5 Hard-to-See Trends Inside Your Pest Control Business – 2019
In the pest control business, one trend is clear: there will be a 5% increased demand for pest control services between 2019-2023, according to the Global Pest Control Services Market report. But in individual pest control businesses, it’s crucial for owners and franchise managers to track the more subtle, day-to-day variations that impact sales.
As powerful software solutions emerge that allow businesses to gather and analyse data, more and more pest control companies will take advantage of the benefits of better trend-tracking. These hard-to-see trends offer valuable data on customer behaviour, inventory needs, seasonal fluctuations, and geographical implications that can lead to a better-prepared, more successful pest control business. Let’s take a look at 7 hard-to-see trends inside your pest control business, and how tracking them can help improve your company:
1. Seasonal Fluctuations: Advertising, Inventory, and Scheduling
Every pest control business stays up to date on broad trends in pest control. For example, you might experience a greater call volume regarding swarming bees and wasps in the springtime. In the fall, many homeowners will report an influx of mice and other rodents. However, it may be more difficult to see the detailed seasonal trends unique to your area. Breaking these trends down into the seasons, months, and even weeks that they occur can help you in a variety of ways:
- You’ll be prepared to schedule field service agents more heavily during local pest surges
- You’ll know to order sufficient inventory ahead of time
- You can craft your advertising and marketing to target specific pests at specific times of year
How can you track these trends in the first place? Using dedicated field service software, you can easily record data to be analysed at a later date. From there, you can reach potential and past customers with targeted advertisements, social media outreach, and newsletters so that your business remains competitive for every seasonal fluctuation.
2. Product & Inventory Management
With each passing year, industry standards and customer expectations shape the products used by the pest control industry. For example, breakthroughs in biopesticides may create massive changes down the road. And shoppers in general are more and more motivated to purchase safe products for their households, which could translate into greater demand for green and sustainable solutions for pest control. As your office staff responds to calls and your field service agents make trips to houses, ask them to keep track of customer requests:
- Did customers request green or sustainable methods?
- Were they more interested in synthetics?
- Did they seem to accept whatever the field service agents suggested?
Armed with this information with every call and visit, you’ll be able to track long-term trends in customer preferences. How will this benefit your business? First, you’ll be able to leverage popular products through advertising to appeal to interested customers. Secondly, you’ll be able to keep your inventory fully stocked to respond to trends — so that you always have what you need for a field call.
3. Staff & Scheduling: Greater Efficiency & Organisation
For many pest control businesses, it can be a challenge to handle scheduling trends year-round. First of all, you may find that during certain times of the year or throughout difference seasons, need for field service workers might accelerate or drop. You need to be able to track these large-scale scheduling issues so that you can stay on top of hiring staff.
Scheduling concerns also come down to the nitty-gritty details of day-to-day scheduling. By tracking trends that may vary from employee to employee, you can get a clearer picture of your scheduling needs. How many calls can a field service agent reasonably make in one day? Is there any way to increase efficiency between trips? Are any of your employees falling behind, taking too long, or simply not adhering to the set schedule?
Tracking scheduling and employee details can prove immeasurably helpful in running a more efficient business in the long run. In addition, it can help you identify agents who might need more guidance or management.
4. Geographic Considerations: Demand and Efficiency
When it comes to your pest control business, you need to look at two different ways geographical considerations can inform your company’s strategies:
As your team responds to pest control calls in your area, some clear geographic patterns will definitely start to emerge. For example, customers located inside towns or cities might call you more frequently about roaches or bedbugs. If you also service rural clients, you may find yourself fielding more calls about a steady influx of rodents from outdoors. Whatever the case in your particular area, having a clear knowledge of where outbreaks occur can help you:
- Design local advertising campaigns
- Schedule more efficiently for calls to different areas
- Have a better handle on trends while you plan for the next year
Though it’s tempting to respond to as many calls as possible, tracking geographical trends can help you make prudent decisions when it comes to your service area. This is a particularly helpful trend for new pest control businesses who may be struggling with establishing a set radius for house calls.
Using pest control software, you can have your field service agents track the fuel, mileage, and time spent at different geographical locations. You can then use this info to tweak your radius — either by focusing more on local calls, or extending your service area.
5. Customer Needs & Satisfaction
It’s simple: without customers, you have no business. Analysing and acting on customer-centric trends can help you ensure better word-of-mouth marketing, improved reviews, and more repeat business.
When your field service agents respond to a call, ensure that they are using dedicated software to capture detailed notes on customer requests and needs. This not only ensures accountability on the part of your field service agents, but ensures that your customers get the service that they need each time they call. Using this data, you and your agents can respond better and more efficiently in the future to ensure improved customer service and satisfaction.
On the other hand, it’s also important to notice trends in difficult customers. For example, you can track customers who are habitually late with payments. By tracking all this data in one place, you can get a better idea of which customers are actually creating value for your business.
Track Trends, Create Solutions
When you track trends in your pest control business, you can garner valuable information on how best to manage customers, handle seasonal fluctuations, and utilise staff. The software solutions at Call of Service are catered to pest control businesses that want to get the most out of their data. If you’re interested in learning more about tracking trends to improve your business, contact us today.