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Gaining an edge in your pest control company.

gaininganedge by Jeremiah Olsen / September 16, 2013

Identify your best customer

Who is your best customer? What type of customer do you most want to service? Consider all angles: how much they pay, how good you are at meeting their needs, how needy they are, how far away they live, etc. You need to know exactly who you need to target and why. Knowing this will allow you to make effective management decisions later. Decisions like who to not take on as a customer, who to target with marketing, what type of marketing to do, and others cannot be effectively made without knowing exactly who your best customers are and why they do the things they do.

Develop a plan to get them/differentiator

Why will your best customers go with you instead of XYZ Pest Control? What makes you different? Is it your good looks or charm? Come up with concrete evidence that customers will believe. This needs to be focused. For example, DO NOT make your differentiating factors be: 'getting rid of bugs the best, cheapest, best customer service, best commercial service, most technologically advanced, nicest, best residential, best inspector, best lawn mower, best dog washer, and more!' Many of these statements inherently contradict one another and confuse consumers. Also, they give the impression that you will do anything for a buck, which will come back to haunt you. You want to focus on your type of customer and cater to how they respond.

Consider Apple, Inc's example, they understand that they offer the better built, longer lasting product in most cases, with fantastic customer service to back up and reinforce the quality image their brand pushes. If superior quality, customer service, and longer lasting products don't matter to you as much, you buy a $400 laptop instead of one from Apple that retails at $2100. Apple knows that and is alright with it. Their best customer is the customer that wants quality and great customer service.

Try to focus your competitive advantage instead of dividing your attention in a vain attempt to get every customer available. Do something like this: 'we offer the best residential pest control available. No one is better at getting rid of bugs at your home, and we back this up by the industry's best residential guarantee.' Focus and dominate your focus.

The technology to gain an edge is out there, use it!

Know their behavior

Where do they work, how much do they make, where do they live, why do they buy pest control? Are all questions you will need to answer. When you know these answers, good management decisions almost make themselves.

Use an effective CRM

In order to actually have the data needed to answer the above questions, use a good software program! This is the lynchpin in running any effective business. Use what today's technology can offer to gather data, make decisions, and dominate your competition. Know what your competition doesn't about your target market and use that information to win customers. Having old, clunky, and out of date technology that isn't cloud-based and/or doesn't work across any device will severely restrict your ability to gather data, not to mention gives the impression to customers that you are behind the times. The technology is out there! Use it!