Spring training for routes and services


April 11, 2023

Getty Images: fstop123/E+

Just as spring training lets new players try out and established players practice, this time of
year can help you provide efficiencies for your rookies and established superstars to succeed. Getty Images: fstop123/E+

April is the beginning of the busy season for most areas of the country. It’s when increasing pest issues cause increased service demand and our customers are busier. Spring means spring break vacations, the approaching end of the school year, and an uptick in outside activities now that the weather is nicer. Busy season is busier for everyone, making it harder to schedule appointments.

How do you thrive when demand is up, but time is a struggle? You focus on efficiencies that allow you to get more done in less time while also saving money.

The goal of business efficiency is to work smarter, not harder. In pest control, gaining efficiency often comes in the form of strong organization and structure. As you kick off the beginning of the busy season, focus on three proven efficiencies designed to amplify productivity now and in the future:

1. Optimize routes

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman

The No. 1 way to save time and money in our industry is route optimization, which requires a multifaceted approach. It starts with scheduling customers geographically to reduce drive time, fuel costs, and the amount of time a technician needs to complete the route in a day. This process can become complicated when customers require interior service or a specific day and time for service. You can combat this logistical challenge, however, by changing how you sell services (see “The Game Plan” box, at right).

2. Bundle services

Another way to increase efficiency is to sell existing customers more services through bundles. Completing multiple services at one location at one time also reduces drive time and increases productivity. Work on cross-selling existing customers additional services and offering bundled services first when providing new-customer solutions.

3. Increase route density

A third way to raise efficiency is to increase route density. You can achieve this by “clover leafing” or marketing to the neighbors on either side of, and across the street from each existing customer. To grow your business, focus on neighborhoods where you already have clients; this increases density and promotes easy route optimization.

The Game Plan

Are you selling services to benefit you, or your customers? The ideal answer is both:

  • Focus sales on exterior perimeter treatments that prevent your technicians from going inside unless problems exist, to make routing much easier and more efficient.
  • If existing (or incoming) customers are purchasing interior services due to their needs, your goal is to convert them to exterior service. Treat their interior needs now, but then establish the pest barrier they need for interior service to become a rarity.

How do you convert? By providing a free upgrade to a premium pest control service level that focuses on the exterior. The upgrade sells itself because it’s free and more convenient for the customer. After all, now they don’t have to be home for service.

In your marketing, make the message about the benefits to them, not to you. Not everyone will convert, but a large percentage will.

About the Author

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Spencer Bachman is a second-generation pest management professional, and owner of the Pest Control Business Coach consulting firm based in Canton, Ga. You can reach her at Sheri@PestControlBusinessCoach.com.

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