With a global health crisis, strict lockdowns, and an economic downturn, 2020 has been extremely trying — to say the least — for many industries.
Pest control, however, has shown its resilience as an industry. It continues to provide much-needed services to customers throughout the challenges of the pandemic. Pest control is not only surviving, but it is booming with $4 million of growth expected over the next five years.
While the pest control industry has been growing consistently over the past few years, 2020 has amplified its importance as a service industry. This can be attributed to several factors, such as:
- A growing disdain for pests within suburban areas
- Increased public awareness of health
- Surges in housing development
- Shifts in the pest population due to COVID-19
With the pest control industry booming, focusing efforts on the right factors of your business is essential. It can help you take advantage of the blossoming golden age of pest control.
Why Are Pest Control Services More Important Than Ever?
Even before COVID-19, research shows that more and more insects have been taking up residence within homes every year. These unwanted house guests can cause property damage and be a general nuisance. The increase in indoor bugs and a decrease in do-it-yourself pest control efforts are the primary reasons for the growth of the pest control industry over the past few years.
The need for pest control services has been further put into overdrive by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has driven people away from restaurants, schools, and businesses where constant activity is the norm. The bulk of food waste has therefore relocated almost entirely from larger organizations and businesses to residential areas, where many people have been largely restricted to life at home.
Pests like rats have been going hungry in the wake of restaurant shutdowns. Rats have become more desperate and more aggressive in many areas of the country. They have also followed the source of food to survive. Pandemic life has had a significant impact on rats and other pests, which have migrated to neighborhoods and other densely-populated areas in droves.
Residential spaces are now serving as multipurpose spaces for work, exercise, dining, and more for so many people who have transitioned to working from home. Now, more than ever, people need professional pest control services to keep their homes safe from unwanted pests.
Meanwhile, many businesses and buildings that are typically bustling with people have fallen empty during the pandemic. This leaves ample opportunity for insects and other pests to invade undetected. Many business owners will need ongoing services from experienced pest control technicians to keep their buildings pest-free and clean.
How Can Pest Control Services Meet the Increased Needs of Their Customers?
The impact of COVID-19 is likely far from over. Meeting the rising needs of the new stay-at-home workforce, those who live in neighborhoods recently invaded by pests, and businesses with buildings infested by insects can bring significant growth to your business.
With the pest control industry thriving, how can you take advantage of the boom within your own business? Providing quality service, meeting public demand, and maintaining your customer base can put you on track to reap the benefits of the growing pest control industry.
Invest in Experts
Pest control continues to rank among the fastest-growing occupations in America. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points to an increase in customers seeking professional help, rather than tackling pest problems on their own. Furthermore, the bureau projects that pest control will continue to increase at a rate of 9% — which is faster than most professions.
Even with so much growth in the industry, pest control positions have limited applicants. There’s a growing need for new experts to step into positions left by retirees.
You can take advantage of this booming industry by onboarding willing applicants and focusing your efforts on building a positive work culture and providing quality training to all employees. Utilizing mentorship programs and investing in expert training for experienced technicians can help develop an excellent team of exceptional pest control providers.
Focus on retaining employees for the long-term so they can become experts and offer even higher quality service to your employees for years to come. Investing in committed employees can give you an unbeatable edge within this sought-after industry.
Continue to Adapt
To stay competitive within the pest control industry, keep abreast of the pest populations within your area. Changes to business and social distancing policies have dramatically altered the behavior of people all over the world. These changes have affected the environment and local wildlife population — including pests, which have adapted to survive a changing environment.
Staying up to date on pest populations and conducting research can help you more effectively serve your clients. This knowledge can be applied through client education and continued training of your staff. Communicating with your clients about your knowledge of the local pest control environment can help foster trust and peace of mind for your customers.
It also helps to have current knowledge of pest control methods that are becoming less effective against the pests in your area. Pesticide resistance is a complicated but important part of the pest control business. Minimizing problems with pesticide resistance requires constant evaluation of the products and chemicals that you utilize within your business. Product switches should be accompanied by ongoing training and continued education.
Another factor to consider is the increasing shift towards green business practices, which has become a top priority for many modern customers. Keep up with the competition and contribute to the improvement of the environment by staying up to date with modern green pest control techniques.
Focus on rotating your product usage, enhancing technician training in skills such as green techniques, understanding how the local environment is adapting, and recognizing how weather affects pest behavior. Creating in-house experts in this area can help place your business in the upper echelons of pest control businesses in your area.
Modernize Your Business
Another way to take advantage of the continued growth of pest control is by utilizing technological advances. While pest control is an industry that relies on high-quality customer service and expert technicians, your business will benefit greatly by streamlining your user experience with technology.
It’s not just about automating billing and customer communications. As a modern pest control provider, you should also make use of:
- Customer portals
- Automated or smart marketing
- Paperless documents
- Scheduling tools
- GPS services
- Live web chat
Relying on cutting-edge technology will show customers that you are committed to being at the forefront of the industry and creating a convenient customer experience. In an industry that often requires fast action by pest control technicians, technology can make you more available to your customers than ever before.
Beyond this, using modern marketing techniques can help your business gain increased exposure and earn you potential leads.
Focus on Customer Retention
Building long-term relationships with your customers is the key to success and longevity within your industry. No matter how great your pest control service is, the benefits will be lost if you don’t connect with your clients.
Make use of 24-hour customer support providers like Slingshot to make sure your clients are always well taken care of. Emergency dispatch, 24-hour live chat, and text capabilities can take your customer service to the next level.
Pest control is a service that often requires emergency service and quick response times. Customers may be flustered or stressed when they reach out for help. When you are available to your clients when they need you most, they are more likely to:
- Leave positive reviews
- Return for repeat services
- Recommend you to friends and neighbors
These positive interactions can add up over time and contribute to a thriving pest control business.
Great customer service also includes ongoing customer education. Communicating with your client about your techniques and current pest problems in your area is an essential way to take advantage of the thriving pest control business and build a loyal customer base. It also encourages customers to book preventative and maintenance services during the offseason.
Looking to Upgrade and Improve Your Customer Support?
Pest control has never been a more relevant industry, and a pest control business can be a lucrative investment — but it requires ongoing research, training, and practices. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your business.
Investing in round-the-clock customer service can drastically elevate the customer experience your pest control business offers. With the pest control industry on the up-and-up and trends continuing to indicate future growth, taking the time to build the strength of your business can help you reap the benefits for years to come.
If you’re looking for modern tools that will help you take your pest control business to the next level, check out the comprehensive services offered by Slingshot.