Winning – and keeping – lucrative commercial contracts is made easier with a robust business management software that’s designed for the job.
One of the attractive aspects of commercial accounts is that they tend to require year-round servicing. With winter just around the corner, it’s worth considering the potential that commercial accounts hold for your business. When the colder months arrive, pests seek out warm places to avoid the cold and secure alternative food sources.
Overwintering stems from pests’ survival drive and it poses a serious threat to commercial facilities. Rodents and other vector pests are particularly likely to seek refuge in commercial properties, especially those storing food, during the season ahead. Offering regular, high-quality services to commercial facilities while residential services might dwindle is a smart strategy for keeping revenue healthy until spring.
While the idea of servicing more commercial accounts is great, it’s also important to consider how their requirements might be different from those of residential accounts. Here are five suggestions of ways to win more commercial accounts and profitably service them.
1. Do your research
The advantage of researching commercial accounts cannot be overstated. When a lead comes in, don’t be tempted to improvise when discussing their needs. Approaching a potential commercial customer with a clear, structured plan is key. Ensure your team is prepared and armed with knowledge of the specific chemicals and application schedule needed to provide effective treatment. Sounding confident about the services you offer will boost a potential customer’s trust in your business, thereby making a successful sale more likely.
2. Don’t forget the importance of SEO
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a process that can help you win new business by improving the visibility of your website in organic search engine results. Commercial and residential customers are alike in that they are likely to turn to Google to find pest control professionals in their area. While there are other search engines in the market, Google currently dominates with more than 94% market share in Australia. However, improving your SEO is a complex science. Take time to understand how it works and consider hiring a professional for optimising your website’s performance. Keeping an active blog with relevant keywords, ideally weekly or bi-weekly, and including information about commercial services you offer is a great way to get started.
3. Focus on your online reputation
It will come as no surprise that your customers’ opinions of you is as important, if not more important, than what you say about your services. Make sure the excellent service your business provides to current commercial customers is documented and shared. For example, if you only have testimonials from residential customers on your website, consider creating a new page where you focus on the value your service provides to commercial properties.
4. Build efficiency into every service
Efficiency is essential to build growth, but it can be hard to achieve if you are relying on manual processes. This is especially true with commercial accounts. From managing inventory to monitoring pest activity, using software to optimise operations is a must.
Take for example inventory management; the ability to track and report chemicals used will be a requirement for many commercial accounts for compliance with local public health regulations. What’s more, functionalities such as automated routing and scheduling allow business owners to save money on petrol and labour, meaning they can continue to service accounts while protecting their profit margin from fuel price increases.
Commercial properties tend to be larger than residential properties, so it’s essential to be able to monitor pest activity and quickly scan barcoded stations once they have been inspected. All these capabilities and more are provided by software services such as ServSuite. A free demo is easily available to see if it’s a good fit for your business.
5. Personalise the commercial customer experience
The needs of a commercial account will be different to those of a residential account. Consequently, technicians need to be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to provide outstanding customer service. Use a messaging service to stay connected with your technicians throughout the day to check on their progress, as this is especially crucial for businesses. Also, using a GPS device to gain visibility on driving behaviour and location is a great way to monitor which staff members are meeting the needs of commercial customers.