March 29, 2017
Service Type Naming for Growth
Whether you are a new company starting out, or a long-term company with 50 years of experience, there is potential benefit in re-visiting the naming of your service types. Data mining and enhancing sales are the two areas where your company can win after carefully re-setting your service type names. How? Read on.
Let’s look at Specificity first. Any modern software package is going to allow you to name your Service Types however you want. And the better packages will make it easy to ‘mine your data’, to some extent. PestaRoo’s ability here, is unmatched, with at least a dozen ways to dip into your historical data to find actionable trends and sales opportunities. But here, let’s only consider how you might search past invoices by service types to promote your business and sales. Pretend that a new product comes onto the market that works dramatically better at controlling pest xyz. What you would like to do, is to find all customers in the last 24 months who have needed help controlling xyz. Then you could reach out to that highly targeted group of customers with a call or a post card, letting them know that a new product is now available that is more effective than any product in the past. A substantial number of these customers will quickly agree to getting on your schedule. This is a classic double win for both you and your customer. And in business, our goal is to find and cultivate double wins. That is what creates happy customers and business security. (Always be on the lookout for double wins!)
But there is a problem here that many companies overlook. What if you typically use names like “general pest control”, “quarterly service”, or other broad generic names for most of your work orders? Those non-specific names obscure the fact that you may be primarily treating xyz. This sabotages your own ability to accurately find that set of targeted customers who might immediately benefit from a new product. For this reason alone, at PestaRoo, we strongly recommend the use of highly specific service type names. Names like, ‘Roach Control’, ‘Ant Control’, or ‘Termite control’ make mining your data later, very easy. You should always have specific service type names for the top ten pests in your area. And, when a customer calls needing your help with an infestation, use those specific names! So what about our all-time favorite names like ‘General Pest Control’ and ‘Quarterly Pest Control’? Should you stop using them? No! These non-specific names should still be used when you are doing preventative treatments that are not tailored to single specific pests. Now, the strategy of careful naming comes into focus. As a rule of thumb, you should use specific naming for infestation treatments, but general naming for prevention work. (There is still one additional rule we’ll discus in a minute, but this first one is critical.) Companies that make an effort to mine their own data, always prevail over companies that don’t. And using service types specifically named is one of the most important steps toward gaining easy access to your own customer’s historical needs.
So, next, how else can service type names contribute to increasing our sales? Here is a hint…. all newer versions of PestaRoo support up to three service types per Work Order, PreSched, or Invoice. Many companies rejoiced that they can now list, in advance, multiple service types on a single Work Order, thus saving paper. That is true. But the BIG reason is that it encourages the technician to add service type lines in the field based on customer needs! Your technician is ideally situated to hear the customer’s comment about ‘ants in her kitchen’ or whatever, thus giving him an opportunity to ‘add-on’ an additional service(s) for a fee. This is a huge opportunity for increased sales. When coupled with technician incentives, this can be one of your most important methods that lead to increased sales. And your customers will be pleased for the personal service. There are a couple subtle detail to making it work.
First, make sure your software supports multiple service types per Work Order. Next, it is essential that you pre-define what services are included in your general named services, and more importantly, what is not included. This allows your technician to know when given services are covered by the general service and when they are not. So as you make your list of not-included items, be sure that each of them have been given specific service type names. Common items that are often not covered include: Flea Control, Kitchen Ant Control, Termite Control, and Bed Bug Control. (Your list will be much longer and different.) In terms of understanding, Flea Control is perhaps the best example of what should be an ‘add-on’ service.
Again, it is very important that both your technicians and your customers know what is covered under your General Pest Control or Quarterly plans, and what is not. This might be a good time to add this clarification to any mailer you routinely send out in the spring.
Review your Service Type names to improve your ability to mine your data in the future, and to boost your sales. Once you have a clear demarcation between General names and Specific names, decide what services are not included in the the General names. Lastly, offer your techs an incentive percent or commission for every add on service they generate. Everyone wins!
Take time to carefully review your service type names. They are more important than most people think!