Subscription-based pest control: How this model benefits you and your customers

We live in a world of subscriptions. In addition to the TV subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.), companies are offering box subscriptions for meals, fashion, men, women, nerds… you name it, there is a subscription for it.

So why have subscriptions exploded over the past decade?

It’s simple. This model provides very real benefits on both sides of the equation: businesses and consumers.

Business benefits of subscription-based pest control services

It wasn’t chance that led to Netflix destroying Blockbuster. Their subscription model played a large role in their success. Some of these same benefits apply in pest control.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenges of running a service-based billing model, and how subscriptions address these issues:

Service-based billing

Lost revenue: On average, pest control companies fulfill only 89% of scheduled services. If you are running a traditional service-based billing model, you are losing 11% of your top line revenue.

This really adds up!

Inconsistent cash flow: In addition to this, forecasting cash flow is extremely difficult and notoriously inaccurate with this rate of cancelation. From a business administration standpoint, these inaccuracies make it difficult to know when to hire, when to expand into new territories, and just make it a lot harder to run your business.

Lack of customer stickiness: This model also makes it much more difficult to build a relationship with your customer base. There is very little keeping them from moving onto a competitor between services, especially if they are unsatisfied.

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Subscription-based billing

In contrast to this, a subscription model is a very straightforward way to address all of these issues.

Improved top line: If your customers are all on a subscription, then that 11% lost revenue every month is now retained. Inclement weather, customer conflicts, and other cancelation reasons are no longer impacting your top line.

Improved cash flow & forecasting: When your entire customer base is in a subscription-based program, you remove most of the guesswork from your forecasting.

While some variables still exist, your service revenue is highly predictable, and very consistent. It becomes far easier to manage all aspects of your business when you can accurately predict cash flow.

Improved customer stickiness: This is a little less quantifiable, but amortizing the cost of an individual service over a few months helps to reduce the friction customers experience with each service.

It also removes the choice involved with each service. If they are bought into your subscription, then they are also able to more accurately forecast their own expenses. Your GPC service is now an expected, and accepted, monthly cost.

Consumer benefits of subscription-based pest control services

There are a few primary benefits for consumers engaging in subscription pest control programs, some are financial while others are performance-related.

Improved quality of life through proactive treatments: Similar to our own health, being proactive with pest control treatments is a fantastic way to improve consumer quality of life. The majority of people take a very passive, reactionary approach to pest control.

These services are seen as an avoidable cost until ants are taking over their kitchen and spiders are invading their basements.

If a pest control tech stopped by monthly or quarterly for a regular treatment, these negative experiences wouldn’t happen in the first place.

Increased effectiveness and efficiency: Something many consumers don’t know, is that regular pest control treatments result in a cumulative effect that is much more effective than if treatments are only applied when there is an outbreak.

Individual treatments on an inconsistent basis results in far less effective prevention.

In addition to this, having the same company treating your house on a regular basis increases the efficiency of each visit. They can get in and out with less of an interruption on your day-to-day.

Reduced financial expense: The financial benefit of a subscription is seen in a couple of different ways. First, most pest control companies offer an incentive for signing up for a subscription. Instead of $150 for a stand alone service, your quarterly service may only be $99/quarter.

Second, when consumers wait for an outbreak to occur prior to reaching out to a pest control company, the cost of addressing the issue is often much higher due to the severity of the issue.

This is a straightforward change that provides very clear benefits to you and your customers. Improve your top line, increase customer stickiness, and give your customers better quality of life by shifting to a subscription-based billing model!

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