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Slingshot Reveal Highlights: Customer Experience, Retention, and Automation for Pest Control Providers

The Event

In conjunction with PestWorld 2020, we held our own virtual event to reveal our much anticipated product strategy, enabling pest control and home services providers to automate scheduling, billing, and other customer service tasks.

Our presentation, centered around the product strategy reveal, included round table discussions with product and industry experts Voice for Pest, PestPac, PestRoutes, Briostack, Aptive Environmental, and Certus Pest

We’re excited to share with you some highlights and insights from our presentation. Scroll down to view excerpts. 

Record-breaking Slingshot Wins

After Chris Brasher, CMO at Slingshot, kicked off the event, Jon Soldan, COO at Slingshot, shared some milestone achievements for Slingshot in 2020. The company reached 1 million customer interactions for the year as well as more than $25 million closed for Slingshot clients. (Interested in Slingshot closing some sales for your business? Go here.)

“What’s most important is that these numbers show our clients are successfu. As we marry the digital channels and meet customers where they are to provide value, we feel we have a fantastic strategy for 2021 and are so excited to share it with everyone,” Soldan explained.

Watch Soldan’s take on the company and the industry as a whole in 2020 below.

Titans of Service

Slingshot clients, Edmund Mackey from Aptive Environmental and Mike Givlin from Certus, joined our CEO, Taylor Olson, for a fireside chat focused on the customer experience, retention, and pest automation.

Customer Experience & Retention

Olson started by asking how developing a customer strategy changes the company’s overall solution, and followed it up by asking what metrics matter when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. For Mackey and Givlin, they prioritized understanding customer expectations in an on-demand economy in order to exceed them.

Mackey talked about how to stay close to the customer and understand their needs. At Aptive, they are constantly listening to the customer and testing out different approaches for greater understanding. “The things that we think are important as an operator may not be what the customer thinks is important,” Edmund reminded the audience.

Givlin followed up by doubling down on the customer expectations. Customers expect a pest-free environment, so once you’ve accomplished that, what now?” Givlin continued, “What are the things you do that go above and beyond the pest-free environment to really drive that customer experience?”

Potential for Automation

Living in a world where so many things that seemed impossible a decade ago are now everyday occurrences, it’s important to stop and ask the question: how far can automation really take us?

“I see machine learning in digital pest as the wave of the future,” Givlin says. He then dived deeper into specific ways machine learning can help improve customer retention as well as drive sales.

Mackey looks at automation and asks himself what are the low-value transactions that can be automated to allow more time for the human-touch to be involved in high-value transactions that push the customer experience forward. Automation helps lower the volume of those high-value transactions so that his team can give their customers the care and attention they need. “It’s important to do the high-value impactful customer interactions with a real person.” Mackey says.

Continue watching below for the full run-down on customer experience, retention, and automation from Aptive and Certus.

During the live event, Brasher challenged attendees to come up with a new phrase to replace the term, “Re-service.” Bill Welsh, VP of Sales at Rose Pest Solutions, submitted “Lost wow opportunity,” to win the prize

Working Together: Partners in Automation

A further discussion included experts from Slingshot’s integration partners to discuss all things automation as they relate to pest control. This line up included Kirsten Lester, CPO at PestRoutes, Thomas Welsh, President at Voice for Pest, Brandon Grover, CEO at Briostack, and Rick Agajanian, Director of Product at PestPac.

Customer Experience from the Technology Side

“Consumer expectations are growing every day. We are definitely in an on-demand economy,” Lester says. She talked about her two areas of focus regarding customer experience in this climate: sales and service. With sales, the key is meeting customers where they are and “Catching the buyer in the moment when they’re ready to buy. . . and if you’re not right there when they’re ready to buy, they’re going to move on and keep shopping,” Lester adds. For service, Lester explained that  being nimble and able to serve the customer for all needs, big and small is key.

Grover emphasized the urgency for retention, “Consumers are jumping ship like never before.” Studies show that just one bad experience can be all it takes for a consumer to switch to another provider, so the stakes have never been higher. “Everyone has to take their quality of service up a notch in order to retain the customer’s ongoing attention, not just that immediate purchasing attention.”

The Future of Automation

“The core of pest control is still very much happening over the phone system,” Welsh says. “So how do you process all of these calls without losing them?” Automated solutions that work from integrations like intelligent routing, IVR-to-text and chat, and a dashboard that provides the right tracking metrics provide some of the answers to Welsh’s question.

“There’s a lot of different flavors of automation out there,” Agajanian says. He sees a lot of potential to increase efficiency when it comes to completing more service orders and visiting more locations.  He hopes to see more solutions that focus on reducing the foot-time, “the amount of time technicians are walking around a facility just to open up a trap that has nothing in it.”

Click below to hear the whole panel discuss the balance of automation in pest control.

The Product Strategy Reveal

Following the illuminating converstaions around automation, customer experience and retention, Head of Product at Slingshot, John Yates, announced the innovations in automation his team has accomplished as well as  where they’ll be investing in the future. (Spoiler alert: it’s all about automation and chatbots!)

Yates and his team are working on an IVR-to-text and chatbot service to automate and speed up consumer interactions like scheduling and rescheduling services, processing payments, creating quotes for new customers, and much more.

See the clip below to get all of the details and a sneak peek demo on some of the upcoming functionality! 


The Winners

We’d like to congratulate our winners and hope they enjoy some bragging rights.

  • Bill Welsh, VP of Sales at Rose Pest Solutions in Michigan for winning the $100 gift card for his clever new term for "re-service". “Lost Wow Opportunity” is a genius alternative. 
  • Congratulations to Ben Downard, President at Action Pest Services in South Carolina for winning our grand prize, the brand new Amigo 150cc Scooter!
  • All attendees were sent swag packs as a thank you from Slingshot for their time, attention, and participation!

Watch the Full Recording

Ready to witness the full event? Watch the recording below.

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