(1) Make your emails mobile-friendly. While most people check emails on their phones, several companies still send emails that don’t look attractive when viewed on a mobile device. Work with your developers to design an email that will boost engagement and will be easy to read, both on desktop and mobile.
The 2020 NCPMA PCT School will be held Jan. 26-30, 2020 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham. Registration is now open on the NCPMA website, www.ncpestmanagement.org.
CLEVELAND — PCT is proud to announce the 2019 Technicians of the Year: Alonzo Ferguson, Massey Services (residential category); Jake Vollink, Rose Pest Solutions (commercial category); and Robert Woodson, ABC Home & Commercial Services (termite category). The annual awards are sponsored by BASF and recognize three technicians that excel in categories of commercial, residential and termite professional services.
“In addition to understanding the latest products and technology, service technicians must be able to thoroughly describe pest issues they observe; listen to customer concerns and answer their questions; and work in partnership with their customers to develop a smart, effective treatment strategy,” said PCT Internet/Managing Editor Brad Harbison. “This year’s Technicians of the Year all excel at these critical job functions and they serve as great examples to other service professionals in the pest control industry.”
Massey Services’ Alonzo Ferguson, PCT’s Residential Technician of the Year, is loved by customers because he treats them like family. As one of his coworkers noted, “You can always find him providing service to homes with a smile on his face. He is always checking in with his customers, whether it be for service or just to see how they are doing.” Read more.
The 2020 program will launch in April. For more information about the program email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATLANTA - In a recent Forbes magazine survey, several hundred executives indicated they are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone, and that technology is crucial to achieving that goal.
The report went on to say that it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, and that in the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations.
The pest management industry is no different than other consumer-facing industries as it experiences a boom of technology products and services. The challenge is trying to determine which of the myriad of solutions available is right for their company.
To identify answers to those questions, PMPs descended upon Atlanta for the NPMA Technology Summit, sponsored by Service Pro.
Technology is changing the way pest professionals operate their companies, hire and train technicians, and engage and deliver services to customers. But if companies spend their time and resources – both financial and human capital – on technology that doesn’t deliver actionable data and solutions, then they’ll likely miss out on strategies and services that can move their company ahead.
The three-day event kicked off with author and change disruption consultant Tom Morrison discussing what happens when the “Uberization” concept collides with an industry.
Unless you’ve chosen to live deep in the woods for the last decade, you know the disruption that ride services Uber and Lyft caused as they stormed the market and changed how consumers not only got from point A to point B, but changed their outlook and preferences for buying services.
“The pest management industry is ripe for an Uber style service offering,” said Morrison. “Companies need to start talking today about how to leverage that with customers. It’s not if it will happen but when.”
Today’s consumers are accustomed to the no service contract model (i.e. cell phones, cable TV, etc.) and flexibility as to when they use a service. This conflicts with the traditional recurring revenue model the industry has become accustomed to with weekly, monthly or quarterly service offerings. How will the industry adjust?
“Change can be hard for industries that are built on certain models but technology with its ability to offer greater levels of transparency and efficiency can help with the transition,”” added Morrison.
Morrison said more and more customers are paying for the technology and not necessarily the service because of the “Alexa” mindset that consumers are becoming accustomed to.
“Educating customers and employees on how to use and take full advantage of technology is important to success,” said Morrison. “Companies that offer a tech suite of products must be able to get acceptance and buy in.”
Norm Waslynchuk, director of information technology for Abell Pest Control in Etobicoke, Ontario, says the industry needs to accelerate the adoption of technology to compete and level the playing field.
“We use technology to improve our operational efficiencies and drive the customer experience and events like this help greatly in advancing our learning curve,” said Waslynchuk. “Technology is important to our company since we service a large, diverse geographical area and our remote technicians need technology to support them.”
Waslynchuk says Abell and its in-house staff of software developers create custom apps that help the company collect valuable trend data.
“We must be able to collect and share data with our clients and help them design programs that are tailored to their specific needs,” said Waslynchuk. “Data is the new oil and technology allows us to mine that.”
Julie Fredlund, director of technology for ABC Home & Commercial Services in Austin, Texas and vice chair of the NPMA Technology Committee, which created the Summit program, said the event gave PMPs a better understanding of the capabilities of the technology products and services available and what they can and can’t do.
“It is important for pest professionals to spend wisely on technology and select products and services that work best for their company,” said Fredlund. “Don’t just select the most expensive or latest innovation. Make sure it works for what you are trying to accomplish.”
PCT will have additional editorial coverage of the NPMA Technology Summit both online and in print.
(Pictured, from left to right, an "on switch" button and platform were built for this year's lighting ceremony; CEO Brian Goldman (left) in front of the Big Blue Bug; and singer Billy Gilman).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As one of the most recognizable landmarks in Rhode Island, the Big Blue Bug has long been a favorite of the state’s residents – not to mention an effective marketing tool for Providence-based Big Blue Bug Solutions (formerly New England Pest Control). Anchored atop the company’s headquarters and overlooking I-95, the Big Blue Bug has become ingrained in the Providence skyline since it was born in 1980.
The bug, which stands 58 feet tall and weighs two tons, is perhaps even more of a sight to behold during the holiday season, when it is dressed up with antlers, a red nose and lit up with about 7,500 bulbs — from head to abdomen. The company that decorates and lights the bug is Duff Electric, a Rhode Island firm that primarily does work overseas.
“It takes about two days and they have the expertise to install the bulbs and also to stabilize everything so that it can withstand a winter storm,” said Big Blue Bug Solutions CEO Brian Goldman.
Goldman says 27 years ago Big Blue began decorating/lighting the bug during the holidays, and he says the lighting ceremony has evolved to become a community-wide event, attended by hundreds of residents each year. Big Blue Bug Solutions invites local television news stations to the lighting and technicians and customers service reps get involved by welcoming attendees.
“New York City has the tree lighting at Rockefeller Square. For Rhode Island, it is lighting the Big Blue Bug,” said Goldman.
Two years ago, Rhode Island resident Billy Gilman — a child country singer star who recently revived his career on the TV program “The Voice” — was a guest singer. For this year’s ceremony, local businessmen and celebrities Ron and Pete Cardi (of Cardi’s Furniture) did the ceremonial lighting in memory of their late brother Nick, who passed away in August. Also for this year’s lighting ceremony, Big Blue Bug Solutions lead wildlife specialist Joshua Brown built a platform to showcase the “on switch.” The platform was decked out an oversized candy cane-like structure with a ball on top that resembles the Times Square New Year’s ball.
Goldman said Big Blue Bug Solutions is always looking for ways to give back to the communities it serves, and lighting the Big Blue Bug not only does that, but it also involves the community. “Something we learned from the Cardi brothers is to involve the community. Do something where everyone can be a part of it, and everyone can enjoy it. It puts a smile on everyone’s faces. Parents will tell their kids that we’ll drive by Big Blue Bug as a reward for going to the doctor’s or dentist’s.”