Over the past decade, we’ve seen subscription-based business models become increasingly popular in virtually every industry, from streaming TV and home meal kits to hygiene products and cleaning supplies. Businesses across various industries are increasingly embracing this innovative approach, recognizing the allure it holds for consumers and companies alike.

While subscription models certainly represent a shift from the traditional individual transaction-based approach, they do build on the traditional tenets of customer satisfaction and driving revenue for businesses. The general appeal of subscription models lies in the predictability they provide for businesses and the convenience they provide for customers, ideally creating a win-win scenario in which businesses thrive, customers’ needs are met and stronger customer relationships flourish.

So how does the subscription-based business model fit in for pest control businesses?

The Benefits of Subscriptions for You and Your Customers

In the traditional transaction-based model, the process is fairly straightforward: your business signs a customer on for service, that service is performed and your business gets paid. Ideally, the satisfied customer may respond to your follow-ups or even reach out again on their own to schedule additional services — but then again, they might not. That uncertainty can become a problem for your pest control operation, especially when trying to make plans for the future.

Generally speaking, pest control operators in most areas of the United States can anticipate a natural ebb and flow in business as the seasons pass. Even when accounting for the busy season, though, it can be difficult to predict your future revenue with any degree of accuracy when you’re not sure which customers will schedule additional services, which services they’ll schedule or when they’ll want them.

As a result, making business plans can be difficult. Can you justify hiring additional technicians? Is it the right time to purchase new vehicles or equipment? Can you count on enough incoming revenue in the coming months to start planning an expansion or opening a new branch? Without concrete numbers, these decisions can be difficult to plan out.

By offering subscription options for routine services, you achieve the two-fold goal of solidifying your revenue and keeping customers happy. A subscription-based pest control model allows you to benefit in a wide number of ways.

Predictable Revenue

While we’ve already touched on this, the value of predicting your revenue accurately can’t be overstated. Being able to open your pest control business software, view ongoing subscriptions and quickly determine how much revenue you can count on in the month, quarter or year ahead is invaluable when it comes to staffing, equipment and general business plans.

Fewer Cancellations

In addition to being harder to forecast, service-based billing is also subject to another form of unpredictability: customer cancellations. Even if your schedule is set for the next few months, the unfortunate reality is that you can’t account for cancellations until they occur.

Many experts place the average pest control company’s cancellations at around 10% of jobs scheduled, making it even more difficult to plan ahead. With a subscription-based model, customers know from the outset that the service will be repeating regularly, often adopting a set-it-and-forget-it mentality that makes them dramatically less likely to cancel at the last minute.

Higher Customer Retention

As a result of being inherently more long-term than signing on for a single service visit, subscription-based pest control naturally supports an ongoing relationship with your customer. This provides you with the opportunity to not only prove the quality of your service, but to build stronger relationships.

If you’re not already supporting multiple methods of customer communication so that customers can reach out how they prefer — think texts, calls, emails, web chat and a self-service portal, for instance — doing so can build on the foundation a subscription model provides and allow you to embrace longer, more financially beneficial customer relationships.

Easier Price Increases

On the customer side of things, no one looks forward to a price increase — but that doesn’t mean price increases aren’t a part of doing business. When you provide customers with subscription-based billing, though, those period price increases are easier to stomach.

For one thing, increases due to a particular factor — such as rising fuel or material costs, for instance — seem less severe when applied to the overall subscription cost, as opposed to showing up as a line item on a service-based bill. Similarly, quarterly billing is less jarring for customers than just seeing an annual grand total. For another, customers with ongoing subscriptions are already accustomed to living in a comfortable, pest-free environment thanks to your routine services, which makes the value they receive from your business more evident.

Amplify Your Anticipated Recurring Revenue

It’s easy to see how offering ongoing subscription-based pest control to your customers can lead to more predictable recurring revenue, but there’s more you can do to boost that incoming cash flow — and to reduce the manual labor involved in collecting payment.

If your pest control business doesn’t already offer customers the ability to autopay for services, it’s worth considering; subscriptions and autopay go together like two peas in a pod. Customers who are eager to take advantage of a pest control subscription to ensure their home or workplace is regularly inspected and treated for pests are likely to want the same hands-off convenience when it comes to making payments.

By allowing customers to keep a payment method on file, you provide them with the stress-free experience they crave — and simultaneously minimize missed payments and unintentional churn for your business. With the integrated payment processing power of WorkWave Payments, PestPac empowers you to securely store customers’ payment details on file and bill them automatically, which is convenient for both you and your customers. PestPac and Payments even go a step further with Account Updater, which automatically starts the process of updating payment details when a card’s expiration date approaches or a payment method doesn’t go through.

Whether you’re looking to launch your first subscription-based offering or want to ensure you’re approaching billing and forecasting as effectively as possible, the right pest control software is an invaluable tool in the process. To learn more about subscription billing and how it can boost sales and revenue for your business, visit pestpac.com today!


Brett is a Content Specialist at WorkWave with over a decade of professional writing experience. When he's not glued to his keyboard, he enjoys playing music, reading, playing video games, and just about anything that takes him outdoors.