Overcoming Challenges in the Pest Control Industry
The pest control industry has been growing steadily for many years, and it looks like this growth will continue into the foreseeable future. Insects are relocating indoors, causing increased demand for pest control. But with this growth comes growing pains and challenges in the pest control industry. Some insects and pests are becoming resistant to pesticides, creating a challenge for pest control companies.
In order to keep up with this continued growth, pest control businesses can take advantage of the latest technology for pest control fleet management. It's all too easy to get stuck in a pattern of doing things the way they've always been done. But increasingly, not staying up to date with technological advances in your industry is becoming unsustainable. Adding pest control fleet software with GPS tracking to your fleet vehicles will save you time and energy while improving your company's image. Technology is rapidly changing the pest control industry, and those who don't adapt are likely to be left behind.
Growth in the Pest Control Industry
According to a recent study, the U.S. pest control industry is expected to expand at a compounded annual rate of approximately 5% through 2025. This increase in awareness and interest in pest control makes it all the more essential that business owners overcome the challenges of the pest control industry by using technology to improve the delivery of their services.
Seasonality of Pest Control Business
Summer is a busy season for the pest control business. This is when the pests are on the move, often into homes and businesses. It's a part of nature, and there isn't a thing anyone can do about it, except to get ready for the challenges of a busy bug season.
Running as a seasonal business means you have to handle fluctuating cash flow, hiring technicians, and scheduling jobs. It's just as important to have enough resources to make it through the slower season as it is to be ready to support growth in your busy season when you can take advantage of demand and capture new business.
Off-season challenges include having enough jobs for your technicians and preparing for the busy season to come. Your technicians can get caught up on their training while you work on marketing campaigns to promote year-round as well as seasonal business. And you can always get a jump on lining up your staff for the busy months that will arrive sooner than you think.
If you are prepared, the challenges of a busy season can be easily tackled. They include keeping up with customer calls, having enough supplies on hand, and ensuring that you have hired enough fully trained and qualified staff. Having great administrative processes in place and fleet management software with GPS tracking and other features can make a big difference in how well you can serve your customers.
Emergency Pest Control Services
The moment a customer finds a cockroach scurrying, or spots a mouse or bedbugs, your phone will start ringing. They want you there immediately. You need to be ready to respond to these emergency calls. It's crucial that you have adequate, well-trained staff and enough supplies on hand to respond to the call.
You'll also want a telematics solution with GPS tracking that gives you visibility into the location of your technicians so you can schedule them or reroute the closest driver in real-time. Telematics software gives you visibility and insight into your fleet's movements so you can answer that emergency call and perhaps win over a grateful customer for life.
Seamless Auditing and Reporting
When you own a pest control business, your responsibilities go beyond getting rid of pests. You often need to provide reports and audits with very little notice, to show that you are complying with sustainability and safety regulations. You need to make sure the information is accurate and easily accessible. Pest control fleet software will give you secure data collection and storage with easy access to that information.
Robust reporting lets you review and analyze data in detail as well as in dynamic and customizable formats. You can include location, movement, trips, and utilization, as well as driver behavior and cost analysis.
Managing Multiple Locations and Units
From scheduling and routing to payroll and billing, pest control fleet management software allows you to track and manage all your information in one place. Suppose you service commercial properties with different locations, multiple units, and numerous facilities. In that case, you need to see the service history for these units and ensure that each one receives the service the customer expects. With a telematics solution that keeps track of drivers' hours, jobs, and scheduling, you can easily track customer jobs in any location, review their history, and set up scheduling alerts.
Communicating with Countless Customers
Open communication between you, your technicians, and your customers is key to good customer service and managing multiple jobs. It is essential that you be able to access important service information and communicate that information to either your technicians or your customers.
Whether it is an emergency call or a scheduled service, your customers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a technician. They either have a pest problem they want solved immediately, or they've taken time out of their day to be home. In either instance, knowing when to expect a technician, accurate estimated arrival times, and openly letting them know if there is a delay will go a long way to creating a good customer service record for your company.
Pest-Unfriendly Meets Eco-Friendly
A healthy work or home environment shouldn't include pests. Neither should it include dangerous chemicals. The chemicals used to get rid of pests can also harm pets and people, and as customers get more informed, they are keenly aware of this. If you are not already looking into implementing green business practices such as using non-toxic alternatives to traditional pest control chemicals, you may find yourself behind the competition.
Change is always a challenge, even if it is for the better. Customers' knowledge of and demand for eco-friendly solutions that work are challenging you to re-think your business model, strategies, suppliers, and customer value propositions. If your customers prefer a green solution to eliminating pests in their homes, you might have to operate differently.
However, within all challenges, lies opportunity. Evolving with, or even ahead of the market, can help give you the edge over your competition. Be transparent about your processes and the products you use so that you can assure your customers they are safe and effective. These practices are growing in demand and becoming more important to pest control customers.
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