Limit
The Sky’s the Limit (Photo credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines))

Being able to bring in business is great, but keeping a customer loyal is even better. It has been proven time and time again that it takes less effort and money to keep a current customer satisfied than it does to bring in new business. There should be no question that repeat business is absolutely essential for success.

Here are some best practices for generating repeat business:

Superior Customer Service

This first bit of advice may seem too obvious to mention, but it is crucial. You can’t just have good customer service; you need to have superior customer service. Your business has to stand out above every other competitor in the market place. Competition is fierce thanks to the internet, so you have to react immediately to questions and concerns, connect with customers on a person level, and make them appreciate the little extras you do to demonstrate how important they are to you.

Stay In Touch With Clients

Just because a project is complete, that doesn’t mean you should not remain in touch with the client. Start by checking in on them to see how their business is doing and then follow up a little while afterwards to see if they need anything. Be sincere and spend more time listening, than talking. It is not an active sales call, it is just checking in to ensure they are still satisfied with your product or services.

Little Extra Touches

I mentioned the importance of little special touches in the first point, but ensuring repeat business means taking this step further. The superior customer service needs to continue beyond the sale itself. It could be something as simple as thanking them for their business after every sale or acknowledging their birthday by sending them a special offer in honor of their special day.

1 Rules for answering the phone:

Keep Them Informed 

Existing customers should be the first ones you contact when you need to market new products and services. They have already trusted in your services once and if it was done right the first time, they will be likely to buy a new product or service with less convincing. This also helps reinforce the practice of staying in touch with past customers.

Watch Your Competitors Closely

Don’t kid yourself. Your competition is working hard to steal your customers out from under you. It is important that you pay attention to the marketing efforts of your competition, as well as any deals or incentives they are offering your customers. Double check your prices and services against what else is available on the market, so your business stays competitive.

Keeping customers happy takes superior customer service, constant contact, little extra touches, as well as keeping them informed of new offers and products. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing to entice your customers to switch and stay ahead of the game. Repeat business is the easiest business to retain, but it won’t happen without effort on your part.

 

The article is posted by Gerwyn Wallto. You can find more articles on a Web Billing Software website.

 

 

 

Thomas Ballantyne

Four Points of Inventory Control

Inventory-Control-Q-IC da
Inventory-Control-Q-IC da (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four Points of Inventory Control

Do you operate a business where products must be stored and distributed in multiple locations? If so, then you are aware of how important it is to keep an updated inventory control system. Several factors function within this system, wherein each transition and distribution point must be supervised and documented. Keeping management connected with each division of the company is key. Here are four points to discuss at your next managerial meeting, to help tighten inventory data and maximize efficiency.

  • Product Analysis: A crucial part of strong inventory management is a thorough knowledge and documentation of the services and goods at hand. Make sure that each division of the company knows how to evaluate and input product information into your system so that information remains current. If you are operating a small business, you may overlook smaller details related to product data. This can be easily remedied. Small business must keep records of product data, even if the information does not seem to directly affect sales. The statistics of your business will increase your knowledge about sales trends and enlighten you about possible overhead that may have an impact on your budget.
  • Site Representation: If your products are traveling to multiple locations or distributed among warehouses and store sites, it is essential to keep close contact with personnel at these locations. This may seem like an obvious point to address, but many key players are easily overlooked. Communication with those in control of the items that create your business should be frequent. On a basic level, your factory, showroom and warehouse
    representatives handle your materials, which you rely upon for business growth.
  • System Cohesion: All positions of management should be familiar with your inventory control providers and be able to navigate within the system with ease. A firm command of data entry protocol is necessary. In addition to this, management must have the ability to translate a body of information, including thorough product evaluation, into the data system. This way, all areas of the company will be abreast of new developments and all progress. Making data cohesive throughout your organization will serve to eliminate many financial errors.
  • Employee Training: Some inventory companies provide on-site employee training for businesses with fast-growing product and client bases. Inventory system companies can bring each element of your business together to function as a better whole. The most successful businesses put an emphasis on the importance of each employee being familiar with the system. This means understanding each person’s tasks within the system, but more importantly, the system as a whole. The team of people that comprises your business is only as intelligent as the most ignorant individual. Make inventory knowledge and management a priority.

