Time To Read: 6 minutes

The spread of COVID-19 is impacting the pest control industry in unprecedented ways, shifting everything from customer demand and expectations to the way in which businesses around the world are operating. With so many variables at play, it’s only natural that pest control companies like yours are eager to find ways to adapt to quickly changing circumstances, and continue providing customers with exceptional service whenever possible.

While the challenges you’re facing right now might vary based on your customer base and local regulations, one thing remains true: WorkWave PestPac is designed specifically with pest control businesses like yours in mind, and equips you with the tools you need to endure these challenges and position your business for ongoing success. So how can you get the most out of PestPac to navigate these new challenges?

1) Position Your Staff to Work Remotely With PestPac’s Web-Based Infrastructure

If your business is asking or requiring staff to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to equip them with the necessary hardware and software to complete their daily job tasks and responsibilities. Think about allowing the staff to bring home a company-owned computer or laptop to make the transition easier—without causing any disruption to PestPac usability. If you plan for them to use personal computers at home, make sure their workstations have up-to-date operating systems and browsers to meet the requirements for PestPac.

If you’re an owner, administrator, or manager, use an Employee List Report to make critical employee information accessible and visible to you at all times. This detailed report will provide you with usernames, job titles, emergency contact information, and more for each employee in your system. The Employee List Report will also help you remotely manage and troubleshoot users’ login problems, understand the access rights assigned to each employee, and know who to reach in the event of an emergency.

As you move to communicating remotely, ensure that your team is on the same page when it comes to how communication is best handled. For instance, if you’ll be having regular check-in calls or daily emails, everyone needs to know when they’re expected to share updates. Similarly, everyone needs to know where to go for quick questions or updates; will you all be using text messages, Slack, or another communication channel? A platform like Slack can be extremely useful, but only if everyone is checking in and making use of it.

2) Assign a Point Person or Team for PestPac Knowledge

Have you identified PestPac subject matter experts (SME) in your business? Maybe that’s you, as an owner or a tenured manager, or maybe it’s another individual or team within your company. Either way, you want to ensure that your entire staff has easy access to a person or team who can help with PestPac-related processes, workflows, and questions. If you have downtime in your schedule, a productive way to keep your staff active is to have your SME train other office users and technicians on how they can get the most out of PestPac.

If you haven’t already, start by creating documentation that applies to your business-specific needs as they pertain to ongoing maintenance and usage in PestPac. Leverage collaboration tools to conduct virtual trainings and to record, save, and share PestPac processes across all teams. To supplement your SMEs, encourage your staff to use the PestPac Community to keep themselves informed and educated on all things PestPac. Having a plan in place to minimize downtime in PestPac will assist in maintaining employee productivity and customer satisfaction—two crucially important things.

3) Keep Your Customer Informed With Communication Tools Inside PestPac

Clear, concise communication with your customers is key to fostering a strong relationship during an event like COVID-19. As different states are handling topics like essential and non-essential businesses differently, it’s important to cut through the noise and let your customers know exactly where your business stands.

If you haven’t already, your first step should be to post on your company’s home page, ideally with an easily visible banner, and on the CustomerConnect portal letting your customers know what to expect in terms of service from your company at this time. Going beyond the basics, PestPac allows you to provide your customers with all of the latest information on your company as it develops.

Right out of the box, you can use PestPac Lists to send email communications to customers about your current state of business, top initiatives to combat COVID-19 challenges, and however you plan to support your customers during this difficult time. If you want to make the communication a bit more personal, use the List Management feature to create a filtered call list with your customers’ phone numbers for all staff to use while conducting phone calls.

Take it a step further with CallAhead in PestPac to increase operational efficiency with automated phone calls and SMS text messages to your customer base. If you’re looking to minimize cancelation or disruption to scheduled services during these uncertain times, then get ahead of this by using CallAhead to send appointment reminders in advance to confirm dates and times with customers. 

