If you’re on the hunt for a new pest control company, it’s likely your last partnership didn’t work out the way you hoped. Whether they dropped a ball or broke a promise, you’re eager to find someone who will do better.
While the proof is in working with a new partner, asking the right questions can help you determine who might deliver for your business—and who may be the same problem with a different name. Consider these ten questions your script for confidently interviewing any pest control service prospect:
- How long have you been in business? The good news is that the pest control industry attracts many entrepreneurs. The bad news is that many may have limited or no experience serving businesses like yours. Ask about a prospect’s track record up front.
- Are you licensed and insured? You’re seeking a credible, reputable partner, so ask if technicians are licensed and/or certified by the state and other appropriate agencies. Ask—don’t assume—if they are covered by liability insurance, so any mistakes they make won’t end up costing you.
- What companies like mine do you service? Not all pest control providers specialize in commercial service, and not all commercial providers specialize in your industry. Find out if your prospect can demonstrate success serving businesses with needs like yours.
- Do you practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM)? As an industry best practice, a solid IPM-based program is a must. Based on prevention tactics like sanitation and maintenance, IPM is a proactive and customized approach any true pest control expert will recommend to you.
- What kind of training do your technicians complete? Since both pest pressures and the technology to fight them evolve rapidly, you want a team that makes ongoing education a priority. While you’re talking to technicians, you may want to ask about background screenings and other safety protocols as well.
- What pests does your standard service agreement cover? If you have certain pests you’re battling, find out if they are included in your prospect’s standard service, or if they require a separate scope. You can also ask if any quality assurances are standard, like independent audits or money-back guarantees.
- What specialty services and products do you offer? Because maintenance and sanitation are so foundational to a good IPM program, an experienced pest control partner may offer services that support a clean environment, like disinfectant products, drain cleaning and odor control.
- What documentation do you provide with service? Talk to your prospect about how they record services, pest activity and and product applications. Make sure they plan to give you copies of everything—especially if pest control is included in your third-party audits.
- How do you communicate with your customers? Transparency is key. Find out if your prospect is used to an open dialogue with customers. This includes discussing concerns, reviewing recommendations together and noting big-picture trends.
- What is the average response time in the event of a pest-related emergency? Is there an extra charge associated with this? You hope it never happens, but if a pest issue arises, you need feet on the ground as soon as possible. Ask if your prospect offers any guarantees around their response time. Some do, and if you ever need it, you’ll be glad you have it.
When you’re making such an important decision for your business, it’s good to be prepared. Walking through these questions will cross some potential partners off your list while catapulting others to the top—taking you closer to the best pest control partner for you.
If you’d like more tips on things like deciding who to interview or kicking off a successful partnership once you’ve made a selection, Orkin has a free resource for you—The Practical Guide To Picking a Pest Control Provider.