Gabriella only writes about topics that interest her and one of those happens to be moving. If you would like more info regarding inventory system companies, please visit http://www.unigrouplogistics.com/

Pest Control Operator Q & A- Raising Prices

Pest Control Operator Q & A- Raising Prices

One of the most difficult challenges pest control operators face is meeting overhead. As labor costs, cost of pesticides, gas prices, and property taxes all increase; some pest control companies are left facing the inevitable… Raising prices to meet overhead, or closing the doors forever.

Question:

How do I tell my existing customers that I am raising my prices?

Answer:

The notion of raising prices strikes fear in pest control operators; and for good reason. Nothing will send your customers to the nearest competitor faster than raising prices. There’s a lot at stake when you decide.

Surviving a price increase means getting it right. You need to keep up the number of sales, avoid a customer exodus, and use your price increase to maintain the required margins.

There are a few pointers other pest control operators have used to help ease this price transition and avoid a mass customer exodus.

Find The Right Time

When you raise your prices, pick a time that will offer the least customer resistance. Your pest control business’s seasonality, growth stage and sales cycle all affect your choice. It’s best to raise prices when times are good rather then when they are bad. When gas hits $5.00 per gallon, everyone pays it. Raising prices when times are lean communicates to your customers that you are just passing the buck on to them.

Offer Customers A Price That Will Sustain Your Company Long-Term

Deciding on how much you should change your prices is very challenging. There are two theories out there: one large price increase, or several small ones over time and hope they go unnoticed. I find the latter strategy, “death by 1000 cuts.”

Set a price that you can sustain your pest control business for as long as possible. Customers can better deal with a price increase if they know the new price will hold steady for a while. You can even offer contracts that can lock in the new rate for a long time, so customers can rest assure the price won’t go up again in the near future.

Be Honest With Your Customers

If you have decided that conditions are such that you need to raise prices, be completely honest with your customers. Explain to them that raising prices isn’t for purposes of gouging them for bigger profits. Explain to them it’s a matter of survival. Many customers understand that your prices have to go up if you want to stay in business.

Brain science suggests that we tend to be more agreeable when there’s a reason for change. Have a reason and share it. Feel badly about raising your price? Share that too. Make sure your common sense explanation is short, straightforward, and consistent.

Changing Value By Emphasizing New Or Added Benefits

Price is supported by the value the customer perceives in the product and service in which the price is attached. Basically, your customers need some additional value of your product s or service if you are going to raise your prices. Focus on the benefits of your unique pest control method, a new and different product, or your company’s unmatched service.

Add An Incentive

Have you ever heard of the saying, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?”
A small gift or gift card, a one time discount, or and extra free pest service can help ease this transition with customers.

Listen To Your Technicians

The pest control technicians are your front-line people. Make sure they are all on the same page with the company and that they’re all offering the same truthful explanation to the price increase.

Technicians have more face-to-face interaction with the customer then you ever will, so get some feedback from them. What are your customers saying about the price increase?

Raising Prices

Unfortunately, raising prices are a necessity for many businesses; and not just in the pest control industry. Make sure you absolutely need to raise prices before you do, and expect that you will not retain all of your customers during this transition. With a well thought out plan, you can continue to help your customers live pest free lives, and still stay in business.

Please comment below with your experiences. If you have any other pest control questions, just ask.

10 Things Pest Control Operators Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving

10 Things Pest Control Operators Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving

 

1. Customers. First and foremost, pest control operators are grateful for our customers. They are the reason we get up in the morning. Whether we’ve been servicing their homes for years, or just happened to help out during a one time pest emergency, we are thankful for each and every one of our customers.