Now is the time to invest in your growth and outlast your competition. Use the integrated marketing solutions inside of PestPac to make sure your company stands out from the pack.

Marketing Automation in PestPac will allow you to target customers who need you and communicate that you’re still here for them now, and will be when the COVID situation draws to a close. Email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with people and connect. You have your customers’ and leads’ email addresses—use them.

In the same way, Lead Management allows you to interact with potential customers while embracing social distancing. You can easily reach out to your leads, track your contact, provide proposals and quotes, and close contracts all without the need for face-to-face interaction.

It’s also okay to remind your customers that you need them, too. Use Online Reviews to ask customers to help you sustain and grow your business through these tough times by leaving reviews for future customers to find.

Clear, thoughtful, and engaging communication will be a critical part of supporting new and existing customers while we all face the challenges of COVID-19 in the professional world.

4) Upload and Store Business-Wide Files in Company Documents 

Cloud storage is essential for any business now more than ever. If you haven’t already, start thinking about where you currently store all of the files and media that pertain to your business operations, such as PDFs, user guides, SOP documents, and images. Use the PestPac Company Documents feature to manage and provide accessibility and searchability to your employees, regardless of where they are working. Access it anywhere, anytime.

5) Shift Scheduled Services to Maximize Your Revenue Stream

As your regular schedule continues to shift, use PestPac to grow the amount of business you are able to capture. While many businesses may be closed and residential customers may be looking to cancel interior treatments, it’s important that you remain diligent in working to find new opportunities where you can.

With spring in the air, many residential customers are likely to be open to moving exterior services to earlier dates now that you have the availability. Sentricon installations and maintenance, standing monthly appointments, or quarterly visits can all be shifted to closer dates without a negative impact on the quality of service, providing an opportunity for you to fill this unexpected gap in your scheduling while freeing up later calendar dates for servicing your commercial clients when things return to normal.

Using PestPac RouteOp and Best Fit, you can easily work these shifting visits into the gaps in your schedule without adding unnecessary stress on your staff and resources. In the same way, you can push back commercial client visits to later dates without creating unnecessary interruptions for other accounts.

6) Contactless Billing and Payments With WorkWave Payments

Do your best to minimize in-person or mail-in payments by taking advantage of credit card processing in PestPac with WorkWave Payments. This conscious effort should keep your staff and customers safe, healthy, and satisfied. There’s no doubt that consumers are demanding auto-pay and online payment functionality, and that is even more pronounced with customers reacting to COVID-19. The events we are experiencing today give you an opportunity to drive this initiative even further within your business.

Start driving your traffic to CustomerConnect, where your customers can make online payments or set up auto-bill for recurring services in the portal without any visits to the office or interactions with technicians to exchange a card and signature. As your business continues to focus on exterior services, make sure that your technicians are using PestPac Mobile to process credit cards already on file right from the mobile app without necessitating an exchange of money or signatures. If you don’t have a credit card on file, enable Epay for online payment with emailed invoices, or direct your customers to add a credit card on CustomerConnect for future use.

Think about eliminating the need to leave paperwork behind at a customer’s front door or another designated area on the property. Instead, email the inspection report right on the spot from the mobile app or enable automated emails for invoices and inspection reports from the office. Sending electronic proof of work and invoicing will be absolutely essential to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the communities that you service.

From communicating with your customers during these difficult times to shifting your schedule in the long term to service both residential and commercial efficiently as their needs and demands continue to change, PestPac is built to give you the comprehensive functionality you need to endure unprecedented challenges and find success. If you have questions about how to do more with PestPac, want to communicate with other pest control operators, or if you’d like to learn about the innovative ways other pest control companies are adjusting during COVID-19, be sure to visit our PestPac Community or reach out and let us know.

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Nick joined the Customer Success team at WorkWave in April 2017. He's currently the Manager of Onboarding, overseeing the customer onboarding and enablement for key products. He’s dedicated to working closely with WorkWave teams and customers to strengthen relationships, meet their goals, and drive overall satisfaction.