What Pest Control Business Owner Wouldn’t? Dangle a FREE Carrot: Make a Strong Offer Using Discounts and Free Giveaways. Many potential customers are looking for something FREE! So, give them something for free (or better yet, give them something discounted). But make sure you can convert this customer into a paying customer and can track the results of your offer. Here are a few different types of freebies that can be leveraged towards building your customer or client book.
Offer a Trial Period This is a great way to pick up new customers as well as upgrade current ones. Use a free trial or a sample program (e.g. 2 free months) to entice prospective clients to become regular paying customers. You will find that offering a free service is a great way to break down barriers for first time buyers.
Partner Up with Developers When there’s a new development going up, go see the construction engineer. A lot of times there are insects and wasps in the development because they were there before or pests get into the homes because the doors are open. Whatever the issue may be, go introduce yourself and tell the engineer that you will just take care of whatever they need, FREE OF CHARGE! But in return, ask for access to the homes when they are complete. They will give you the information of the people who buy the homes as well.
In addition, they will often let you put your termite indicator programs in after the landscaping is done. Then, assume the sale and continue to monitor the stations. Through the course of inspecting the termite monitors, you will meet the customers. This way you’re keeping these customers out of the phone book. There’s already someone providing service on his or her lawn. And there’s always going to be one need that they’re going to have, so they will work with you because you developed a relationship with you.
Free Barbeque!!! If someone signs up for your outdoor programs, offer to pay for their first barbeque to thank them for employing your services. This sort of program can be really successful. People will actually call and ask if a certain program qualifies for the free barbeque. After their service is paid for, the client will receive a box with your company’s logo on it and all the ingredients needed to have a barbeque. Often, the client’s friends will ask where they got the steaks from and this really creates a nice buzz. The barbeque has a $50 to $100 value, but it’s much more effective than giving $50 or $100 off a service fee. Your clients will feel like they have received a gift.
One More Thing to Think About…By the way, make sure your clients have paid for their service prior to sending out the barbeque gifts. If you’re clients don’t pay beforehand, you may just end up giving out FREE barbeques! If you don’t have the organizational skills and capabilities to track this properly, then the volume will overwhelm you. We can’t stress this enough! So, make sure your business is systematized and you have all the right tracking information to pull this off.
You have a new customer: Now, how do you KEEP them?
BE LIKE “BIG BROTHER”: Collect Customer Information. Your current customer base is the low-hanging fruit on your tree. It’s the easiest crowd to market to, so it’s important to collect as much information about your customers as possible. Make sure you have some sort of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System in place. This can be as complex as Salesforce.com or as basic as an Excel spreadsheet. Either way, make sure you have a reliable place to store information such as contact info, family members, birthdays, buying patterns, and more.
The goal is to get your customers to buy more services from you. Always try to give the customer more or offer them more. A nice way to market to your client base is by approaching the effort in a way that is personal and intimate. You can send them personalized letters on holidays or birthdays to foster customer interest and further develop the bond between your company and the client.
Build your new customer relationship!
What you’re trying to do here is achieve a reliable relationship with your customers. THIS WAY YOU CAN RELY ON THEM FOR THEIR BUSINESS! But, assure your customers that you are there for them too! Send them updates and newsletters via email. Keep them informed on new happenings, industry news, and pest control issues that they should be on the lookout for.
The great thing about email is that once you have developed a good email database, it doesn’t cost anything to market to them. Just draft up the emails you wish to distribute and fire them off through the Internet! Just make sure you know what type of service the customer is signed up for.
Again, the effectiveness of marketing is very dependent upon the quality of your data. Every little bit of customer information needs to be recorded. You don’t want this to be an afterthought because going back to collect information that you are lacking about your customer is a tough, tough job. There are several great CRM programs out there. Pick the one with the features and functionality that serve your business needs.
Do you have customers you are not sure are benefiting your Pest Control Business? Read our article “Are your PCO Customers Costing YOU Money?’
Marisa is Content Editor for PCO Bookkeepers, PCO M&A Specialists and Turfbooks.