2. Hardworking Employees and Technicians. Whether our pest control company is large or small, our employees and technicians are it’s backbone. The best employees have a positive attitude, are organized, and are self motivators. They can make or break our business.

For the 10 qualities of outstanding pest control employees, click here.

3. Gas Prices Dropping. Depending on where you are operating your pest control business, gas prices have dropped significantly; as much as 50 cents a gallon since the end of summer. Gasoline is now averaging $3.41 a gallon nationwide. While filling our service trucks isn’t cheap, even small drops in gas prices are significant.

4. Pest Control Research and Investments. As pest control operators, we understand that the pests we treat on a daily basis are constantly evolving. They are becoming more and more resistant to our treatment plans and immune to our pesticides. Continued research in the field is needed so the world’s pest control operators can stay one step ahead of the pests.

PCO’s are thankful for this $1 million commitment to pest control.

5. Power Sprayers. Gone are the inefficient days (and sore arms) of using the pump can to service a property; and are we ever grateful!

For the top 5 steps to avoid sprayer hose problems, click here.

6. Break From The Long Hot Summer. The summer of 2012 brought us record heat. Not only were we out in the heat servicing properties, this long hot summer also allowed the bugs we treat to have multiple breeding styles. According to this article, these conditions hurt American farmers and have increased food prices. 

7. Technology Advancements. The innovation of smartphones and other technologies is enabling pest control operators to work more efficiently; making our lives easier and helping our industry go green. Read about Bulwark’s efforts here

8. Equipment Repair Kits. There is nothing more frustrating than being on a service call and have a piece of equipment breakdown. Equipment emergency repair kits allow us to make timely repairs while on the job, this saving our bacon!

For the top 10 pest control equipment productivity tips, click here.

9. Pest Control Software. Finding the pest control software that is right for you makes all the difference. When you find the right fit, it enables PCO’s to email customers, route, schedule, invoice, and manage accounts. What a blessing!

For tips on navigating the pest control software maze, complete with reviews, click here.

10. Customer’s Expression of Gratitude. When a customer leaves you a positive review and congratulates you on a job well done, it makes you feel good. After all, that’s why we’re in business… to serve our customers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

All of us here at Bulwark Pest Control would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, make sure you take a moment and reflect on the many things you have been blessed with. Spend a lot of time with family and close friends, eat way too much food, and watch a lot of football.

The 3 Most Common Pest Control Marketing Mistakes

 

Common Pest Control Marketing Mistakes

 

It’s no secret that the pest control industry is cutthroat. With so many competitors out there, industry success often comes down to marketing. My strategic management instructor constantly drilled that specific concept to the class. Without product or service differentiation, business success always comes down to marketing. I can still hear his voice, “Marketing, Marketing, MARKETING!” After all, pest control, is pest control, is pest control… At least in the eyes of our customers.

With a pest control company’s success often coming down to effective marketing strategies, it’s critical that mistakes are avoided. Here are the three biggest marketing mistakes pest control companies make:

1. Having No Concept of Your Target Customer.

Most of us pest control operators know our businesses up and down. We know what chemicals work best on each and every pest we treat. We know that our customers want pests out of their homes and away from their families. What we are not always clear on is who our ideal customers are.

Example: You’re sending out a coupon mailer about cockroach control, but to a zip code that is comprised mainly of apartment complexes. The problem? Apartment renters are not your ideal customers for cockroach control. Cockroach control is generally left up to a landlord, and those receiving your mailer just don’t sign pest control service agreements. Many pest control professionals don’t identify their target market because they believe their methods and products are the best, and they simply sell themselves.

Bottom line: If you are marketing to someone who is not your ideal customer, they will have no interest in what you’re selling. You don’t want to market your pest control services at a PETA rally.

2. Not Listening to Your Target Customer’s Needs.

Even if a pest control operator spends the time and money identifying their target demographic through market research, many don’t listen to what those ideal customers really want. This actually happens quite frequently when a pest control company has too many add-on services.

