Brian Delaney, owner of ProTech Termite & Pest Control in Virginia, truly believes that baiting is best. About 10 years ago, the company started practicing what it was preaching and stopped selling liquid termiticides. Today, it offers the Sentricon® System as the only termite control product its 2,000 customers need.
“We were early adopters of Sentricon,” he said. “I would say we started selling it in 1995 or ‘96. Our customer base in this area is very environmentally minded, so offering this green alternative fit in with our customers’ desires for their household. That’s one of the reasons we were attracted to Sentricon in the first place.”
Because ProTech held legacy warranties for some longtime customers, it kept one termite truck until selling it several years ago. Now, if the company needs to fulfill a warranty for a liquid treatment, Delaney upgrades that customer to Sentricon. He’s never gotten a complaint.
The results speak for themselves. Delaney recalls Sentricon curing a “nightmare” infestation several years ago. A church had beautiful wooden arches inside the building that were being eaten by termites.
“It was a nightmare for the customer,” he explains. “We were worried the whole church was going to come down. It was being eroded by termites and no one could get rid of them. With Sentricon, we got rid of them in a few months. The customer was so happy. Sentricon solved the problem.”
With Sentricon®, customers feel more connected to his company than his customers who relied on liquids ever did, Delaney says.
“Doing a liquid treatment felt like an event,” Delaney says. “It was unpleasant, it was over in one day, and now with Sentricon, customers understand it’s a program and a process and they like the attention and the constant service we give them.”
But those aren’t the only benefits ProTech sees from exclusively using Sentricon. The company reaps the benefit of offering Sentricon all year long, Delaney says.
“We like the fact that with Sentricon, it’s a 12-month service,” he explains. “We can bill 12 months a year, so we like the idea of these ongoing service agreements so our technicians can generate income in the winter.”
Offering Sentricon® is better for scheduling issues and also makes technicians happier than liquids, Delaney says.
“With liquids, the techs were really busy for 12 to 14 weeks of the year, and then they were looking for something to do,” he says. “Plus, liquid termite control is a young man’s business. It’s physically demanding, even as the drill bits got better over the years, you still had to trench and pump a lot of water and liquid chemical in. By the time you got someone trained, within five or six years, they got tired of being cold and dirty and said they wanted to do general pest control now. We had lots of turnover.”
“Now, our Sentricon techs earn more. This is something they can sustain into their 50s or 60s as far as the physical aspects of it, and they’re happy. It’s been an amazing transformation for our business. Our workforce is more stable, our customers are more stable. Everything about it is a win for us.”
Delaney is concerned that companies that offer both bait and liquid options are confusing their customers, because customers are looking for expert advice. He offers a few tips to companies that offer both.
“Stop confusing your customers,” Delaney advises. “They rely on us to make the right choice for them. If I have a plumber come to my house and he said, ‘What do you want?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know, you tell me!’
“I think you would be better serving your customers in many ways to offer only Sentricon,” he continues. “It works, it’s proven to work, and your service department and your company has an idea and a mission, and you’re following it.”