In most Australian cities, a company that provides pest control services is likely to also provide carpet cleaning and stain removal services, too, and whilst not necessarily as common as the first pair of services, some businesses also provide bond cleaning services with a guarantee. Let’s have a look at why they might do that, and what that can mean for customers.
Synergy in customer needs – need one, need the other
In most cases, operators reported that the demand for their combined service came from tenants who were vacating rental properties. By providing a combined service to the customer, operators are able to increase their revenue and also provide a one-stop-shop style service to a customer, and thereby also improving the chances of a satisfied customer resulting in more friends and family referrals.
Marketing return rates – advertise next to each other, double the eyeballs
A better return is often achieved by advertising both services in local media – and not just a return that’s artificially boosted because of the lower advertising rates given for multiple bookings. By including both services in each other’s category, companies can often prompt their customers to engage them for a wider range of services than perhaps was originally planned. A reasonable view to take would be that each pest control customer is a valid point of distribution for fridge magnets promoting complimentary services, and each of those customers who buy or use complimentary services are also valid distribution points for fridge magnets and other marketing materials promoting all the other services.
Double the referral base – expanding on visual referrals from the vehicles
Each address that is attended is a further opportunity to have exposure to the market in general – whether by way of vehicle sign writing, or putting one or two flyers in neighboring houses after a service is completed. With that logic, it makes good sense to be as active as possible, and offer multiple services in order to cover more geographical area. Some businesses offer customers discounts on their complementary services such as ‘25% off carpet cleaning with each pest treatment’ or something similar, which is also a good way to build and retain a loyal customer base. A further incentive is sometimes offered for referring other customers, though, it can be a double edged sword that can make a business owner look like they’re ‘bribing’ or ‘sweet talking’ their way to a referral that might not have otherwise been given to them if there was no financial incentive for the person making the referral. A simple, yet generous, way to counter this is to give the financial incentive instead to the person being referred, rather than the person making the referral, ie “refer your friends and family and they’ll get 50% off for life”. In doing so, you’re far removed from the possible perception issues that could come with directly rewarding referrers.
Year-round demand – pest and insect activity is quiet in winter
Because insects, ants, and bugs in general don’t like cold weather, they don’t tend to venture outside into the open air during the cooler months. And because they’re not out of their little hiding holes, they’re not visible, and if they’re not visible, they’re not annoying anyone, and whilst they’re not annoying anyone, there’s no need to call someone to have them taken care of! So whilst a company or business that offers pest control services exclusively might experience a quieter period during the cooler months, this can be offset by also providing carpet cleaning services – which is another key reason why companies often do both. There also seems to be, in many cities including Sydney and Melbourne, a larger turnover of rental properties during the June/July period, with a higher than average number of leases expiring during these months, meaning a higher demand for services like carpet cleaning, which can be useful for the companies who want to make up for a reduced demand for pest control services at the same time of the year.
One-stop-shop – easier than the customer managing multiple contractors overlapping
Carrying on from the #1 benefit to customers, the synergy in demand for the services concurrently, a customer who chooses to deal with a provider who is a one-stop-shop for pest control and carpet cleaning means less contractors to quote, to manage, to liaise with, and to juggle. Ordinarily a separate time would be booked, first for carpet cleaning, and then for pest control. If carpet cleaning is done after the pest control treatment, the risk is that the residual chemical that would ordinarily remain in situ to provide an ongoing barrier would instead be removed. However, if customers choose to use a service provider that has both services, he or she will be aware of the correct process and sequence in which to complete the treatment, and therefore will be less likely to create ongoing issues by removing the chemicals.
Notwithstanding whatever may be the motivation for the business owners and operators to offer both services in duality, the benefit for customers is clear – you needn’t contact, manage, and liaise with multiple contractors when moving out of a rental property. Indeed, if you are vacating a rental property, in addition to the pest control and carpet cleaning that is imposed as a requirement upon you by way of your lease, you’ll often find a pest control and carpet cleaning company can offer bond cleaning services too, which means they’ll professionally clean your property at the time of vacation and in most cases give you a guarantee of a full bond return, so there will be no deductions by the owner or property manager due to improperly cleaned or treated premises.