Example: The target market for pest control in Texas is a customer in need of bee control. If a customer is looking for help with their bee problem, and you begin to tell them about all the other services you have through sales and advertising (i.e. bedbug prevention, lawn and pool care, etc.), then you have sidetracked their thought process. Instead of listening to your customer’s primary need of bee control, you have created what is known as cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance occurs when the brain receives two or more conflicting signals. When this happens, the brain shuts down and you have likely lost a customer.

Bottom line: Focus your marketing efforts primarily on one specific customer need. Show customers the benefits of a pest control service agreement, and how it will alleviate their pain, their fears, and their pest problems. Once you get your foot in the door, offer other services.

3. Having an Insignificant Value Proposition.

A value proposition is a pest control operator’s promise of the worth to the customer. A customer must believe that the value of your service, and the products you use, will actually work. Simply stated, customers must believe you can effectively solve their pest problem. It’s best to keep your value proposition short and to the point.

Example: On the side of your pest control truck you have the name of your company, “Tony’s Pest Control” in big, bold, vibrant lettering. Your customers really don’t care all that much about the name of your company. They really want to know what your value proposition is, or what you can do for them. When a potential customer sees your pest control truck, or gets an advertisement in the mail, always make your value proposition with a guarantee the main headline. Make your company name or logo a little smaller on any advertisement, and ensure it’s not the main attraction.

Bottom line: If a customer wants what you are selling, then they will make an effort to find out the name of the company selling it. Remember, a customer wants to know what you can do for them first and foremost.

Improve Your Marketing

By identifying your target customer, listening to their needs, and delivering a significant value proposition, you will avoid costly marketing mistakes made some pest control operators and will be more successful by increasing your sales and growing your business.

 

Source: inc.com and ezinearticles.com
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Friday Links Round Up

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The Culture of the Negotiated Pest Control Transactions

Here’s a great blog for us pest control operators that explores the art of negotiating prices among different cultures, and how American’s are catching on. There’s a great take home lesson at the end on setting prices while still being able to negotiate with potential and existing customers. Check out:

http://heartspm.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/culture-of-negotiated-pest-control-price/

Tips on Hiring Pest Control Services

This article provides an interesting consumer perspective on exactly what our customers want in a pest control service. As pest control operators, we can look to model ourselves, and our customer service, according to these guidelines.

http://www.linksparadise.com/?p=20782

August Means Hungry Yellow Jackets

Heritage Pest Control of New Jersey reminds us all that August is Yellow Jacket season. These aggressive wasps have been busy the previous summer months building their paper-like nests on the ground, and now they’re on the lookout for food. For a few tips on dealing with Yellow Jackets:

http://www.heritagepestcontrolnj.com/blog/2012/08/27/august-means-hungry-yellow-jackets/

Borax/Boric Acid for Pest Control

Many of our possible customers are still turning to the toxic Borax/Boric Acid to help eliminate unwanted pests. If someone comes in contact with the powder it can cause health problems like nausea, vomiting, and throat swelling. Many consumers turn to the Borax method because they are uneducated about many of our industry’s safe, all-natural, or organic pest control methods.

http://www.momprepares.com/2012/08/27/borax-vs-boric-acid-for-pest-control-safe-and-effective/

Africanized Bees on Attack in Arizona!

Our friends at Pest Control Mesa, AZ bring us a frightening incident about a grandmother being attacked by Africanized “Killer” Bees. The women’s 4-year-old granddaughter witnessed the attack, and likely saved her life.

http://pestcontrolmesaaz.com/africanized-bees-on-attack-in-arizona/

Fall Season Pest Control

As the weather starts to cool this fall, pests of all kinds will be making their way into our homes in search of food and the warmer air. For some helpful how-to’s on keeping these pests out of your home this fall:

http://aaapestcontrolmyrtlebeach.com/541/fall-season-pest-control/