With sectors of the U.S. pest management industry approaching $9 million in revenue, there is plenty of opportunity for growth for pest management companies. The industry has challenges, including staffing the business and gaining new customers, but there are many tips for companies to ensure they are poised for growth. Successful companies typically have strong websites where customers and prospective employees alike can find contact information, they encourage online reviews and take time to respond regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, and they create a strong and engaging social media presence, especially on Facebook. Company websites and social media accounts give unique opportunities for companies to craft a story, allow customers to verify the story, and thus let the company stand out from the competition.
In addition to these tools, highlighting a company’s value proposition—the unique feature that makes the company attractive to customers—is vitally important for companies looking to grow. Consumers obviously expect that PMPs have the tools and know-how to get rid of pests, so some companies can stand out from the crowd by emphasizing their trust-worthiness and professionalism. It is important to note that staying positive and refraining from speaking poorly about competitors is important for the pest management industry’s image. For companies looking to grow, concentrating on marketing their services, and accentuating unique qualifications such as third-party certifications can help the company set itself apart from the competition in a constructive way.
THE IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS
The greatest value a pest management professional can provide is peace of mind. Every customer should trust that their PMP is keeping watch and ensuring their property is safe and secure, and this trust can be built over time by following through on promises. But to initially get in the door with a new customer, proving trustworthiness and dependability ahead of time can make a difference. Consumer research shows that 61% of respondents are more likely to hire a company that has earned certification from an industry organization versus one that has not. This means that many customers are looking for a third-party stamp of approval to find a company they can trust. Companies who highlight these credentials may find it the key to strategic growth and gaining new customers and employees alike.
QualityPro was founded to help the pest management industry professionalize, by setting criteria for business operations and helping companies meet those benchmarks. QualityPro, endorsed by NPMA, has set 16 QualityPro standards for excellence for companies and their employees, covering education, training and safety, and providing consumers confidence when selecting a nationally accredited company. Accredited companies can earn further certifications for their services including GreenPro, QualityPro Schools, Food Safety and Public Health. QualityPro accredited companies have met standards that help evidence trustworthiness to the consumer.
Customers who select a QualityPro accredited company are selecting a company that performs criminal background checks on each potential employee (Standard 1:4); has drug-free workplace requirements (Standard 1:6); uses Integrated Pest Management services with trained technicians (Standard 2:1); and has each employee, whether a technician or a sales professional, pass the national QualityPro Exam (Standard 4:1). Any company can, and should, implement these practices, but only QualityPro accredited companies are verified by a third-party organization. QualityPro accreditation is not pay-to-play, it is something that must be earned and maintained. Customers will appreciate the difference.
AFFIRMING YOUR COMPANY’S WORTH
QualityPro accreditation can help affirm that services provided by a pest management company are worth the cost. The credential can be earned by any size company and used with pride. With only 3% of pest management companies having earned QualityPro accreditation, QualityPro companies can let potential customers know they are part of an elite group. Accredited companies are encouraged to use the QualityPro logo on uniforms, vehicles, marketing materials, websites and social media. Using the logo can spark a discussion with a customer that helps build trust. To help in this conversation, companies can request customized bid letters from QualityPro that talk about their company’s accreditation. Including the bid letter in each and every new business proposal alerts the customer that they could be working with a company that is recognized as excellent and professional by the industry.
In addition to the bid letter, QualityPro offers customized videos, sales presentations and images a company can share via social media—more ways to help consumers understand how prestigious QualityPro accreditation is and why the QualityPro company is trustworthy and valuable.
CLOSING THE DEAL
Customers across the country are looking for pest management professionals to provide a feeling of protection and safety in their homes and businesses. They want to find a company they can trust. With QualityPro accredited companies voluntarily submitting to a set of qualifications that go above and beyond federal and state regulations, QualityPro certification sets companies apart from non-QualityPro accredited companies. Highlighting this exclusive recognition could be the unique factor that a customer is looking for—so companies should not underestimate shouting their certification from the rooftops.