By Marcelle Dibrell
Any service that can be automated presents the potential of lost jobs, and automatic pool cleaners once presented that threat to the pool and spa industry.
When they first came out, passionate sales people peddled the cleaner’s ability to keep pools so spotless that homeowners could replace their pool techs with a machine. Now, automatic cleaners have come full circle.
While vendors were enthusiastically overselling the abilities about cleaning systems, service professionals were often disparaging the cleaning systems units.
But then the manufacturers got smart, and began marketing their units to the service professional. And then professionals began trying out the units on their customer’s pools. Technicians saw how much time could be saved by using automatic cleaners to replace manual vacuuming. Many professionals became sold on the idea.
In addition to providing time to garner more accounts, they also represent an extra pool-side item that will eventually require maintenance and repair. Many techs specialize in their maintenance, and it has come to the point where many service professionals avoid pools that do not have cleaners.
Today’s automatic systems are able to clean pools better than ever. Their increasing use throughout the country is evidence of their effectiveness.
In fact, the Service Industry News 2014 Industry Survey shows that their acceptance and use by a once doubtful Service Industry is at a high. Nationwide, more than 70 percent of the pools reported on respondents’ service routes are equipped with an automatic cleaner.
At the top of the list are pools serviced in Northern California and the Southwest, where a whopping 91 and 83 percent of the pools are equipped with an automatic cleaning device of one kind or another. Except for the state of Florida, where about a quarter of the pools were reported equipped with a cleaning system, just about half or more of all pools in every region of the country has an automatic cleaner on board.
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